Hostage of the Heart

By: Ambrosia

Warning: Acts of violence are spoken of in this part, and performed.
Disclaimers in part 1

Part 3
Desiree was rendered speechless for a minute or two. "My father?" she finally whispered.

Piper nodded.

Desiree stared at Piper for a moment before saying, "It's all starting to make sense now. You kidnapped me because my father put you in prison." It was more of a statement than a question.

Piper shook her head. "No. That's not why I kidnapped you. Eight years of my life were ruined because of his sentencing, but that has nothing to do with this," she argued, sitting up on the couch.

"Then why am I here?" Desiree wore an expression of complete confusion.

The kidnapped sighed. "As I already told you, I'm wanted by the police."

A slight nod from Desiree.

"Well, last week I went to court again because three of the jurors that served on my trial eight years ago ended up dead. I was under suspicion because they claimed to have some evidence against me." She paused a moment to gather her thoughts. "Guess who was the judge when I walked into the court with Frank Webb my lawyer?"

"My father," Desiree answered.

Piper nodded. "Yep. The honorable Judge Richard Love," she said in a disgusted tone of voice.

"It's not my father's fault that you decided to become a criminal," Desiree stated angrily. She was never really close to her father, but she would not let someone talk against him. "And that you are one now," she added as an afterthought.

Piper's face reddened in anger. "I didn't have a choice," she retorted in a quiet, yet angry tone. Piper arose from the couch smoothly and stormed into the bedroom that Desiree had yet to see. She came out a few seconds later with the handcuffs and wearing a pair of sneakers without socks.

Desiree immediately became alarmed when she caught sight of the handcuffs. Piper walked towards her and grabbed Desiree by the arm, roughly pulling her away from the couch. She led her captive into the kitchen and once again handcuffed the young woman to the refridgerator. Without a word, Piper hurried to the front door, opened it and walked out, slamming it so hard behind her that the window in the living room shook. Desiree had not uttered another word, afraid that she had finally pushed the woman too far.

Desiree said out loud to the empty cabin, "Nice one, Love."

Driving down a street of San Francisco, California, thirty-six year old Detective Victor Redding though about the case of the three murdered jurors and the of the person wanted for their senseless deaths. As far as Detective Redding was concerned, Piper Redding needed to pay for what she had done, and he was going to be the person to bring her down. Everything that had happened was her fault.

Victor was feeling triumphant after what had just occurred where the autopsies of the three jurors had been performed. He had aided by showing them that Piper Redding had left her calling card somewhat. They all had remarked on how stupid it was of her to do that, since she was claiming in court that she was innocent of the murders. Detective Redding had pointed out that all three murders had something to do with the number eight. Sally Harris, the first victim had been shot a number of eight times in her head and chest area. Douglas Foxx, the next victim had been stabbed eight times in the head. Walter Simpson, found yesterday afternoon, was deemed the most brutally murdered. His wife had come home from grocery shopping to find her husband of twelve years tied to a chair with rope and duct tape. His fingers were lying on the floor after having been severed from his hands. It was obvious that he had bled to death, which was confirmed during the autopsy today. Detective Redding pointed out that since Piper Redding had been locked up for eight years that this number was symbolized in the deaths of her victims. This evidence furthermore convinced the police and all others involved that Piper Redding was guilty.

There was an obstacle standing in the way of arresting Piper Redding. No one had any clue where she was. Last week, after she had been arrested for the murders of Harris and Foxx, and had been arraigned by Judge Richard Love, Redding had disappeared. She had been able to return to her home after attending court since it was mostly speculation then, but Redding had obviously fled because no one could locate her. It was Detective Victor Redding's job now to help find the woman before someone else ended up dead. It was still not known exactly why Redding had killed these three jurors, but the other remaining nine jurors were being warned to be careful of where they went, and to be aware of their surroundings. Some had even spoken of going into the witness protection program, or at the very least hiding.

Making a right turn Detective Redding thought about the disappearance of Desiree Love. He had a feeling that her abrupt disappearance had something to do with Piper Redding. He would bet money on it that Redding had taken Love as a hostage for bargaining. He was on his way to discuss the vanishing of Ms. Love with her father, Judge Richard Love at Baker Hospital, which was where his son Richard Love Jr. was being kept after the attempt on his life yesterday. His was the best evidence of all that Piper Redding was a murderer. Richard Love Jr. had told the police yesterday that he had seen Piper Redding's face as she prepared to kill him in his own home. He described that the woman had been wearing black jeans, a black shirt or sweater, (he could not remember for sure which) black shoes, and she had on a black ski mask at first, but then had removed it. Richie Love reported that the woman said she had wanted him to see the face of the person who was about to end his life.

Now, Desiree Love was missing and the police was beginning to become frantic. No one in his right mind wanted to deal with the wrath of Judge Richard Love. The man was both feared and respected not only in San Francisco, but in other parts of the United States as well. Odds were since Ms. Love was missing that Piper Redding had abducted her. If the fugitive did have her, then it would be considered as a possibility that Desiree Love would never be seen alive again.

"Can I get you some more water, honey?"

"No, Mom. I'm fine."

"Are you sure?"

Richard stopped his constant pacing and faced his wife. "Sandra, stop harassing the boy! He's not thirsty all right?"

Sandra's eyes started to fill with tears again. "I know you are worried Richard, but that is no reason to yell at me." She sat down in a chair by the window in the hospital room, covering her face with her hands. Her body began to shake as she cried. Richie would have gotten out of the bed to comfort her, but he was still too weak, so he just glared at his father for the man's insensitivity. Judge Love had the ability to be harsh with anyone, including his own family. Oddly, none of his children seemed to take his most unfavorable attributes. They seemed to take mostly after their mother, especially Desiree with her sweet-natured manner and compassion for others.

Richard mentally chastised himself for his behavior as he hurried across the room to comfort his wife. He knelt by the chair, and taking her delicate hands in his big ones, he said, "I'm sorry, Sandy. I shouldn't and I have no right to treat you that way."

Sandra smiled and extracted one of her hands from her husband's grasp to touch his cheek lovingly. Just then the hospital room door opened and one of the guards stationed in front of the room for Richie's protection poked his head in. "A detective is here to see you, sir." He directed this to Judge Love.

Richard nodded as he arose from the floor with a little help from his wife. He walked outside to the waiting room to see a young man sitting down with a small pad and a pen in hand. He had dark brown close shave hair, light brown eyes with a medium build. He stood up when he caught sight of the judge and Richard noticed that he was quite a tall man. Judge Love was 6 feet 2 himself, but this man was probably about 6 feet 6 inches.

"Good afternoon, your honor," said the young woman, shaking Richard's hand with a strong firm grip.

"Good afternoon to you too…"

"Detective Victor Redding," the man supplied.

Richard looked at him with suspicion. "Redding?" he asked with a touch of anger.

"No relation," Victor offered him a smile, showing white even teeth.

"Good." Richard indicated the chairs. "Why don't we have a seat?"

Victor nodded as he headed for a chair to sit in. Judge Love sat in a chair to his left and looked at him expectantly.

"How is your son doing, sir?"

"He's fine. I've got a touch boy," he replied proudly.

Victor smiled. "I bet you do, sir." He cleared his throat. "I wanted to talk to you about your daughter, Desiree Love." He opened his notepad and removed the top from his pen.

Judge Love became more worried then he already was. "Did you find something? Is she okay?"

"No, I didn't find anything." He wore a grim smile. "And I'm sorry, but I don't know if she is okay."

Judge Love nodded disappointment evident on his face.

"I saw your case on television and I wanted to help. I don't know what I would do if one of my children ended up missing."

"You have children?"

The detective smiled warmly. "Yes, I have two daughters. One is nine and the other one is six."

"So you know how hard this is for my wife and I. Our son has already been shot, and now our youngest daughter has vanished."

"The police don't have any information on the whereabouts of Piper Redding?" Victor asked.

Judge Love shook his head glumly.

"Do you have a picture of your daughter?"

Richard nodded, taking out his wallet. He chose a photograph from it of Desiree at age seventeen (his most recent picture) swinging in a tire tied to a tree, and handed it to the detective, who studied it for a moment before he put it in a pocket in the inside of his jacket.

"When is the last time you saw Desiree?"

Richard thought about it for a minute. "I believe it was just after Christmas."

The detective wrote in his small notepad. "Have you argued with her in the last few months?"

"No. Not at all."

"No disagreements whatsoever?" Victor inquired, tapping the notepad with the pen lightly.

Judge Love shook his head adamantly. "I haven't even spoken to her since January," he said in self-loath. He hated to admit it, but the judge had not bothered to keep in close contact with any of his children. Sandra had spoken to Richie, Larisa and Desiree recently, but her husband had not. The judge always seemed to be busy with a case or something else. Richard made a silent promise to himself that if all turned out well when this was over, he would make some time for his family. Maybe he would even plan a vacation.

"Do you know if she has a boyfriend?"

"Yes. She has a live-in boyfriend named Alec Drake," Richard replied disgustedly. He never had felt that Alec was good enough for his daughter.

"I get the feeling that you don't approve of this man," Victor observed.

"No I don't. He's a freeloading idiot in my opinion."

"Do they have a good relationship?"

The judge shrugged. "I honestly couldn't tell you one way or the other."

Victor nodded, writing again. "Do you think maybe he could have taken her, or maybe they went on a vacation somewhere?"

"Either is possible. I would prefer it was the latter, however I don't think he took her. Alec is a freeloader, but I don't believe he would kidnap my daughter." He paused. "If you ask me, I think Piper Redding took her. She already tried to kill my son, and now my daughter turns up missing the same day my son's life was almost ended." Judge Love clenched and unclenched his hands in rage.

Victor looked at the judge and quietly stated, "I think that Piper Redding is responsible for your daughter's disappearance also."

"I'm certain that she had something to do with this. I'm going to kill her," Richard said savagely.

Detective Redding thought, "Not if I get to her first."

Glancing at her watch, Piper saw that it was almost four o'clock in the afternoon. She had been sitting here by the crystal blue lake, back propped up against a large tree for nearly two straight hours. She considered that she ought to start heading back to the cabin since her captive was still handcuffed to the refrigerator. Thinking about it, Piper once again felt the guilt overtake her. She felt bad about locking the young woman up and storming out of the cabin without so much as a word. Piper could not explain why, but if there was one thing in this world that she did not want to do, it was hurt Desiree. Piper grudgingly admitted to herself that she cared for the woman, and she knew without a shadow of a doubt that she would protect her to the best of her ability.

"Great Redding," Piper murmured. "Rule number one. Never fall for your hostage."

With that Piper got to her feet and checked the seat of her pants for grass stains. Pleased to not see any, she headed back to the cabin. To Desiree.

"I wonder if she's coming back?" Desiree mused out loud.

"I hope so," she thought, kneeling on the tiled kitchen floor. "I hope so?" she thought again. Desiree realized that she really did want Piper to come back. One reason was because she seemed to be out in the middle of nowhere, which meant that Piper might be the only one who could get her back to civilization. The other reason was that Desiree wanted to see the sometimes-teasing woman again.

All of the sudden she heard a door creak open and peeked around to see Tobias walking towards her quickly. When he got to her he stretched and yawned. Tobias looked at his owner's predicament curiously.

"Good afternoon, Tobias." Desiree patted his head with her free hand, making the feline purr with much delight.

"Did you have a good nap?" she asked.

Tobias meowed as if to say that he had.

"I wish you could get me out of this." Desiree pointed to her handcuffed wrist. Tobias hurried over to a green plastic bowl on the floor, which was what Piper had put his liver pate in earlier. She had got the liver pate, litter, litter box and even a couple of toys for the feline while at Desiree's apartment, but she had left the crystal goblets behind. Desiree wondered how she was able to get Tobias to eat out of the bowl. Desiree mused that her cat must have been very hungry to eat out of the plastic instead of his usual crystal. She frowned acknowledging that she spoiled him way too much. Maybe being here would teach Tobias some discipline. It was worth a try, although it was not as if she had much of a choice.

Tobias walked back over to his owner and started his "I'm hungry" crying, after discovering that the horrid plastic bowl was empty. He had even drunk all of the water in the other plastic bowl next to the empty food bowl.

"I'm sorry Tobias," Desiree apologized. "Mommy can't get you any food right now." Then it dawned on her that she was attached to a refrigerator. She would not be able to put the food in a container for her cat, but he could eat out of the can. Desiree got to her feet and opened the refrigerator. After looking around for a minute or so, she discovered the rest of Tobias' food from earlier. Obviously, Piper had not seen it fit to give Tobias the rest of the can of cat food after Desiree told her that he ate a full can in one serving.

"Here we go, Tobias," said Desiree, taking out the can. She closed the refrigerator and knelt down once again on the tile and took the lid off the can, placing it on the floor. Tobias bowed his head to sniff the half-filled can of liver pate. He peered up at his owner as if to say, "Now you want me to eat it out of a can?"

Desiree sighed in frustration. This cat definitely needed some discipline. "Tobias eat. It's still liver pate whether it is in a crystal goblet or a tin can."

Tobias stared at her for a few moments, obviously thinking that maybe she would change her mind. Finally, he gave up and began to eat his meal making Desiree smile. She briefly thought about buying him a new toy for being a trooper and "roughing" it, but then let the idea go. If she kept rewarding him, he would never learn.

Watching him eat, Desiree then noticed that Tobias' collar and nametag were missing. She became angry, guessing that the kidnapper must have taken them. "She's probably gonna try to pawn them, she thought irately.

A few minutes later Tobias curled up by Desiree sleeping peacefully, when the young woman heard the front door opening. Piper came in and shut the door quietly behind her, but Tobias heard anyway, and his head raised up. He saw the blue-eyed woman coming towards them in the kitchen and hissed. Piper glanced at the feline raising an eyebrow slightly, but other than that paid no attention to him. She unlocked Desiree from the refrigerator and helped her up from the floor, mumbling something that the strawberry-blonde could not understand.

"What did you say?" Desiree inquired.

Piper took a step back and cleared her throat. "I'm sorry," she said more clearly.

Desiree's eyes widened from hearing the apology, but all she replied was, "It's okay." She walked past Piper out of the kitchen and sat on the couch staring at the fireplace.

Piper let out a slow breath, and walked over to take a seat next to the young woman. Both women sat staring at the darkened fireplace for a few minutes. Piper decided to take the initiative. She reached over and gently took a hold of Desiree's chin, and turned the young woman's face towards her. "I really am sorry."

Desiree shrugged saying, "It really is okay. It's part f your job right? You've been treating me far too well." She smiled slightly. "Like a queen," she quietly finished.

"You deserve to be treated like one," Piper murmured.


The blue-eyed woman though quickly. "I said let's have some fun. You wanna watch some t.v.?"

Desiree peered at her quizzically, but only nodded.

Piper arose from the couch, and going over to the entertainment system, she picked up the remote control lying on top of the television. She walked back to the couch and handed the remote to Desiree announcing, "Why don't you look for something to watch. Since I don't have cable there might not be anything good on, so I have videos we could watch if you want."

Desiree replied, "That sounds good."

"Good. Pick anything you want." She indicated the videos on a shelf of the entertainment system. "I'll be right back. I'm going to the bathroom."

Desiree nodded, as Piper head to the bathroom.

Desiree turned on the television as Tobias jumped up on the couch to curl up beside her. She put him on the floor; not sure if Piper would appreciated the feline lying o her obviously expensive leather couch. Tobias looked up at her and then walked into the bedroom Desiree was sleeping in as if he was annoyed with her.

Desiree chuckled as she changed the channels, stopping when she found the news. She glanced at the bathroom door and turned up the volume a few notches. Apparently, she turned it on just at the right time, because Piper's mug shot came on the screen. She listened to what the newsman was saying.

"Police are still searching for Piper Redding. Please, if you have seen this woman call the number located at the bottom of your screen. Do not, I repeat do not try to apprehend this woman, due to the fact that she is considered armed and extremely dangerous. Piper Redding is under suspicion for the murders of the three jurors, Sally Harris, Douglas Foxx and Walter Simpson who served on her trial in 1990. Redding is wanted for the attempted murder of-

The television channel suddenly switched to a talk show, and Desiree found Piper lying across her lap. She blinked wondering how Piper got there so fast, and why she was there in the first place.

"What are you doing?" asked Desiree.

"I remembered that I like this talk show," replied Piper, heart beating so hard that she half expected it to burst through her chest. In truth, she had just wanted to change the station before Desiree could hear the rest of the report. Piper could not have the young woman finding out that way. It was too soon. How can you tell someone that you have been charged with the attempted murder of his or her brother? Also, Piper could not bear to see the mistrust and hate she would surely find in those beautiful blue-green eyes.

While washing her hands in the bathroom, Piper had heard the person referring to her on the television, and had hurried out to change the channel quickly. Noticing that the remote control was on Desiree's right she had just jumped on her stretching to get the remote and pushed the channel up button.

"I just think that you didn't want me to hear what he was about to say about you."

"Oh," Piper uttered in a surprised voice. "They were talking about me?" she asked innocently.

Desiree smirked. "You knew they were."

Piper shrugged as she turned on her right side and propped her right cheek on her hand to watch the television. She looked back at Desiree and asked, "Do you want me to move?"

The strawberry-blonde shook her head, and Piper turned her attention back to the television. Desiree enjoyed having the tall woman lying on top of her lap. They both watched the television show for a few minutes in silence before Desiree spoke.

"I'm sorry," she apologized quietly, resisting the urge to run her hands through Piper's long dark hair.

Piper maneuvered until she was on her stomach, propping both of her elbows on the couch for support. She looked up at Desiree questioningly. "For what?"

"For saying that you were still a criminal. I was just upset and I lashed out at you." She placed a hand in the middle of Piper's back. She could feel her warmth through the thin cotton.

"I am, aren't I?" asked Piper. "For all you know I killed those three jurors and attempted to kill someone else." She naughtily wished that the young woman would bring her hand down lower.

"You said you didn't do it, and I believe you," Desiree replied earnestly.

"When did I say that?" Piper's heart swelled at the fact that this young woman believed in her. She was not used to people trusting her, and she found that it was an experience that she enjoyed.

"When you were on the phone yesterday." Desiree blushed at revealing her eavesdropping, but Piper did not seem to mind.

"Oh. How do you know that I wasn't lying?" She mentally reprimanded herself, pondering why she appeared to be endeavoring to ruin a good thing. "Shut up and just accept the fact that she believes you," she thought. "It could happen."

Desiree was silent for an instant. "I don't," she finally stated with a shrug.

Piper stared at her in bewilderment. "Yet you believe me."

The strawberry-blonde nodded resolutely.

Desiree felt something that she had not felt in years. Her eyes began to brim with unshed tears, so she turned her head away before the other woman could notice them. She took a deep breath. "You don't know how much I love…that."

Opening her eyes, Desiree saw by the clock on the wall that is was 7:56 in the evening. She rubbed the sleep from her eyes, and stretched to find that something heavy was lying on her lap. She looked down and saw Piper sleeping contentedly on her back with her mouth slightly open. One arm was dangling off the couch limply, and the other one was resting on her stomach. Desiree could only come up with one word to describe this woman at the moment: adorable. She had a feeling tat this woman never slept this peacefully.

Desiree rubbed the kink out of her neck while looking at the television. A ten-year-old movie was about to come on the current station. She once again gazed down at the sleeping Piper and thought, "What has happened to you?" She reached down to brush back a few pieces of hair that were on Piper's face. Immediately the woman's eyes opened and blue met blue-green, as Desiree snatched her hand back guiltily.

"Yes?" the blue-eyed woman drew out lazily, placing both of her hands behind her head.


"You woke me up from a good dream," Piper announced, stretching, giving Desiree an even better view of her taut stomach.

"I did?" Desiree asked distractedly.

Piper nodded, noticing where the young woman's attention was. She grinned mischievously as she continued. " I dreamt I had you lying naked in a tub filled with whip cream, with luscious strawberry's strewn on top." She chuckled as she suddenly went falling to the floor. "Ouch!" Piper looked up at a furiously blushing Desiree who was now standing up.

Piper chuckled again. "I was just kidding. You were wearing a thong." She got the remote control thrown at her. It hit her on the forehead. "Ow!" She rubbed the injured spot, exclaiming "That wasn't very nice, Desi."

Desiree ignored her as she stormed to her bedroom, slamming the door behind her.

Pacing in her room, Desiree wondered how this woman was able to get under her skin so easily. The fact that she reacted to Piper's taunting and teasing only proved to infuriate her all the more. Desiree did not understand how the woman could be so nice one moment and in the next annoying and arrogant. Tobias lying on the bed watched his owner curiously as she went back and forth across the room. The feline meowed. Desiree went over and picked him up.

"Hey, Toby." She said, cuddling him. "Is that woman driving you nuts too?"

Tobias meowed again as if to say that yes she was.

Desiree sat on the bed for ten minutes in silence, before she heard a hesitant knock on the door.

"What is it?" she snapped.

On the other side of the door Piper took a deep calming breath. "No need for the both of us to be snippy," she thought. "Can I come in?"

Desiree nodded, and then remembering that Piper could not see that unless she had x-ray vision she replied, "Enter."

The door opened and Piper poked her head in. She smiled at Desiree in a friendly way. "I was wondering if you wanted steak or pork chops for dinner?"

"What makes you think that I'm not a vegetarian?" inquired Desiree stubbornly.

Piper pretended to ponder that. "Gee. Could it be the fact that you polished off that chicken sandwich for lunch? Every last piece?"

Duh! "Oh, yeah." She felt very foolish at the moment. "Steak then. Well done if you will."

Piper bowed her head before replying, "It shall be done." She smiled and left the room, closing the door soundlessly.

Thirty some minutes later, both women were sitting at the table next to the kitchen, with steaming plates of food before them. Desiree marveled at the delicious aromas rising from the plate. Piper had cooked steak (Desiree found out that they both liked their meat well done) steamed baby carrots that were slightly sweet, baked potatoes with sour cream and bacon bits, and hot buttered rolls. She was not sure but Desiree thought she smelled an apple pie baking in the oven.

"How does it taste?" asked Piper, after Desiree had sampled every item before her.

Desiree nodded swallowing. "Everything is delicious. Where did you learn to cook?"

She wish that she had not asked because Piper's face suddenly became pained, as if remembering a less than favorable memory.

Desiree waved her fork in the air. "It's okay. You don't have to answer."

"No. It's all right." The blue-eyed woman smiled. "My mother taught me how to cook. I fixed my first breakfast all by myself when I was seven. It was quite good too," she stated proudly.

Desiree smiled. "I bet it was."

They ate in silence for a few minutes before Desiree spoke.

"This is very weird," she murmured.

"What is?"

Desiree looked up from her plate, surprised that Piper had heard her. She had not expected her to. "This." She waved her hands around her. "This has got to be the strangest hostage situation in the world."

"Why do you say that?"

"I have my own room, you cook for me, I get to watch television." She paused thoughtfully. "It's like being at home again. Only difference is you're not my mother." She speared a baby carrot.

Piper got up and leaned across the table until her face was in a close proximity to Desiree's. "Good thing I'm not your mother too, because no mother should have the thoughts I'm having about her child." She sat back down in her chair, enjoying the blush she elicited from the strawberry-blonde.

Desiree took a deep breath, surprising herself with her next words. "And what thoughts are those?"

Piper raised an eyebrow. "Well Desiree. If I didn't know better, I'd think you were flirting with me."

Desiree's next response was interrupted by the arrival of a very hungry and irritable feline. Tobias made his way over to his owner and stood up on his hind legs, placing his paws on her right thigh. He started to cry. Desiree picked him, saying that it was time for his dinner. Piper showed her where she had stored the cat food, and Desiree fed the hungry cat a whole can, after Piper promised that she would make a trip to the store tomorrow. She had to pick up a few items anyway.

"I'll help wash the dishes."

Piper shooed her away with the dishrag. "No, I've got them."

"Are you sure? You cooked. The least I could do is wash the dishes."

"It's no problem. You like apple pie?"

"I knew it," Desiree thought excitedly. "Why yes I do."

Piper smiled. "Good. Go sit on the couch, and I'll bring you some when I'm done in here."

Desiree smiled back. While walking away she muttered to herself. "Okay, Mom."

"I heard that."

A few minutes later, Piper joined Desiree on the couch with a silver tray that she placed on the coffee table in front of them. Desiree's mouth watered at the sight. A big slice of hot apple pie was lying in a white saucer, topped with a perfectly rounded scoop of vanilla ice cream. Also on the tray was a carafe of ice-cold milk, two glasses and two silver spoons.

Within minutes Desiree had devoured her dessert, and shyly asked for another piece. Piper got it for her, wondering where the small woman was able to put it all, without the added pounds. She considered the fact that the young woman must work out regularly if she always ate this much. Piper did not mind though. She liked the fact that Desiree had a healthy appetite.

Twenty minutes later the two women sat sipping cappachinos (which Piper had also fixed) and chatting about everything and anything.

"How old were you you're first time?"

"Excuse me?" asked Desiree.

Piper smirked. "You heard me."

"That's a little personal."

Piper did not say anything, just stared at her waiting for an answer.

Desiree finally responded, "I was nineteen."

"Was it with Alec?" inquired Piper, grinning.

Desiree nodded, blushing. "When was your first time?"


"Twelve." She got punched lightly in the arm for that one. "I don't know." She shrugged. "Eighteen."

Piper shook her head. "I was sixteen." She took a sip from her black mug. "I remember it was in my parent's bed, and they came home to find us there." She laughed. "I was grounded for a month."

Desiree laughed too. "Why would you do it in your parent's bed?"

"It was bigger than mine."

The strawberry-blonde shook her head. "Alec made reservations for us at a five-star hotel. When we got in the room, I discovered at least fifty candles lit around the room, which was the only light that we needed. I was nervous, but Alec was very patient with me," she finished softly.

Piper felt irrational jealousy. "Do you miss him?"

Desiree laughed at the question. "Like I miss the chicken pox."

Piper smiled broadly relieved. She turned serious all of the sudden. "I'm really sorry about all this." She placed her half-empty mug on a black coaster.

"Don't be," exclaimed Desiree. "This is like an adventure sort of. You might be doing me a favor."

Piper looked shocked. "How so?"

"This could do wonders for career. It may give me some ideas for a book."

The blue-eyed woman did not reply right away. "Well. I hope you get something good out of this experience."

"I already have," Desiree replied quietly. Electric blue eyes met blue-green, staying that way for what seemed like an eternity before Desiree looked away. She tried to stifle a yawn, but did not succeed.

"I think it's time for bed," Piper announced. She got up and offered a hand to Desiree. The young woman grasped the offered hand, standing up.

"Thanks," she said.

Piper smiled warmly. It was then that Desiree decided that she loved it when the taller woman smiled at her.


"How many times have I told you to make sure that I always have a clean white shirt to wear!"

"I'm sorry, Alan," she apologized quietly.

"Sorry is not good enough." He then hit her so hard that she went flying over the back of the couch. Getting up, Marie felt a thin trickle of blood run down her chin. Alan had busted her lip again.

"Alan, you know that Piper has been sick. I got preoccupied and I forgot."

He advanced on her quickly. "Well maybe this will teach you not to forget again." He hit her so hard in the stomach, that the wind was knocked out of Marie as her legs gave out and she fell to the floor. Alan brought his leg back as if preparing to kick her, but was interrupted by a small voice.

"Please, Daddy. Don't hurt Momma no more," the child implored, carrying her beloved teddy bear in one hand.

Alan whirled around to face her. "Get you butt back in that bed, Piper!"

The child began to cry. "Please don't hurt my Momma."

"Go to bed honey," Marie pleaded. She did not want her husband to take out his wrath with her on their child.

Alan took out the belt around his pants. "I'm gonna hurt you if you don't do what I say," he said menacingly. "Now get!"

A few minutes later, eight-year-old Piper laid in her bed, listening to what was going on outside of the closed door. She covered her ears with her pillow, and pulled the sheet and blanket over her head, in a desperate attempt to keep the chaos out. She started sobbing, saying over and over again, "Please don't hurt Momma, Daddy. Please don't hurt Momma."

"Piper. Piper wake up." She shook the woman a little bit more roughly. "Piper! Piper please wake up!" she shouted nervously.

Piper abruptly sat up in the bed, pushing Desiree on her back on the bed, and pinning her arms over her head. "Please don't hurt Momma," Piper stated softly. Her eyes popped open and she stared in confusion at the terrified looking woman she was straddling. Suddenly it dawned on her that this was Desiree, and she was not eight years old anymore.

"I'm sorry," she exclaimed hoarsely.

"No problem," Desiree replied, beginning to calm down. She once again assured herself that Piper would never hurt her. She examined Piper's attire and could not help but to admit that she looked sexy in a simple way. Piper was wearing short black and red checkered boxers, and a tight black tank top, with her hair held back from her face by a rubberband, except for a few hairs that had escaped.

Piper then did something that Desiree could not have expected to happen in a million years. The blue-eyed woman suddenly burst into tears and covered her face with her hands, still straddling the smaller woman.

"I'm so sorry," Piper sobbed, her whole body shaking.

"It's okay," Desiree replied softly. "It's okay, Piper." She reached up to squeeze the woman's arm, since Piper had released her hold on the young woman's arms as soon as she realized who she was.

Piper then leaned down so far that Desiree just knew that the woman was about to kiss her. "This is it," she ruminated to herself, closing her eyes for the pleasure that she was sure would follow. Instead, she got a crying Piper stretched out on top of her, with her face pressed into Desiree's warm neck. The young woman could feel the tears dropping onto her skin. Desiree wrapped her arms around the sobbing woman who was lying completely on top of her. She had a feeling that Piper needed this cry, and she did not mind having to comfort her. This was pleasurable in its own way.

The next morning, Desiree awoke to find that something was chewing her hair. She knew exactly who the culprit was.

"Tobias, stop," she said with her eyes till closed. When he did not stop, she reached up a hand to gently swat him until he got off of the bed. "I'll get your breakfast in a few minutes."

Opening her eyes, Desiree was momentarily surprised to find Piper on top of her before she remembered last night. By the woman's even breathing on her neck, Desiree could tell that she was still asleep. She had to go to the bathroom quite badly, so she tried to get from under the sleeping woman without disturbing her, but Piper was too heavy. "Oh, that's just great," Desiree muttered.

"Huh?" said a voice thick with sleep. Piper raised her head to see Desiree trapped beneath her. Her eyes opened wide as she scrambled out of the bed, which brought an instant frown to Desiree's face.

"What's the matter?" the young woman asked, sitting up.

"Did I- did we…" Unable to finish Piper pointed towards the bed.

Desiree looked at her curiously, before it dawned on her what Piper was trying to get at. She briefly thought about teasing the woman as payback, but then changed her mind. This was no time to be joking.

"Nothing happened," Desiree assured her.

"Then what was I doing on top of you?" Piper asked exasperated.

"You don't remember? You were crying and you laid down on me. You cried for what must have been about a half hour before you finally fell asleep."

An embarrassed blush appeared on Piper's face. "Oh, yeah." She put her hands on her hips. "I'm sorry about that."

"Why are you always apologizing? It was no problem. It felt quite good in fact." Desiree could have slapped herself for letting that last statement slip out.

Piper raised an eyebrow, but other than that to Desiree's immense relief did not comment. The tall woman walked to the door, and then turned around asking, "What do you want for breakfast? French toast or pancakes?"

Desiree shook her head. If Piper kept this up, she was going to be in the Guinness Book of World Records, for the hostage that gained the most weight while being held captive.

"Whatever is easiest for you," answered Desiree, getting out of the bed. With great effort she kept from doing the "potty dance."

"Pick one."

"Okay, pancakes."

Piper went out of the bedroom saying over her shoulder, "Pancakes it is then."

Desiree tried to casually walk to get to the bathroom, but Piper hurried into it, shutting the door behind her in Desiree's face. "She meant to do that," the young woman thought furiously. "She knew I had to go to the bathroom." She hit the bathroom door, only to hear a chuckle come from inside.

"You are so mean!" she shouted, only to hear more chuckling.

Tobias chose that moment to start meowing, and she irritably demanded him to shut up. Not used to that tone of voice from his owner, Tobias did the wise thing and stayed out of her way.

Desiree made a decision. "Fine. I'm going outside. Not like I've never used a bush before. Glancing back at the bathroom door, Desiree could hear the shower running. Coming to the conclusion that Piper would probably be in there for a while, she went to the front door and opened it. She thought about leaving a note, but decided not to. Let the woman worry about her disappearance if she were to come out before Desiree could come back in.

Arriving outside on the porch Desiree marveled at the scenery. Beautiful green plants and flowers of all colors were strewn around the cabin. She could hear birds chirping and if she was not a mistaken that was a deer that just past by a few trees about thirty feet away.

"This is paradise found," she said aloud.

Walking down the stairs and to her right, Desiree soon came to some bushes that she thought would do.

"Well, well, well. Nice set of cheeks, and I'm not referring to ones on your face," said a voice coming from behind Desiree. The accent was Jamaican.

Turning around quickly and dropping her oversized T-shirt back into place, Desiree spied what must have been one of the most gorgeous men she had ever seen. He was smiling broadly at her, and she could see that he had pearly white even teeth. He had skin the color of dark chocolate and must have topped Piper's height by at least six inches. He wore tan colored slacks, and a dark green short-sleeved shirt, that was tight enough so that Desiree could tell that he was quite muscular. He had a diamond stud in his left ear and was wearing shades with a green tint to match his shirt.

"May I help you?" she tried to ask calmly, feeling vulnerable in only a T-shirt and panties.

The man nodded. "Maybe you can."

"Let me go!" Desiree shouted. The Jamaican man was carrying her effortlessly over his left shoulder into the cabin. She figured that he thought it might have been empty, and that she was all by herself. "Wrong, buddy. Piper is not gonna like this," she thought, feeling secure in the fact that the woman was only in the bathroom and that she would be able to rescue her.

Piper opened the bathroom door in a black terry-cloth robe, her wet hair trailing down her back. She had heard the commotion and wondered what the young woman was up to. She figured she had the television up to loud, but the scene before her was completely unexpected. Her mouth opened wide as she ran towards the man. He put Desiree down and opened his arms for Piper's arrival, swinging her off the floor and spinning around. By this time Desiree's mouth was now open.

"Taj!" Piper exclaimed after the man put her down.

"It's been too long, Pippy," the Jamaican man said.

"Pippy?" Desiree thought.


Part 4

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