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You Don't Even Know My Name

Chapter Text

Carol Aird had an entire life. She was a beautiful woman living on the west coast with her daughter. Her best friend lived a short walk away. She also had a good relationship with her ex husband Hargess Aird. And in one single night it was all taken away. The night one of the most powerful drug lords had a hit taken out on him, that life ended alongside the man. Carol and Rindy Aird died. Louise, Lou for short, and Dylan Miller is what came out. And since Abigail Gerhard was a member of the Aird family, she too had died that night. Tammy Kluger is what came after.

Since their families were all on the west coast, the people handling their protection decided to place them on the opposite coast. A small town in New Jersey no one would ever think of. It was a good area though. Safe and close to the city. Over the past few months, the three of them settled in and developed a routine of sorts. The hardest part was getting used to their name changes. Thankfully, Carol's daughter was at an age where she wouldn't ask too many questions about it. So after just a few weeks Rindy was already used to it. The adults took a little longer but were able to adjust and their new identities felt as if they have always been these people.

Now that the summer has passed them, winter is creeping up. Thanksgiving has just ended two weeks ago and the small town is buzzing with Christmas excitement. Carol and Abby have no clue how the holiday will be. It's the first major holiday since Harge's murder. That is why she was currently wondering why she decided it was a good idea to drive into New York City on a Sunday morning just to get some shopping done. She was also wondering how she would end up getting a parking spot that didn't require her to walk an insane amount of blocks. After driving once again down the street of the toy store she needed to go she managed to find a spot across the street. She hurriedly parked and put coins in the meter and crossed the street to begin the process of gift shopping.

Surprisingly enough, the store was almost completely empty. If she didn't see employees working Carol would have thought the store was closed. As she walked further inside, a few workers greeted her and said if she needed help not to hesitate to ask. After what happened, Carol does everything to keep to herself and to simply not draw attention to herself. But of course the longer she went through things on shelves the one toy Rindy specifically asked for was nowhere in sight. So Carol found herself approaching the counter to ask the young woman for some help.

"I wonder if you might help me find this doll for my daughter." The second her voice left her throat the cashier turned to face the owner. Carol was met with the most beautiful green eyes she has ever seen. That's why she had to produce a folded piece of paper with the name on it.

"Oh I'm afraid we're all out of stock. But we have plenty of other dolls; all kinds really." The young brunette was almost rendered speechless as she became locked with blue eyes.

"Oh. Well I probably should have looked sooner for it."

There was a pregnant pause. Neither woman could look away from each other and didn't want to. It wasn't until a man walking by cleared his throat that they were able to speak again.

"Maybe I could help you find something else for your daughter."

"What did you want when you were four?"

"Me?" The young cashier paused to think back to that age. "A train set."

"Really? Do you know much about trains?" Carol noticed how when the woman smiled two dimples appeared causing her to smile.

"I do. And we actually just got a new model in. It's hand built with hand painted cars. You might have seen it when you came into the store."

"Do you ship?"

"Yes of course. You could have it in a few days."

"Well, that's that, sold." Both women were smiling. As Carol waited to begin filling out an order form she looked the girl up and down before speaking again. "Shall I pay now?"

"Oh yes of course!" As she reached down to get the form she mentally rolled her eyes at herself. "If you'll just fill this out please."

"Of course." The older woman took the offered pen and began adding her information onto the blank page. Before doing so she took her leather gloves off. For some reason she didn't want this interaction to end.

"I love Christmas. Wrapping presents and all that. And somehow you wind up overcooking the turkey anyway. Well, at least that's what happened to my mother. All done."

"I'll be sure to hand this in and you'll see the train set in a few days..." The cashier wanted to know this woman's name as if she wasn't just a customer.

"I'm Lou, Lou Miller. And your name?"

"Therese Belivet."

Chapter Text

Watching Lou walk away from the counter proved to be a slightly torturous task for Therese. The moment she laid eyes on the woman she was not only struck by her beauty but also by a need to speak to her. So when she went back to work she was practially giddy when she took notice of Lou's leather gloves. Since it was toward the end of her shift she decided to take the gloves with her and maybe reach out to Lou with the number she left on the order form. But even if she didn't call or text her, Therese and Lou would be seeing each other again.

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After leaving the toy store, Carol went to a couple of more stores to shop for Abby. They both decided to not worry about each other that much this Christmas. With everything that happened they wanted to focus on Rindy. After managing to find a couple of small gifts for her best friend, Carol made her way back to her home. During her drive she could not stop herself from thinking about that beautiful cashier. Therese Belivet. Carol couldn't help herself from saying the name out loud. As she pulled into the driveway she could see her daughter and Abby outside. It was an unusally warm day in December so they were enjoying the weather. And as soon as she left her car Abby could see the smile plastered on her face.

"I take it shopping went well?" Abby asked as she watched her friend approach her on the front steps.

"It did. I'm all finished with Rindy...And you."

"Now Carol we agreed that we wouldn't buy anything for each other." Abby said with a smirk.

"Oh please. We both know you got me something so don't play that with me." The blonde responded laughing.

"Well now I have to, don't I?"

"Oh whatever you ass. Anyways, how was your day? Did I miss anything interesting?"

"Well Rindy and I had a good lunch and then decided to pick up a little something for mommy to open on Christmas. And after that she decided we needed to come outside and play. So you missed quite the afternoon."

"Well I guess we should start cooking dinner. I'm starved!"

As Rindy answered to her name, the three of them made their way inside. It wasn't until Carol put her coat and purse away that she noticed her gloves were missing.

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Early evening turned into nighttime. Therese sat at her kitchen table eating some Chinese takeout and eyeing the gloves. She also had the store's copy of the order form which held Lou's number. For the past forty five minutes she was deciding whether or not to send a text or to call. As her food was almost gone she decided to just muster up come courage and give Lou a call. It was still pretty early so Lou would probably answer. Before she could back down Therese picked up her phone, dialed the number and waited for an answer...

Chapter Text

Therese sat anxiously in her chair with her cellphone glued to her ear. After the third ring she wasn't sure if the woman would answer but after two more rings she was met with the voice she hadn't realized she missed.

"Hello?"

"H-hi is this Lou Miller?" Therese could have kicked herself for saying that.

"Yes, may I ask who's calling?" Lou sounded nervous.

"This is Therese from the toy store you were in this afternoon."

"Oh hi how are you?" Carol mouthed to Abby to keep an eye on her daughter while she got up and went to another room to take the call with a huge grin.

"I'm well. I wanted to let you know that you left your gloves behind earlier."

"I was wondering where I left them! I thought it might have been in another store or I dropped them on the street."

"I didn't notice until after you left and since it was the end of my shift I figured I would see if I could get a hold of you...I hope you aren't put off."

"Oh no I'm delighted. Thank you for looking out for them."

"Of course. If you want I can send them to you."

"Oh you don't have to do that. I can come to get them from you in person."

"It's really no trouble I don't-"

"No no I insist. Why don't I take you to lunch as a thank you. I'm free tomorrow." Carol was suddenly nervous, hoping the young woman would want to see her again.

"Tomorrow?"

"I know a nice place not far from the store. I can meet you out front."

"Alright that sounds great. I'm actually off tomorrow so whatever time is good for you is fine."

"Oh great. I'll meet you around one then. I'll see you then."

"See you then, bye."

When Carol ended the call she was greeted with a knowing smirk from her best friend who was listening in.

"I guess I'll be playing babysitter again?"

"Yes I seem to have left my gloves at that toy store. The cashier was nice enough to hold onto them for me."

"Oh I'm sure." Abby couldn't help but smirk at her friend. "You'll have to tell me all about it tomorrow. Oh and tell me about leaving the gloves too!"

"You nitwit."

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Therese's smile lasted for a good few minutes before she realized she had no idea what to wear for her lunch with Carol. After cleaning up the table she bolted into her room to put together some kind of appropriate outfit. While looking through pants a small voice in the back of her head kept asking if this was a date or not. But Therese knew there was absolutely no way a woman like Lou would ever be interested in a girl like her...

 

The night passed by slowly for both women. They could not stop thinking about each other. Of course it didn't help that Carol began texting Therese a little while later. After about an hour of text messages they both attempted sleep.

When morning finally came, Carol was suddenly hit with a wave of nerves. This would be the first time since moving to the east coast that she took an interest in someone. She couldn't help but think of what could happen should she slip up and reveal something she can't. As she got ready for her day she just reminded herself that this was an innocent lunch and even though she felt a pull to the younger woman it didn't mean something would happen. And even if it did it wouldn't happen over night, right?

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Therese was a ball of anxiety. Time was moving so slow throught the morning that she almost found herself begging a higher power to speed it up a bit. Since she couldn't stay in her apartment she decided to head over to the area where she works and kill some time there. Before she left she checked multiple times that the gloves were both safe in her bag along with her camera. The weather was a little chilly and cloudy but not terrible. So she decided to take some pictures while she waited.

When one o'clock finally appeared, Therese was outside of the toy store. She had to fight with herself to not look through the crowds for Lou. About twenty minutes later she heard the familiar voice.

"I'm so sorry if I kept you waiting. I got stuck in traffic."

"Oh no you didn't. I just got here a few minutes ago." It wasn't a complete lie.

"So I hope you're hungry. The place is just up this way."

The two of them headed up Broadway in comfortable silence. Neither of them knew how to start talking. By the time they entered the place they were both more nervous. The hostess led them to a table for two in the back corner. It gave them privacy which was completely fine with them. Once they were seated and gave their drink orders they went to look through the menu. While Lou studied the different dishes, Therese couldn't help but study Lou. She tall with golden blonde hair. The bluest eyes Therese has ever seen and an unwavering elegance. Her skin was alabaster and looked soft to the touch. She wanted to reach out and feel the softness of Lou with her-

"Good afternoon ladies, I'm Walt and I'll be your waiter. Are you ready to order?" Therese became almost frantic trying to come up with something. Once Lou ordered both her and the young man looked expectantly to Therese.

"Oh um. I'll have what she's having."

"Alright I'll be back with your meals shortly. If you need anything let me know." Once Walt left the table Therese felt almost embarrassed. She was thankful when the blonde broke the silence.

"So what kind of name is Belivet?"

"Oh it's Czech. It was changed originally-"

"It's very original. Therese Belivet...It's lovely." The younger woman could listen to Lou say her name over and over.

"Is Lou short for something?"

"Oh. It's short for Louise."

"It's a pretty name. But Lou suits you." Therese smiled, showing off her dimples.

"So tell me about yourself, Therese."

"What do you want to know? I'm rather bad at talking about myself."

"Hmm. And why is that?" Before Therese could even think of something to say their meals arrived. And now she could find out what she actually ordered. Luckily it was a burger and fries.

They started eating their food. Lou took this as a chance to get a better look at her lunch companion. She had dark brown hair that ended below her neck. Green curious eyes and such kissable lips. Lou wanted to lose her fingers in that brown hair while losing her lips on the young woman's neck. Therese was beautiful and she couldn't take her eyes off of her. Right before Therese looked up, Lou looked away and started the conversation again.

"So why don't you like talking about yourself?"

"Well I...I guess I don't find myself interesting."

"I would beg to differ...I find you quite interesting." Lou could have giggled at the shocked expression that looked back at her. "I wouldn't mind getting to know you a little better."

"Do you have any plans this Sunday?" Therese was shocked by the words that left her mouth. But Lou looked at her with a smirk kind of grin.

"I actually don't. What about you?"

"I'm not doing anything. If you wanted to maybe see me again I wouldn't be opposed." Therese managed a small smirk herself and prided herself on being able to flirt.

"Is that so? I think I could be persuaded." Both women smiled at each other as they finished their meal. After a little while longer Lou was handed the check and before they both knew it, were back outside on the street. Therese almost left without giving back the gloves.

"I almost forgot about your gloves." Therese began digging through her bag as Lou looked on with amusement.

"Oh I completely forgot about them. Thank you again for holding onto them. These are my favorites."

"It was nothing really."

"Well I guess I'll see you on Sunday. Feel free to call me later to figure out what you want to do with me." Before Therese could even think to answer Lou gave her a sly wink and walked back to her car. Therese was left staring after her with a smile and a blush that began rising to her cheeks as she replayed what Lou had just said.

Chapter Text

After one of the best lunches, Carol drove back home in good spirits. Nothing could make the smile disappear. Now she knew Therese was feeling the same way she felt about her. There was some sort of pull reaching out to both women and yanking them closer and closer together. Carol never experienced anything like it before. The more she thought about those curious green eyes the more she thought about looking down and seeing Therese between her legs. Of course Carol quickly ended that line of thinking....For now at least.

Pulling into the driveway, she mentally shook herself and prepared for the onslaught of questions Abby was sure to grill her with the second she walked inside. Carol opened the door and heard Abby in the kitchen.

"Hello Abigail."

"Why hello Carol. How was lunch?" Abby inquired with a neutral expression. Though her brown eyes gave away her dyer need to ask about the cashier.

"It was nice. The place makes very good food. I'll have to take you and Rindy there one day soon."

"Oh you're really going to make me ask?" Abby saw her long time friend smirk. "Fine. Tell me about this mystery woman."

"Well, her name is Therese. She is very nice and-"

"And very attractive I'm sure."

"Oh stop it Abby. She's a very kind young woman...Who also happens to be attractive." Carol rolled her eyes at the brunette's laugh.

"Are you going to be spending more and more of your days in that toy store now?"

"No...We are going to be seeing each other again on Sunday. I was thinking about having her come here." When she looked up at Abby to see how she would respond, she was surprised to see caution in Abby's eyes.

"Are you sure that's a good idea? I mean for her to come here?" Neither women have had anyone over to their house before other than the people who moved them there months ago.

"I don't think it will do any harm. I don't have to give out any information."

"How would she get here if you don't tell her where you live?"

"Well I could pick her up or she could take the bus. I know there's a bus stop a few blocks away. She lives in Manhattan Abby; she probably doesn't have her own car."

"We have to be careful."

"You think I don't know that? I think I know better than anyone what those men are capable of."

Abby lowered her head and let out a resigned sigh. "I know. I'm not trying to be an ass, Carol. I just don't want you or Rindy put in danger."

"I know but we also can't just be shut ins. We have to live our lives. Even if our names are changed. She may not even want to come over. But if she does I'll be sure to be careful, alright?" Carol made her way over to the brunette and embraced her in a hug. She knew their lives were challenging and it would be a little while before the transition was complete.

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Therese spent the rest of her day doing some grocery shopping and some cleaning. She lived in a small one room apartment in Harlem. It wasn't much but it was on the cheaper side and close to the subway so she liked it well enough. Once she was home and putting her things away, her mind thought back to Lou. The older woman was clearly attracted to her. Lou was basically flirting through their entire lunch. Not that Therese minded of course. Now she thought about what she wanted to do come Sunday. Should Therese invite her over here? Maybe go to New Jersey? Lou said to think about it and get back to her later.

As the day went on and laundry was in the middle of being folded, her buzzer went off signalling a visitor. Therese knew who it would be and the second she hit the button to open the door she heard the all too familiar foot steps of her best friend Dannie McElroy. If the young man's foot steps didn't give him away, his voice would.

"Hey Therese, I was in the area so I figured I would stop by. You're not busy are you?" Dannie said with a smile as he walked inside of her place.

"No I was just finishing folding my laundry. What brings you over here?"

"Oh well I was meeting with a...Friend."

"Oh so you were buying some weed."

"I haven't had any in a while and since I have a couple of days off I figured why not."

"I don't even know the last time I smoked. Probably a few months ago." Dannie looked at his friend with a glint in his eye as he smiled at her.

"Do you wanna hangout and smoke some? It's pretty good shit."

"You know what? Yeah. But I don't feel like going out tonight."

"Same here so we'll just stay in. I'll come back over a little later. I have a few more errands I need to run. I'll pick up some snacks on my way over. I'll see you then."

"Sounds good Dannie. Tell Phil I said hi."

"I will. Oh make sure you find your bowl. I haven't been able to find mine." The young man said as they walked to the door.

"Well maybe if you ever cleaned you would find it! Bye Dannie." Therese laughed as her friend walked into the hallway and back outside. As she closed the door she heard her phone go off. Lou sent her a text message...

Chapter Text

Carol was currently sitting in the living room with Abby and Rindy. They were in the middle of watching some newer kid show. Carol was also in the middle of texting the attractive cashier. Therese extended an invite over to her place on Sunday so Carol accepted. Much to Abby's relief. Now all that stood in their way was a few days. Six to be exact. As the older blonde put her phone away she let out a sigh that caught her friend's attention.

"What's wrong?"

"Oh nothing. I should have made plans for sooner with Therese. It's too far away." Carol heard Abby laugh in response. "How is my suffering funny to you?"

"Because if you want to see her again, go see her. It's not like you're banned from the city until Sunday."

"Won't that be a bit weird though? Her and I just met."

"Well how about you make good on your word. Take Rindy and I to where you guys had lunch. And you can also bring me to the toy store to do some...Shopping."

Carol knew what that smirk meant. Before she could call her out on it, her daughter chimed in. "We're going to a toy store?!" Rindy jumped up and down in front of her mother with a huge smile that reached her blue eyes.

"I guess so snowflake! I think aunt Abby said she would buy you whatever you want!"

"Now wait a minute Carol that-" Rindy jumped onto her lap cutting off any protests. "Oh fine. But your mother has to show me her brand new toy as well!"

"Oh whatever." Rolling her eyes at her friend, Carol looked at her daughter seriously. They haven't met many new people since moving. "Now what did we say about meeting new people? Your name is Dylan. My name is Lou and your aunt's name is Tammy, right?" With a nod for an answer she gave her little mini me a hug and a kiss before she ran off to plop down in front of the television. Carol decided to ask when Therese was working next but wanted to surprise her by going to the store again.

Chapter Text

Therese hated working retail. But like most people it was a job she needed. At least the store she worked at wasn't typically busy. Even around the holidays the store was pretty empty. Her two days off were spent with her best friend smoking weed and staying in her apartment. Dannie also worked retail at a store on the opposite side of Manhattan, closer to Times Square.

When she received a text from Lou asking when she'll be working again, she thought she might stopping by but Wednesday came and went without any gorgeous visitors. Now it was Thursday and Therese was standing down one of the isles straightening up some shelves customers didn't care enough about. About halfway through a monologue in her head she heard the door open. With a sigh she made her way to the counter to assist in any way she could. She saw an older brunette holding a child's hand walk up to her.

"Hi, how are you today?" Therese said in her best retail voice. Earning a chuckle from the woman.

"I'm doing well, thanks. I'm actually looking for a certain employee."

"Oh, who are you looking for?"

"A Therese Belivet." Before the young woman could respond, Lou walked in.

"Really? I just can't take you anywhere." The older blonde rolled her eyes at her friend before addressing the young cashier. "Excuse Tammy, I thought she was house trained."

"Ha ha very funny Lou. I'm Tammy Kluger, Lou's best friend and partner in crime."

"It's nice to meet you." Therese became nervous as she shook the woman's hand.

"And this little thing is my daughter Dylan."

"Well it's nice to meet you Dylan. She looks just like you, Lou." Lou gave a laugh as her friend was dragged away by her daughter. Lou moved closer and leaned over the counter. "So what brings you by? Looking for a certain toy?" Therese prided herself on being able to flirt.

"You know I think I am...I highly doubt your lovely store has the toy I'm thinking about though." Lou smirked and winked when the younger woman blushed. "I'm actually here because Tammy wanted to get some lunch at the place you and I went to. She promised Dylan to buy her a toy."

"Well I'm happy you happened to stop by while I'm working." There was a slight pause. "I'm looking forward to Sunday. There are a few places we could go close to my apartment. Unless you wanted to just hangout inside...Which would be fine of course! I just mean th-" Lou cut off Therese's nervous rambling by putting a finger on her lips.

"Breathe, Therese. I'm fine with whatever you want to do. I don't like going out all that much really. Well, not anymore." Before Therese could say anything more, Tammy made her way to the register. Dylan had found a big stuffed animal.

"Okay I need to pay for this before the little terror finds something else she simply 'cannot live without.' The thing is bigger than she is!" Dylan just giggled, took the animal from her aunt and managed to shove it on the counter.

"It's not bigger than me! You're just being extra aunt Tammy." Therese couldn't help but laugh at the remark as she rang up the stuffed elephant.

"Elephants are one of my favorite animals!" She saw young blue eyes light up.

"Really?! I like them a lot. I like that they're big and tall."

"Me too! When I was little I got to pet one and even feed her." Dylan went wide eyed as she begged her mother to let her feed one too.

"Sweetheart we don't have any elephants around here. But maybe if you're a good girl during Christmas we'll take a little trip to the zoo." When Lou looked up she saw green eyes fill with excitement. "You're welcome to join us if you wanted. I mean if you're able to."

"I would love to. I haven't been to the zoo in years. I love animals so I tend to get over excited." Therese got self conscious all of a sudden and quickly finished the transaction.

"Well it was nice to meet you. This one just couldn't stop talking about the cute cashier from the toy store."

"Very funny Timtam. You take Dylan and head out. I'll be there in a minute." Once they were alone Lou turned her attention to the young woman. "Excuse my friend. She's a great person. But she can be an ass sometimes."

"I like her and your daughter. She looks so much like you...Especially the eyes." Therese wanted to say how much she liked Lou's eyes but refrained.

"Well I should get going. I'm happy I got to see you and I'm looking forward to our date." Feeling brave, Lou leaned over the counter and gave the brunette a soft kiss on her cheek. "I'll talk to you later, Therese." Lou made her way out of the store with an accomplished grin on her face. While Therese stood behind the counter smiling and caressing her cheek.

Chapter Text

After the impromptu visit to the store, the days passed by quickly. Saturday night found Carol tearing her closet apart to find something to wear for the next day. She managed to decide to wear dark blue jeans but couldn't decide on a shirt. After a little while Abby made her way inside and sat on the bed watching the scene before her laughing.

"You know instead of laughing you could be helping, Abigail."

"Why? This is much more amusing. I guess after two hours you still haven't picked a shirt?" Abby watched her friend toss a shirt inside the closet and plop down next to her on the bed.

"No and I'm about to give up."

"I don't know why you're so nervous. She clearly likes you and you look good in anything really. What are you even doing tomorrow?"

"We're just going to hangout at her place. Maybe go get something to eat. I know I'm being ridiculous but I haven't been on a date in so long ugh." Carol sighed dramatically as she fell on her back.

"I don't even remember the last time you went out on a date! But if it's casual just wear something comfortable. I don't think she's going to be paying attention to the clothes on your body anyways." Abby laughed as she got up and made her way to have a look through the wardrobe. After looking for about a minute she pulled a shirt out and tossed it behind her. "There. Wear that tomorrow. You're welcome Carol."

"Fine fine; I'm wear it. Do you want to have a drink with me before bed?"

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Saturday night also found Therese in a nervous panic. She was moving around her apartment cleaning while her friend Dannie and his brother Phil were over. They both found it funny to see their friend anxiously cleaning.

"You need to relax Therese." Phil said as he drank a beer.

"I agree with Phil. I don't think I've ever seen you this nervous before. And your apartment is clean so can you please sit down already?" Dannie stood in front of his friend and took the broom out of her hands.

"What if she doesn't like my apartment? Or what if she doesn't like me?"

"Well I'm pretty sure she likes you if you guys are having a date. And didn't you two already have one?"

"That lunch wasn't a date like that Dannie. She wanted to thank me for holding onto her gloves." The young men laughed at that.

"Yeah okay. The woman likes you Therese. She would be crazy not to!"

"I guess. I just really like her...I can't explain it." Therese couldn't help the smile that appeared when she thought of Lou.

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Sunday finally arrived. Lou texted Therese saying she would be there around 2:30. The younger woman couldn't help but look at the clock every few minutes. She woke up early to buy some groceries in case they wanted anything to eat and a bottle of wine. As the minutes ticked by Therese had to do something. She decided to go outside and have a cigarette. It was just 2:00 so Lou should be arriving very soon.

About halfway through the cigarette, Therese saw a car pull up in front of her apartment. Luckily on Sundays there are plenty of places to park. With one final drag, she flicked the butt and took a deep breath as she stood up to greet her date.

"Hi, how was your drive?"

Chapter Text

Lou stepped out of her car with a big smile when she looked over at the young woman. Blue eyes couldn't help but look Therese up and down. She smiled more when she locked on green eyes that also seemed to travel down Lou's body.

"The drive was good. Not much traffic thankfully." The older woman made her way up the sidewalk and in front of a very nervous Therese. "I like the neighborhood. Since moving to Jersey I haven't had much time in the city but when I went to college at Columbia I would take the subway through here."

"Oh when did you move to New Jersey?" Lou didn't catch the slip up and had to recover quickly.

"Oh just somewhat recently. So are you going to show me around?"

"Oh of course sorry. Let's go in." Therese turned and opened the door to the building. She luckily lives on the first floor so it was just a few steps away from the main doors. "Well this is me; come on in." The younger woman moved aside and held the door for her guest. She stood there nervously as Lou looked around the tiny space. Closing the door she walked into the kitchen. "Would you like something to drink?"

"Sure, whatever you're having please. I like your apartment." Lou announced as she walked over to the counter by the brunette.

"I'm sorry it's so small. It was really the only place I could afford when I got out of school." There was a slight pause before Therese spoke up again. "So tell me about yourself."

"Oh there's not much to tell really. I'm much more intrigued by you, darling." Lou mentally panicked. She couldn't talk about her life as Carol. Even though she found herself wanting to. "Tell me about your life."

"Well I went to college and moved in here. Those are the interesting parts really." Therese took a sip of her iced tea as she looked over at Lou.

"Does your family live in the city?"

"Oh...No they don't. I don't have any family." With seeing the confusion on the blonde's face to explained further. "My mom gave me up when I was little. Around 7 or 8 I think. I grew up in an orphanage."

"I'm so sorry, Therese..That must have been hard on you." Lou reached over the counter to hold the young woman's hand without thinking. But was met with a shy smile.

"It's okay. Worse things happen. The home wasn't the greatest but I dealt with it. I left when I graduated from high school and then got into CUNY for photography."

"You're a photographer? Why do you work at the toy store?"

"I just haven't found someone that will hire me to take pictures. I'm only out of school for a couple of years so I'm hoping once I get some experience I'll get hired."

"What do you like to take pictures of? If you don't mind me asking..." Lou watched as Therese slowly walked closer to where she was sitting and stand in front of her.

"Anything really. Mostly animals and landscapes."

"And what about people?" Lou asked as blue eyes slid down to the brunette's lips.

"I don't really care about taking pictures of people...I think I just haven't found anyone that caught my attention long enough..."

Therese inched closer to the older woman. Feeling as if she was being pulled closer and closer. With one last glance into Lou's darkening blue eyes she found herself leaning down to capture inviting lips when all of a sudden the buzzer sounded and the two women jumped apart.

"Damn it." Therese laughed hearing Lou say that under her breath.

"I'm so sorry. Let me just see who this is. Someone probably just forgot their key. Hold on." Therese hurriedly made her way to her front door to see who the interruption was. Letting out a sigh she let them in. "I'm so sorry just give me a minute it's my friend Dannie."

Before Lou could answer Therese was out in the hall talking to her friend. With the size of the apartment she couldn't help but over hear their conversation.

"Dannie what are you doing here?! Did you forget about my date?" Therese tried her best to be quiet but she knew her guest would hear them regardless.

"Oh I honestly forgot. I was supposed to meet up with someone not far from here and figured I would drop in for a few before I go..."

"Well Lou is here and w-" Lou's voice cut through their hushed discussion.

"Therese it's alright if I have to go..."

"No no you don't have to. Dannie was just on his way out...Right Dannie?" Therese shot him an angry glance but he just smirked and introduced himself.

"Hi I'm Dannie McElroy, Therese's best friend. It's nice to meet you." He put an arm around his friend and extended his hand.

"I'm Lou Miller, it's nice to meet you as well. Are you sure you're on your way out?" Lou smiled at both of them but couldn't help the smirk when she saw Therese getting flustered.

"Oh well I have a little bit before I have to go."

"Join us for a little while then. We were about to figure out what to have for a late lunch." Before Therese could object both Lou and Dannie headed inside. The younger woman was cursing her friend for stopping their first kiss!

"Sorry for crashing your date..I really did forget about it. I had the worst morning." Dannie said as he made himself comfortable on the couch.

"Oh God what happened?" Therese asked as she grabbed him a beer.

"Well my usual connect couldn't meet me for whatever reason. So now I have to meet a friend of a friend who I have never met." He looked over at his newest acquaintance and explained. "I don't buy hardcore drugs or anything. It's only some weed."

"Oh that's fine. I used to smoke all the time so don't worry."

"Wait so who is your friend sending you to and why are you going alone Dannie?" Therese asked worried about her friend meeting some stranger.

"He's sending me to Jack's friend's dealer. I guess he's only been here a short while. Jack says he checks out so I should be fine."

"Are you sure? What about Phil? Why isn't he going with you?" Therese looked over at Lou apologetically. "Phil is his older brother. They have a place on the upper east side." She saw the blonde knod in understanding before turning her attention back to the young man.

"He got called into work so I'm doing this one alone. But I'll be fine don't worry." Dannie got up and tossed his empty can in the garbage before getting ready to go. "It was nice meeting you, I'm sorry again for crashing."

"It was nice to meet you as well. Be careful meeting him alone." Therese followed her friend to the door to see him out.

"Text me when you leave him alright? Oh and what's his name?"

"I will. I think his name was something Semco or something like that. Bye!" Therese closed the door and turned and walked back to where she and her date were sitting. Before she could say anything she immediately noticed something wrong.

"Lou, are you okay?" When she didn't get a response she put her hand gently on the older woman's and felt her shaking. "Lou what's wrong?" Before she could get an answer Lou stood up abruptly.

"It couldn't be. I have to go." Lou moved around to collect her things before remembering where she was. "I have to go but I'll call you okay? I just have to go." Lou left without giving the young woman a chance to speak or even move. By the time Therese left her apartment Lou was already close to her car.

Carol slipped her key in the ignition and took a deeo breath.

"They found us."

Chapter Text

Tommy Tucker was ruthless. He earned his reputation quite early on in his position. The man had zero regard for others. Especially if they were trying to steal his customers. That is what drove him to get rid of his competition. That's why he got Hargess Aird out of the picture. The night he and his lackies walked inside that mansion and pulled out a gun and put a bullet in the man's head was a night of victory. Now all he wanted to to track down Carol Aird. Not only was Tommy known for killing without guilt, he also likes playing with his victims.

He and his men have known the Airds for many years. The man knew that the second Harge was dead, Carol would have to contact the police. And he figured that they would put her under protection. So that's why he had his best men in different places around the country. Cy Harrison was currently placed in the mid-west. He ventured around Kansas, Oklahoma and most recently Chicago. So far Cy hasn't had any luck. However, Richard Semco was about to change their luck. He is currently residing in New York City. And even though he hasn't laid his eyes on the widow, he knows that he's getting closer and closer. That's why he phoned his boss and gave him an update.

"Richard, this better be good. You know better than to call this number." Tommy answered annoyed.

"I'm getting close, boss. Carol is near the city."

"Have you seen her?" The man was listening with baited breath.

"Not yet no. But I started selling weed like you told me to and this kid and his friend smoke. I just have a feeling that if I follow this trail I might end up finding the bitch!" Richard wanted to be the one to bring the woman to his boss.

"Well just don't draw any attention to yourself. If this is a true lead you better not fuck this up son. Look into this new client of yours. You've always had a strong instinct. That's part of why I hired you. If you bring Carol Aird to me you'll get great things." He could practically see how eager the young man was. "But if you don't or do something to blow your cover...You'll be sorry." With that Tommy hung up and decided to give Cy a call and have him come back to headquarters.

"Hey Cy, I want you to come back here as quick as you can...It looks like we have a little trip to plan soon."

Chapter Text

By the time Carol made it back home she was in shock. She was frozen in the drivers seat gripping the steering wheel. Fear and anger was dripping off of the older woman. And the longer she sat there the more fearful and angry she got. Hearing a car beeping in the distance broke her out of her state. The blonde started the car again and decided to go buy something that would protect not only her but also Abby and Rindy...

---------------

Back in Harlem, Therese was sitting on her couch. The younger woman couldn't figure out what happened to make Lou run off like that. She thought the date was going great. Maybe she misread things? Lou said she would call so she decided to hold off until then. Not long after Lou ran off, Therese texted her to find out what happened but didn't get a reply. If she didn't hear from Lou by nighttime she'll call. With that settled, she didn't want to sit around so the brunette chose to go out for a little while. Maybe do some Christmas shopping for Dannie and Phil's family.

The ride on the subway was uneventful. Still no word from Lou. After about 20 minutes she got off at her stop and made her way above ground. The crowd wasn't too bad for a Sunday. The drop in temperature keeping people at bay. With a heavg sigh Therese walked off in the direction of a decent shop with beautiful necklaces, rings and the like. There was a very nice pocket watch she wanted to get for Dannie. She walked for about five minutes until she was pushing the door open. The dark haired woman approached her with a kind smile.

"Hi, how are you? I'm Amita. Do you need some assistance?"

"Hello, I'm well thanks. And yes I would like the pocket watch in the display." Therese watched the woman nod and walk over to retrieve the watch. It was older looking with a bronze finish. Her best friend had an older style.

"Will this be all?" Amita asked as she walked back behind the counter to scan the purchase.

"Yes that's it." Once she paid the cashier, she took the bag and left the store to continue on with her day. As she began walking she felt her phone vibrate. Thinking that Lou finally replied she grabbed her phone and unlocked it. Since she was carried away she didn't hear someone calling her name.

"Therese?" Tammy said as she put her hand on the woman's shoulder getting her attention.

"Wh-You're Lou's friend right? Tammy?"

"Yes that's me. Where's Lou? Aren't you guys supposed to be having a date?" Tammy looked around where they stood and got nervous when she didn't see her friend.

"We did but she left suddenly. I'm not sure what happened..."

"She just left? She didn't say why?"

"No she said she just had to go but that she would call me. I thought maybe it was something with her daughter. But I guess it wasn't..." Therese felt even more confused now. And worried that maye she didn't feel thr same way she did.

"No Dylan's fine. But don't worry I'm sure everything is fine. I'm heading back home soon so I'll have her call you, alright?" Tammy was anxious now. Something must have happened to make her friend just leave like that. "Here, let me give you my number. I know Lou likes you so don't take it personally." Tammy took the woman's phone and put in her number. She knew Therese was confused and had questions but she couldn't answer them.

"Oh. Well I guess I'll text you with my number then."

"She'll call you don't worry. I'll see you soon." Before anything else could be said, Tammy was already making her way back to her car.

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By the time Carol arrived back home, she was feeling a little better. She was still fearful and anxious but she calmed down some. Picking up her new purchase she left her car and walked inside of her home. The house was quiet but she saw Abby waiting for her.

"Hey Abby, why is it so quiet?"

"Rindy is still with her sitter. So how was your date?"

"Oh it was good. I really like Therese." Carol walked further into the kitchen and put her purse and bag down on the counter.

"Well that's interesting..." Carol looked up at her friend confused. "I had to make a trip into the city. Guess who I ran into."

"Abby hold on I can explain."

"That's good. Because I'm very interested to know what made you run out on that poor girl. She's worried about you. What the hell happened Carol?"

"Therese's friend stopped by her place while I was there. He forgot about our date. So he came inside for a little bit to kill some time." Carol started taking her coat off. "He was on his way to pick up some weed from a dealer. Apparently he's new. Or new to them at least."

"Okay so? We used to smoke weed all the time." Abby was trying to put the pieces together.

"Yes I know. That's not the issue." Carol took a deep breath and took out her latest purchase; causing Abby to go wide eyed. "He said the dealer's name is Semco. I think they found us Abby. I think they know where we live."

"You bought a gun?! Are you fucking crazy?!" The brunette stood up and moved away from the object.

"I had to do something! That Tucker bastard knows where we are!"

"Okay first of all, we don't know that for sure. Tomorrow you and I will give that detective a call. Second of all, you better not leave that thing in this house! I cannot sleep knowing there is a gun in the house. What if Rindy got a hold of that?" Abby looked at her best friend and saw how truly scared she was. "And lastly, you need to text or call Therese. She doesn't understand why you just ran off like that and she's worried about you."

"I can't believe this is our life now. I'll give Therese a call later. Why don't we go get Rindy and get some dinner." Carol picked up her bags and went to her room to change. Her friend did the same. When she heard Abby's door close, Carol took the gun, loaded it up and put it in a hiding spot. She made a secret compartment in the back of her closet that held their original birth certificates and licenses. And now it housed a gun.....

Chapter Text

Hours passed by and now it was nighttime. Therese still hasn't heard from Lou. After she finished her shopping she sent Tammy a text so the older woman had her number. As she was making her dinner she couldn't help but think back on their date; trying to figure out what made Lou leave like that. Throughout the afternoon Dannie texted her to let his friend know he was fine. He also said that the friend of a friend's dealer had some good shit. He also asked if she wanted to go with him next time to get some for herself.

By the time 9:00 rolled around, she gave up on hearing from the blonde. Which disappointed Therese. She decided to send a text just saying that she hoped everything was okay and that if she needed anything to let her know. She didn't get a response. At least not right away. By the time she got into bed an hour later her phone started ringing. Lou was calling. Taking a deep breath she tapped the green icon to answer.

"Hello?"

"I'm so sorry about earlier Therese." Lou sounded exhausted.

"It's fine...I was just worried about you. Are you okay?"

"It's sweet of you to worry but I'm fine. I didn't mean to run out like that." There was a slight pause. "I know you probably have questions you want to ask me..."

"What made you run off like that? Was it something I did or Dannie said?"

"You haven't done anything Therese. It has nothing to do with you." When Abby talked to Carol about what to tell Therese they decided she should be vague but as honest as possible given the circumstances.

"I don't want to pry. I know we just met but um...I just..." She could hear the younger woman getting nervous. "I just care you know, about you. And I'm here to listen if you wanted to talk about anything."

"Will you let me see you again? I have a few things I have to get done tomorrow but after? I could pick you up or you could come to Jersey. There's a bus stop not fsr from my place. And we can have a late lunch and have a redo." Carol knew her friend would kill her for inviting Therese over but she needed to see her again.

"Alright, yeah. I can take the bus over by you. Just send me the bus stop and I'll look up the schedule." Therese couldn't help but smile.

"I will. I promise I'll make it up to you. I should be free in the afternoon. Probably around 3. Is that okay?"

"Yes that's fine. Should I bring anything with me?"

"No no you don't have to. There's a nice little café that has some good treats. My daughter loves the place."

"I'm sure I'll like it; I have a bit of a sweet tooth." Hearing Therese giggle made the blonde smile.

"Well it's getting late and I have to be up early. I'll message you tomorrow and give you the bus stop, okay?"

"Okay. Have a good night Lou."

Both women hung up with smiles on their faces. Neither of them knew things were going to change very, very soon....

Chapter Text

It was early when Carol woke up. Maybe 5 in the morning. Abby wasn't exactly happy when she found out that Therese would be coming over but she let it drop for now. Now Carol had to go meet with the detective and tell him about Richard Semco being in the area. She couldn't figure out why but she did not like the man. He was arrogant and misogynistic; he always tried flirting with Carol but it obviously never went anywhere or even lasted very long. However, she had to put that aside for a little while to make sure her family was safe. And for her daughter she would suffer through anything if it meant Rindy stayed safe.

After a nice hot shower, about 40 minutes later found Carol sitting on her bed still in her robe. At some point in the next few minutes the older woman had to get dressed. With a groan, Carol let herself fall backwards on her bed. She heard Abby walk by and laugh as she entered the room.

"Well good morning sunshine."

"Must you always sound so happy in the morning Abigail?" She heard her oldest friend give a snort of laughter.

"Oh stop. I don't know why you decided to meet with the cop so early. You could have just saw him later in the day or even called him."

"Because I have plans later today. And we both know that just giving him a phone call is pointless. I don't even know how he's been on the force for so long." They both laughed at that because the man was a pretty horrible detective.

"Speaking of your plans...I'm good to take Rindy out for the afternoon. We have a day of shopping and then getting some lunch." They both thought it was better to have Rindy out while Therese was over.

"Thank you so much for taking her out. Home is where she doesn't have to worry about using her fake name and I don't want to make it confusing or worse for her."

"I love spending time with my Goddaughter. But maybe you could tell Therese...It seems like she really cares for you..."

"Wow...You must be getting soft on me."

"I know how hard it is to keep this lie from people you don't even know let alone someone you're dating."

"Maybe. I have a feeling I'll have to tell her sooner or later. Things don't stay hidden for long. But for now we'll have to just keep our little secret."

"Well I'll let you get dressed. I'm in need of some coffee and a cigarette."

With that Carol was alone in her room thinking about what steps led her on this path. And what was waiting for her at the end of it...

-----------

"Hi how may I help you this morning?" An older blonde woman greeted Carol as she walked into the police station.

"I have a meeting with detective Haynes. He's expecting me."

"I'll let him know you're here then. Name?"

"Lou." Carol always got paranoid in public.

The woman walked into the back in search of the man. Carol stood off to the side while she waited. After about a minute the secretary came out and told her he would be right with her so she sat down and waited. After about two minutes the phone rang.

"He said you can go right on in. His office is the first on the left."

Carol silently walked further into the building and far too soon she was entering the office. Detective Haynes was sitting at his desk doing something on his computer as she approached.

"Good morning, thanks for seeing me on such short notice." Carol said as she sat down across from the man.

"Of course. So what can I do for you?"

"Well it has come to my attention that one of Tommy Tucker's employees is in the area."

"How did you come about this information?" Todd looked up at Carol in shock.

"A new friend mentioned a man by the name of Richard Semco. He was one of the men there when Harge was killed."

"Hmm. Well I'll look into this."

"That's it?" The man looked at her with amusement.

"Well I have to look into it Carol. I can't just go arresting people. It might not be him."

"I know but I'm-"

"Just don't worry your pretty little head about this my dear. I'll look into and if I find anything I'll call you." Detective Haynes stood up and walked Carol out of his office. "Enjoy the holidays with your daughter and leave the police work to me."

Before she knew it, she was out of the police station. She rolled her eyes at what a waste the man was of a cop. As she walked to her car she decided to talk to Abby about hiring their own private investigator. This meeting only made her feel like something was going on.

After he got Carol out of his office he looked to make sure no one was around. Once he was back inside he locked his office door and took out his cellphone. After four rings the man he had to talk to answered the call.

"She knows about Semco." He was met with a scratchy laugh.

"Good. You know what to do, Todd. Make sure you assure Mrs. Aird that everything is fine. We can't move too quickly."

"Of course Mr. Tucker. I'll take care of it."

Chapter Text

After leaving the police station, Carol sat in her car thinking. Something just didn't feel right. The blonde couldn't think of why but she had this nawing feeling in her gut. Since it was still early she decided to give Abby a call and see if her and Rindy wanted to meet for breakfast at a local diner. Her friend agreed and could hear the excited squeal that came out of her little mini-me. So about 15 minutes later the three women found themselves in a comfortable booth waiting for their food.

"So how did your meeting go?"

"Well, it was a waste. I swear he pretends to be a damn cop. Rindy would be a better detective!" Both older women laughed as Rindy chimed in with a small but confident, "Yes I would mommy."

"What did he even say?" Abby asked as she handed her Goddaughter a green crayon.

"That I have nothing to worry about. And I should leave the cop work to him. What an incompetent fool."

"So I take it you will be doing your own investigation?" Abby asked already knowing the answer as their food was placed on the table.

"Now when has a man ever been to get the job done right?" The two friends laughed as they began eating their breakfasts.

------------------------

 

Therese was still in bed when 11:00 rolled around. She was so excited to see Lou again that she wasn't able to sleep. The young woman couldn't help the smile that crossed her face at the thought of spending the day with her. Butterflies seem to appear every single time Lou crosses her mind. Finally deciding to just get up and start getting ready for the day, she heard her phone go off. The brunette's face began glowing just from a single text from Lou Miller. She just wanted to double check that Therese still wanted to see her. Instead of texting back she decided to call Lou.

"Of course I still want to see you. Was that even a real question?" Therese was met with a low, sexy laugh which caused a shot of arousal to bolt through her.

"I just wanted to make sure darling. What time are you catching the bus?"

"I'll be on the 1:15 bus so I should be in Jersey a little before two o'clock depending on how many stops are before mine." Therese was walking toward her kitchen to make some tea when she heard a knock on her door. "Oh hold on Lou someone's at the door." As she lowered the phone and opened her door to Dannie, Phil and another man she didn't know.

"Hey long time no see, Therese. We were in the area and thought we'd stop by and see you." Phil led the trio inside as he spoke to his friend. "Sorry for not calling first; hope you don't mind."

"N-no it's fine but I didn't hear my buzzer go off. How did you get in?" Therese closed the door after everyone was inside.

"Oh someone was on their way out and held the door." A young man with short brown hair spoke up as she lowered his hand to hers. "I'm Richard Semco by the way. It's nice to meet you." Carol's blood went cold and her heart began pounding in double time. She didn't need to see him. She would know that voice anywhere.

"It's nice to meet you too. Um excuse me." The boys sat down on the couch while Dannie got them all a beer.

Therese walked quickly to her bedroom to finish up her phone call with Lou. "Sorry about that...Are you still there?"

"Yes I'm here. You'll text me when you get on the bus?"

"And I'll let you know when I get off." There was a slightly awkward pause. "I can't wait to see you Lou." The young woman could hear the smile in Lou's reply.

"I'm excited too sweetheart. I'll see you soon." And with that the line went dead.

Chapter Text

Therese didn't mind the bus. Luckily it was relatively empty by the time she got on. It's not that she hated being around people...She just couldn't stand being around certain kinds of them.

After Lou's call ended, she walked back into the small kitchen area to join her guests. She had a very weird feeling about Richard. He seemed nice enough she supposed. But something just felt...off. Dannie and Phil appeared to like the guy so Therese let it drop for now.

"So what are you guys up to today?" Therese asked as she sat next to Dannie on a chair.

"Probably going to head over to my place and hangout." Phil answered as he took a sip of his soda.

"You're more than welcome to tag along, Terry. I've heard great things about you from those two." Richard clearly thought he was being charming which of course he wasn't.

"Oh I actually have plans for the day and probably for the night as well. Which I have to start getting ready for. So..."

"Ah another date with that hot blonde? Lucky you!" Dannie winked making Therese blush.

"Oh shut up Daniel. Not that it's any of your business but yes I do."

"You guys have to see this woman. She is sexy and drop dead gorgeous."

"Wait. A woman?" Richard looked around at the other three people standing before him. "You're into chicks?" Before she could answer, Phil stepped in front of her and gave Richard a hard glare.

"Yes she is. Is that a problem for you?" Phil had always been protective of Therese. She was like a sister to the McElroy family.

"Relax Phil...I just didn't know is all. It doesn't bother me. I guess I'll just have to find someone else to ask out."

After that awkward moment, she finally herded the three men out. With one more glance at the clock she ran around to get herself ready. So she was relieved that the bus was pretty much empty. Before she knew it, she was getting off the bus and onto the sidewalk in a very nice neighborhood. As she turned around she was met with Lou Miller. The older woman was leaning casually on the passenger side of the car, arms folded with a cigarette between two fingers and smoke slowly leaving her mouth...She was the embodiment of sex appeal and seduction...All the brunette could do was walk toward her like Lou was pulling her...

"So, how was your bus ride?"

Chapter Text

Lou could only smirk internally at how the young woman reacted to her. She was no fool; Lou was very aware of how both men and women reacted to her looks. She never cared. Well, until now that is. Therese was rendered silent the moment green eyes met blue.

"I hope you're hungry. I do plan on feeding you today." Lou smiled when she saw the brunette blush and look away for a second.

"W-what? Oh! Yes that um bakery or cafe right?" Therese rolled her eyes as she opened the car door.

"That's right. It's just down the street. My daughter loves their Italian pastries." Lou started the car and began driving. She was very aware that Therese was looking her over. All of a sudden Lou became nervous. Being so close to the younger woman brought her feelings to the front of her mind. She knew the feelings she was developing were strong. In her whole life, not only as Lou Miller but as Carol, she had never had these kinds of feelings before. About 10 minutes later they pulled to the place and Lou quickly parked.

"Here we are my dear. If you want after we eat we can take a walk around here. They have some really nice stores on this block."

"That sounds great. I'm up for whatever you want to do; I told you I'm easy." Therese's eyes went wide when her words registered in her brain and she could hear deep smoky laughter that would surely be the death of her.

"I mean easy to please." More laughter and greens eyes widening. "I-I mean-" She felt a finger softly on her lips.

"I understand what you mean sweetheart. Now let's go inside, I'm sure you're..." Lou, making sure her eyes were seducing the brunette and smirked out right when it clearly worked, leaned down to whisper the rest of her thought directly into her ear. "Starving."

Therese's body visibly shook and she was sure Lou's voice just made her have an orgasm. As the older woman walked ahead she could hear that low thick laughter. After shaking her head, the young woman followed close behind mumbling something.

"I'm sorry, what was that darling?" Clearly Lou planned on wearing that satisfied smirk the whole date.

"N-nothing I'll just have whatever you are."

"Alright. Why don't you go find us a table and I'll order for us."

Chapter Text

Lou and Therese sat down at a table along the window. Both women we waiting for their order to be brought out. After about another five minutes siting in silence, the older woman decided to speak first.

"So how is work going at the store? With the holidays coming up I'm sure it's rather busy."

"Yeah it's been getting more customers lately. I'm sure it will die down soon though. Most people like to shop online."

"Mm. I like to go out into the stores once in a while to shop. Although online shopping is easier. But some things should be bought in person." Lou smirked at herself, thinking of what kind of store just came to mind. The waitress brought over their drinks and pastries.

The blonde watched as her date took a bite of the rainbow cookie first. It was secretly one of her favorites and she may have a secret stash hidden away from her daughter and best friend. Even though her family wasn't Italian, a lot of her friends were. So whenever she went to a friend's house there would always be different Italian foods.

"These cookies are so good. I don't know the last time I had them." Therese looked over and saw Lou had already ate both of hers. "I take it you like these?"

"Yes. They have always been my favorite cookies. If you're good I'll think about letting you have some later." Lou could see green eyes turn slightly darker at the implication.

Throughout their meal, they shared some details about each other. Lou of course kept the majority of the questions about Therese. Once they took care of the bill both women put their coats back on and left the cafe. They decided to walk a little to look at some of the stores. After about 30 minutes it started to snow. Lou took Therese's hand and made their way back to the car. Once they were both situated, the older woman began to drive back to her place. Not before texting her best friend and making sure she wouldn't be back any time soon of course.

After about ten minutes they pulled up to the house. It was a decent sized two story home with Christmas lights hung around. Since their meal ended it started snowing a little harder and the temperature dropped a little as well.

"Well this is home. Let me take your coat." Lou shut the front door, turned to face the younger woman and took the jacket off quietly. Once the jacket was off, they made their way into the kitchen to get something to drink. "Go and sit down. I'll bring you some tea."

Therese gave a soft 'okay' and sat down at the kitchen table. She go nervous all of a sudden. Watching Lou, she couldn't help but think about how badly she wanted to kiss the older woman. After a few minutes, Lou made her way to the table with two cups filled with black tea. She put her mug down first and then leaned in close to put down the other one. Before she could lean back up Therese leaned forward.

"I've been thinking about doing this all day." Without another word, the young woman pressed her lips to Lou's.

The kiss started out soft but quickly turned deeper. Therese felt two hands on either side of her neck as the kissed turned urgent. Both women were panting as they broke for air.

Chapter Text

After only a minute their lips met hungrily again. Lou's hand softly began tugging at the soft brown hair while her other one slid down the younger woman's chest. Therese could feel herself getting wet and hearing the soft moans coming out of Lou made her clit throb. When she couldn't take it anymore she abruptly broke herself away from very soft lips.

"Lou I need you. If we don't get to your room I'll just take you right here." Therese saw blue eyes turn almost black. Without another word Lou roughly grabbed the brunette's arm and began dragging her up the stairs.

The second they step foot inside the bedroom, the older woman shut the door and pressed Therese up against it. Lips instantly met again and tongues started clashing against each other. Lou's hands firmly grabbed her ass and squeezed eliciting a throaty moan from the woman against her door. After another moment, Therese started pressing forward causing Lou to stumble backwards until she was pushed onto her bed. When she looked up she was met with hungry dark green eyes.

Without a word Therese began undressing herself slowly; putting on a show. She slowly moved her shirt up and over her stomach and chest taking her bra with it. Before moving onto her pants, she let her fingertips lightly graze her hard nipples. Lou could only look on getting more and more aroused. The brunette's hands finally started going down to her jeans. With their eyes locked on one another, Therese undid her pants and slowly rolled them over her hips. Lou watched the denim fall and her eyes froze on the black panties. With a satisfied smirk, the young woman seductively made her way to the bed and joined Lou. But instead of climbing on top, she decided to tease the older woman some more.

"You should think about taking those clothes off..." Before Lou could respond, the brunette slid her hand between her own legs. Her breath hitched when her fingers touched her clitoris. "Mmm I'm so wet for you Lou...I wonder what you'll do to me baby. How many possible positions you might think of to have me in..." Therese kept teasing and provoking Lou. The older woman practically ripped her shirt and bra trying to get them off. Once the shirt and bra left her hand she all but flung herself between the brunette's legs making sure she had her attention.

"Oh darling...You have no idea what's possible." Without another second wasted, Lou pushed the black lace to the side and slid her tongue from Therese's opening to the very tip of her swollen clit. The act caused the breath.to be taken out of the younger woman. "Mmm you taste divine. I'm going to make you cum so hard you won't be able to move." Lou lowered her mouth and started sucking on her clit.

"Fuck! Oh fuck!" Therese threw her head back, one hand instantly went to grip blonde hair while the other gripped the sheet. Lou kept sucking on her clit while she began teasing her dripping wet opening with two fingers. She carefully used her teeth to keep Therese's bit while she let the tip of her tongue make little circles over the sensitive bundle of nerves. "Oh God! Please Lou!" With an answering hum, two fingers slid into Therese's tight cunt. The older woman could feel her fingers getting gently squeezed. Once Therese adjusted, she added a third finger and curled them up to press against the gspot.

Therese's body responded by moving her hips meeting the older woman's thrusts. She gave the swollen clit one last.lick before she moved up Therese's body. She paused her fingers as she got on her knees and looked down at the brunette. "I never looked like that." Lou leaned down and passionately kissed Therese. Before she could say anything, Lou's fingers started moving again going faster and harder. The brunette could only moan out Lou's name.

"I want you to touch youself as I fuck you sweetheart." Therese's hand moved as if it had its own mind and began rubbing herself as Lou instructed. With the added sensation, her body started trembling and she could feel her orgasm quickly build. "Yes that's it. Don't stop sweetheart." Lou started moving her fingers faster and hard. Hitting her gspot hard.

"Oh fuck! Fuck Lou I'm gonna-"

"That's it cum for Therese!" The body beneath Lou started trembling and Therese stopped breathing as her orgasm washed over her. The blonde could feel wetness coating her fingers with every thrust. As Therese's hand started coming to a stop, Lou slowed her pace until she felt her vagina lessening its hold.

As she slid out and laid to the brunette's side, she licked her fingers. Therese quickly leaned over and began kissing the blonde. She felt Lou's hand caress her flushed cheek as she moved closer until they were only a breath apart.

"My angel, flung out of space."

Chapter Text

A couple of hours passed and the two women were just lying in bed cuddling. After their passionate love making they both drifted off to sleep. Therese woke up first with a wide smile on her lips. When she rolled over she took in the older woman before her. She knew she was developing strong feelings for Lou. How could she not? Lou was incredibly beautiful and smart and funny and the brunette wanted to know everything about her. It was only now that she realised that she knew almost nothing about Lou Miller. She knew only basic facts about her. Well, that would change now.

"Lou?" Therese softly called out her name as she gently shook the older woman. When that didn't work she whispered in her ear and started kissing down her neck to Lou's full breasts. "Mmm Lou wake up..."

The younger woman heard an intake of breath and quickly felt a strong hand lightly grip the back of the brunette's head. "Mmmm darling..." Lou quickly looked down when she felt lips leaving her body. "Hey why did you stop?"

"Because you're awake now and I have a question."

"What is it?" Lou reached to her small end table to turn a lamp on and grab a cigarette.

"Well, I want to know...I mean I want to know more about you." Therese had lowered her head a bit but when she looked up Lou had a weird expression on her face. "It's just that I don't know much about you. You always ask questions about me but you never let me ask any about you..."

"There isn't much to know about me really. You know enough." Lou became tense and tried to not make a big deal out of this. She has no choice but to hide almost everything about herself.

"I know enough? I barely know five things about you. Why don't-Don't you want me to know things about you?" Therese started getting nervous; maybe this wasn't the same for the blonde as it is for her.

"Sweetheart you know things about me." The atmosphere around then became tense. Both women started getting nervous but for different reasons.

"Well I want to know more about you. I think you're an incredible woman, Lou and I-"

"You mean incredible looking right?" Lou was making a joke but by the look on the younger woman's face the joke didn't land very well...

"You think that? I'm only here because of your looks?" Therese moved so she sat on the edge of the bed. "I'm not that shallow."

"I was only making of joke darling. Of course I don't think you are like that."

"Why won't you tell me anything about you or your life? You always make it about me."

"Therese I already told you. There just isn't much about me. I'm not an exciting person. I'm actually very boring." Lou let out a small chuckle. "Just ask Abby how boring I am." The second it left her mouth she went wide eyed. She let her best friend's name slip out.

"Who's Abby?" The younger woman looked over at Lou but the blonde was frozen. "Lou?"

"N-no one. She's...She's no one." The older woman put out her cigarette and stood up. She stayed in the room but she had her back to her guest.

"Is she an old girlfriend or something?" Therese had a weird feeling wash over her. Lou wouldn't or couldn't look at her. Maybe Abby wasn't an OLD girlfriend.

"Is Abby your girlfriend?" At hearing the softly asked question Lou quickly turned around with shock written on her face. But before she could give an answer Therese got up and started gathering her things. "She's your girlfriend isn't she? How could I be so stupid!"

Lou was frozen where she stood and didn't know what to say. But maybe this was for the best...Maybe this could give both of them an out and Therese would be safe from Carol's life.

"I'm sorry Therese..."

"I can't believe I believed you."

Carol let the brunette leave the room and her house...When she heard the door slam she sat down on her bed and could feel tears start gathering in her eyes.

-------------

Therese was crying as she stumbled onto the sidewalk. She felt so stupid and just so naive. How could she think a woman like Lou would ever be interested in someone like her? Of course she would have someone.

She didn't realize that it was snowing until she almost slipped on an ice patch. After she looked down she also realized she had no idea where she was or how to even get home. She pulled out her phone and called Phil. And when she remembered he was most likely working, she called Dannie. Luckily he answered.

"Hey Therese! How's that hot blonde of yours?"

"I need you to pick me up...I don't know where I am or where I can catch the bus."

"Did something happen? Are you okay?" Dannie sat up from his position on his couch.

"I'm fine but can you come get me? I can send you my location."

"I'm with Richard. I'm too high to drive but he can. Send me your location and we'll be right there okay? Are you outside?" The two men got up and started putting on their coats and getting ready to leave.

"I'm on a street corner but the snow is getting heavier." Therese started looking around when she saw that she was only a few blocks from the cafè that Lou took her to. "I see a restaurant not far away. I'll stay in there until you get here."

"Alright send us the name of the place and we'll be there as soon as we can." The call ended and they made their way into the hall and to the stairs.

"What's going on? Is Terry okay?" Richard asked showing concern.

"I'm not sure but something happened with that blonde."

Richard was standing behind his friend trying to hide a smile. He was going to get some good info for his boss.

Chapter Text

Therese was sitting inside the little cafè drinking green tea with honey. She hadn't heard from Lou since she stormed out of the house. Her mind was going over her time with the older woman to see if she missed any signs. The brunette couldn't believe she let herself fall for the blonde. Her thoughts were interrupted by her phone going off. With a shaking hand she unlocked the device; it was only Dannie letting her know that the two men were parked outside. Standing up, she finished the last of her tea and made her way outside and got into the car. Richard carefully pulled away and began the drive home.

"Thanks for coming to pick me up."

"No problem, Terry. So what happened?" Richard asked glancing back at her.

"I, um, I don't really want to talk about it..." Therese looked down at her hands when Dannie spoke up.

"Did she do something to you? Do I need to have a chat with her?" Her friend managed to get a small smile out of her.

"Thanks but no. It just didn't work out." The young woman turned her head to look out of the window. "It looks like she has a girlfriend."

"Wait what? She has a girlfriend?" Richard couldn't help but ask.

"Yep. Some woman named Abby. I guess she just wanted a hook up." The three of them were quiet for a minute or so before the driver asked another question.

"Abby what?" He knew the name. He could have sworn that his boss mentioned an Abby at some point. He decided to call the man when he got back to his apartment.

"She didn't say. I left quickly after she let the name slip." No spoke for the rest of the drive back into the city.

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Carol eventually got dressed in sweats and a shirt. She decided to go down to the kitchen to get a drink. She glanced at a few wine bottles but settled on having some vodka. As much as she wanted to get Therese back here to explain, she knew this was ultimately for the best. It was too dangerous right now and no one knew when that would change. Maybe when this nightmare ends she can fix things or at least be honest.

A couple of hours passed by the time Abby and Rindy arrived home. She heard footsteps and the front door close and was met with a big hug from her daughter.

"Mommy! Aunt Abby took me shopping!" Rindy was a ball of excitement.

"Oh really? And did you have fun snowflake?" Carol couldn't help but smile brightly at her daughter.

"I think it's safe to say she did. God she's worse than me in stores. She dragged me to so many sections I thought I would lose my mind." Abby said as she walked into the kitchen and made herself some coffee. She could tell something was wrong. "Honey why don't you put your bags in your room while mommy and I talk." Rindy gave her mother a kiss and trotted off and ran upstairs.

"Did you guys get dinner while you were out?" Carol asked a she poured herself another drink.

"Yeah she's fed. She'll probably be asleep soon." The older brunette joined her friend at the kitchen table. "What happened?"

Carol let out a sigh and finished her drink before she answered. "Well, whatever was developing between us is over."

"Why do you say that?"

"She told me she wanted to know more about my life and learn more about me. And of course that can't happen while we're living in this hell. So I tried playing it off, saying I'm boring. And when I made a joke, I slipped and said your real name. I froze and she took that as me saying I have a girlfriend." Carol stood up to put her glass in the sink and stood in front of the counter. "I hate this."

"I know, I know. But maybe you can talk to her and clear some things up-" Abby was cut off by a hand slamming onto the counter.

"I'm not talking about Therese! I mean this whole fucking situation! How can we live like this?! How can we keep going on like this?!" The blonde turned to face her friend. "I don't know about you but I'm one step away from just going back home, finding those bastards and settle this."

"We live like this because we have to. We don't have a choice. You and I both know that if we didn't go into hiding they would easily track us down and kill us."

"Yeah well I'm pretty sure they already are getting close to finding us. So what's the point of putting ourselves through this nightmare if they are going to find us anyway?"

-------------------

By the time the three of them made their way into the city, the roads were getting worse. They decided to just go to Richard's apartment and spend the night. Dannie made his way back to the couch while Therese went to the bathroom. She needed a few minutes by herself. She could hear Richard tell Dannie to look up some places to get food as he made his way down the hall and into his bedroom which was right next to where she was.

Pulling out his phone, he called Tommy Tucker. He was eager to pass on the information he learned. He knew it would put him in Tommy's good graces. After a few rings, the older man picked up.

"This better be good Semco."

"Hi to you too. I think you'll find what I have to say better than good, sir."

"Well what is it, Richard?"

"I know where Carol is. At least the town she's from. I know the name she's been using too."

"This is very good news, kid."

"Also, do you know anyone named Abby?"

"Abby..." Tommy sat up from his chair with a sickening smirk on his face. "Listen to me very carefully. I want you to text me the city or area Carol is and any other info you can think of. After that give Jack a call and have him fly out to New York. I'll be joining you both there within the next couple of weeks. If you find out anything else, call me. If not I'll reach out to you when I'm flying out. Carol won't be able to run anymore. Soon that bitch will be all mine."

Richard ended the call and did as his boss said. He made his way back out to the living room and joined Dannie on the couch. He didn't know Therese was listening to every word the young man said. She stayed in the bathroom for another couple of minutes to collect herself. Now the question in her mind was, who is Carol and what does Abby have to do with her? And how does this tie back to Lou?

Chapter Text

The next day found Therese in her apartment. Because of the snow both her and Dannie had to spend the night at Richard's place. After listening to the young man on the phone she couldn't stop thinking about it. The questions kept coming and coming. Mainly what this Abby person has to do with Lou. And how Richard fits into all of this.

So since she has the day off, she decided to put her detective hat on. Grabbing a notebook and a pencil the young woman sat down at her kitchen table to write down everything she knew. Even though it wasn't much it would most likely prove to be helpful at some point.

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The following day found Carol restless but tired. After what happened with Therese she didn't get much sleep. When the sun came up she gave up and just got ready for her day. She had to make her way to the city to run a few errands which she was not looking forward to.

As she walked down the stairs she saw her daughter sitting in the living room watching some cartoon and could hear her friend in the kitchen. As the blonde made her way to the dining table, she could smell fresh coffee.

"You want some coffee? There's enough for you to have a cup." Abby heard Carol softly answer and set out to get a mug and fill it. "How are you feeling?" The older brunette placed the cup on the table and sat down with her own.

"Like shit. I'm sorry I yelled at you last night. I'm not mad at you."

"Oh stop. I know you aren't. This situation is hard on all of us Carol. Anyone would be getting frustrated."

"I just hate this. This whole mess. And I'm not only ruining your life but my daughters as well. Neither of you deserve this." Carol looked down at her coffee.

"This isn't your fault. Men that literally kill for a living are after us. You didn't do that."

"I can't keep doing this. Something has to change."

----------------

Richard was relaxing by himself in his apartment. He couldn't believe he actually tracked down the Airds. And now he was in his boss's good graces. As he was on the phone with Jack, filling him in on the latest developments, his boss texted him. He would be arriving in New York City tomorrow in the early evening if the snow held off. He also got an address. A place down town where the three men could meet and move forward with the plan.

"Well Jack, it looks like things are finally moving forward. I'll see you within the next couple of days."

Chapter Text

Over the two weeks that passed everyone by, things were slowly getting worse. Therese sent a few text messages to Lou and much to the former's surprise, the messages were answered. She didn't mention anything about the phone call she overheard. The facts didn't add up so there wasn't much to say anyways. Therese was still trying to figure things out.

And that is why she found herself waiting for Dannie and Phil to get ready. They were going over to Richard's apartment since rarely the group had off on the same night. The young woman was hoping to get some more information out of the young man. If she was lucky maybe overhear another important phone call. Even though she wasn't exactly looking forward to being around him, she had a feeling that somehow she may be involved in whatever him and Lou were stuck in.

-----------------

Carol and Abby were down in the living room. It was just after 10 om Saturday night. Since Rindy was in bed, knocked out from playing in the snow all day, they decided to wrap some presents since Christmas was fast approaching.

"Can you pass the tape? After this toy I'm all done with my Goddaughter." Abby took the tape from her friend as the blonde took a small sip of her red wine. Things were still a bit tense.

"You know how much you mean to me, don't you?" Carol continued to stare down into her drink.

Abby looked over and gave a snort of laughter. "How many glasses of wine have you had?"

"I'm serious."

"Of course I know what I mean to you. I hope you know how much you mean to me." The two women sat in silence for a few minutes. The brunette finished up with her presents and moved to put them under their small tree. "What are you thinking about?"

"Quite a few things really." Carol looked up at her friend and locked eyes before she went on. "I need you to promise me that no matter what happens, you will do everything you can to keep Rindy safe. If I'm unable to."

"Carol what are yo-"

"I need you to promise me."

"I promise. Rindy is like my own child; you know I'd do anything for her." And the blonde did know this fact. She was banking on it.

"Good." Carol stood up and went over to the living room window that over looked their front yard. "After Christmas, I need you to take her and leave."

"What? Where is this coming from?" Abby also got to her feet and moved closer to the window.

"I don't care about what happens to me. I can't subject my daughter to this. I can't do that to you anymore either." Carol turned to face the brunette. "The men that killed Harge are brutal and clearly insane. I can't see them just giving up. Especially because they all hated Harge. And in their eyes, I'm an extension of him. Also, I was there that night. They know I saw the three of them."

"But I'm not just going to leave you here alone. This is crazy Carol! Why do you want to do this?"

"Because, they won't stop. They won't stop until they find me and kill me. I will not let yourself be killed because of my ex husband and myself. I'm pretty sure they are getting close to locating us. It's only a matter of time now." Carol slowly walked away from the window leaving Abby watching her go.

Chapter Text

As Tommy Tucker got off the plane, he went over to get his luggage and make his way outside where Richard was waiting. Over the past few days Tommy began making arrangements for him and his two henchman. Now they were just waiting on Cy to get there and then they would all be together for the first time in months. And once the holidays were behind them, they would make their way to where Carol was apparently hiding.

As the man looked around, he saw his best employee. Well, at least that's what Tucker wanted the young man to think. After this was all over he had no use for him anymore. But that was Tommy's secret.

After placing his one suitcase in the back seat he opened the passengers side and got in. "Is everything ready at the condo I had you get me? Once Cy gets here we'll all be there."

"I did and everything is set, sir. The furniture came a few days ago. I think you'll be pleased." Richard started driving once his boss gave him a firm nod. The men were quiet for most of the ride.

"Now once I get settled I want you to run whatever you have by me and go through it all. Once Harrison gets here I'll catch him up. I might even have him stakeout Carol's neighborhood. You told me you've been there?"

"Yeah I picked up one of my client's friends at a little cafe not far from the house. I saved the address in my phone."

Tommy was pleased. This was a good starting point for them to go off of. After about another 30 minutes they arrived at their new place.

--------------------------

Therese was lying in bed wide awake. Since overhearing Richard's phone call she couldn't get it out of her head. And when she went over there this last time nothing happened. She still felt weird around him but he didn't have any mysterious phone calls. She thought about maybe looking around in his apartment for anything but the chance didn't present itself. So she was left with sleepless nights and trying to make sense of whatever it was she heard.

Lou stopped responding to her text messages. The few that she did send. The blonde was also on her mind but clearly there was nothing she could do about that. Therese couldn't understand why she had such strong feelings for her; she barely got to spend time with Lou and clearly didn't know that much about her. She glanced at her clock and saw that it was almost 3 in the morning. With a heavy sigh she got comfortable and attempted to sleep. She had work in a few hours so maybe being at the store would help keep her mind busy.

Chapter Text

"Who is this woman? Terry what?" Tommy was sitting at his kitchen table listening to his young employee go through what he has. The man couldn't see how this all led to finding Carol.

"Belivet. Her first name is Therese but I've been calling her Terry."

"Okay but what does this woman have to do with why I'm here?" The man in charge reached into his pocket for a cigar.

"Therese had started seeing someone recently. I think right after Thanksgiving. But the last time she saw this person, they had a falling out. It turns out that this person might have already been in a relationship..." Richard couldn't help the smirk that formed on his face at his boss's confusion. Fearing making Mr. Tucker angry, her was quick to continue. "The woman's name that she might have been seeing was Abby. Therese was upset so she didn't say much more about what happened between them. But like you said sir, I have good in-" The younger man fell silent at his boss's held up hand.

"So you think this Terry or whomever will lead you to Carol?" Tommy let out a thick puff of smoke as he tried to connect the pieces.

"Yes. When we lost track of Carol and her daughter, that friend of hers that went into hiding was named Abby!"

Tommy got up and made his way into the refrigerator for a beer.

"And how do you know for sure that this is the same person? You told me you haven't seen Carol in person. I already told you not to waste my time, son. You better prey that your instincts are correct." Mr. Tucker took a big sip of his beer before locking eyes with Richard. "If this isn't the lead you said it was, that blonde bitch won't be the only person I kill while I'm here."

"I will um, t-this will lead you to Carol Aird, sir." The young man let out a shakey breath as he watched Tommy retire to his room to get some rest. They still had a few hours until Cy was due to arrive.

As he put his heavy coat and a scarf, he pulled out his phone. He was determined more than ever now. He has seen what his boss is capable of. He knew if Tucker could kill complete strangers in the manor he did, he would have no problem killing his worker.

After a couple of rings, his phone call was answered.

"Hey Terry, are you free to hangout one day this week?"

Richard Semco would prove to Tommy Tucker that he was not only useful, but that he could be trusted to get the job done...No matter what....

Chapter Text

Present

"Richard...What's going on? Who is this man?" Therese was scared and confused and didn't even know where she was.

"I think I can introduce myself, Semco. My name is Tommy Tucker. It's nice to meet you Miss Belivet. My young employee has told me so much about you." Tommy stayed seated on his couch as he let his eyes give her the once over. He had no romantic interest in her but it clearly made her uncomfortable. "I must say you are indeed very beautiful."

"That only answers one question. What am I doing here? And where the hell am I?"

"Oh relax Terry! You're just uptown like I told you. Why don't you let me take your coat?" Richard began moving closer to her and without thinking she slapped him across the face.

"Well, I like how much spirit you have. Oh Rich don't look so mad; she's only human." Tucker started laughing as he stood up. "Now come over here Miss Belivet. I believe you have some interesting knowledge I need to hear."

The only reason Therese listened to this stranger was because he seemed safer than staying close to Richard. As she sat down she couldn't help but regret her choices that brought her to this point.

"Now, tell me what you know about Carol Aird." He stared at her for a moment waiting for her to talk. But when he realized she doesn't know who that is he corrected himself. "I forgot you don't know that woman. Tell me about Lou Miller."

---------------------

5 Days ago

Therese was exhausted. Christmas Eve is tomorrow so of course everyone is doing last minute shopping and the toy store has been crazy. She just got off of a 12 hour shift because one coworker quit, another one called out sick and another one just didn't show up. So her manager had to keep whatever workers were there today to stay later. Thank God she decided to take that two week vacation. After today the store would be lucky if she even came back.

As she laid down on her back she felt her phone vibrating. It seemed anytime her phone went off she hoped it was Lou. It never was but she still hoped. Of course it was just Richard confirming their plans for this weekend. Since it was Sunday this gave her some time to prepare herself. When they last spoke on the phone the other night he was acting weird...Even for him. She just figured he was high or drunk. But the man was becoming persistent about spending time together just the two of them. Whenever she suggested Dannie and/or Phil he rejected the idea. Even though she had this horrible feeling in her gut she still decided to see him. Therese still had some hope about getting some more information about whomever this Carol was...

---------------

2 Days Ago

Things have been quiet. Christmas passed by without incident. Rindy of course loved all of her presents. Carol and Abby ended getting each other almost the same exact gifts so they were doubled over laughing about that. The three of them had a nice dinner and went to bed before it got too late.

It was the day after Christmas that things went bad. Abby decided to take Rindy out for the day. She had to go to a few stores anyway so she figured Carol could use some alone time. Of course, that would turn out to be good and bad.

The older woman was in the kitchen when she heard a knock on her front door. Since it was still early afternoon she didn't think anything of it. The second she opened the door her heart stopped beating and her blood ran cold. When she heard the familiar voice she started shaking.

"Well, well, well. As I live and breathe. Good afternoon Mrs. Aird, may I come in?"

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Present Day

"W-what how do you-"

"Oh I've known Mrs. Aird, well Ms. Miller for a long time honey. I did some work with her dead husband." Tommy pulled out one of his cigars. "Richard tells me you were seeing her until recently."

"What do you want with her?" Therese started to panic.

"That's not really your business Terry." Richard snapped from where he was ordered to stay.

"The hell it's not! What the fuck is this?!"

"Miss Belivet. If you would please take your seat, we'll continue with our conversation." Tommy was amused as he watched the woman. He wasn't worried she would do anything.

"You can go fuck yourself!" The brunette bolted from her chair and sprinted towards the front door only to be caught by Richard. As he forced her back into her chair he smacked her across the face.

"That was for slapping me. Next time you hit me I won't be gentle you bitch." The young man whispered in her ear as he stood next to her.

"Now, if you will not cooperate I'll have to take some liberties. However if you do, you'll be out of here safely in no time." The young woman didn't say anything so Tommy took that as her behaving and continued.

"So, why don't you tell me how you two met."

---------

2 Days Ago

Carol was in shock. She truly didn't expect this day to come. At least not yet anyways. She couldn't even move so Tommy just carefully moved her so he could enter the house. The second she felt his hands on her she closed the door and moved into the living room following close behind him.

"How did you find me?" Carol asked in a soft voice. The man laughed as he answered.

"You can't be that shocked! How do you think I found you?"

"I would guess a cop or-" Her eyes went wide as she started putting the pieces together. "It was that detective after all wasn't it? The one that took over when we moved here."

"It's good to see you're as smart as Harge used to say you were. You're correct. Well, half right. That pathetic excuse for a cop did help me out but that wasn't the only help I had." Tommy looked around the room and sat down on a small couch. "Have a seat Carol."

"Why? Aren't you just going to kill me?"

"Well," he couldn't help but laugh a little. "I won't be doing anything just yet. But I do think it's in your best interest if we have a little chat."

"What about?"

"Does the name Therese Belivet ring a bell?" His face contorted into a sick grin as the woman sat down across from him in shock. "Don't worry nothing has happened...Yet."

------------

Present Day

"I met her at the store I work at." Therese decided she would give the shortest answers with as little information as possible.

"Miss Belivet, it is in your best interest if you do as I say. I have a ruthless reputation for good reason. So let's try this again. I want to know everything you know about Carol. And if you won't tell me willingly, I have means of forcing it out of you."

"Lou and I met when she came into the store I work at. She was looking for a certain item. After she paid and left the store, I noticed she left her gloves on the counter."

"Was she alone or was she with someone?"

"Why does that matter?"

"Was she with anyone when you met her?" Tommy was starting to get frustrated. When he was met with silence, he signalled for his worker to come forward. "Well if you won't give me the answers willingly I'll have to make you talk. Richard-"

"Okay okay I'll talk. She was alone." Richard stood still by the table but didn't make a move.

"So what happened after you found her gloves?"

-------------

2 Days Ago

 

"What are you doing with her?!"

"The girl is fine Carol. Her and I haven't met yet. I wanted to see if she would lead me to you. I guess Richard was right after all."

Carol's eyes narrowed at the murderer of her husband. Everything was clear now. The new friend of Dannie's was him.

"You had Richard come out here and spy for you. Why? Why not just locate me yourself?"

"Because it's a lot more fun this way. I always liked playing with my prey before killing them. Just ask your late husband." Tommy let out a laugh at the mention of Harge. He leaned forward to put out his cigar before addressing Carol once more.

"I must be leaving now. Don't worry though, you'll see me again very soon my dear. I'm sure you don't want anything to happen to Miss Belivet...Or your daughter." As he approached the older woman he handed her an envelop with a few things inside. "Feel free to take a look through that tonight. You'll see some interesting things in there. Until next time Mrs. Aird."

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2 Days Ago (continued)

Carol wasn't sure how long she was sitting in the living room. She hadn't noticed the sun beginning to set. It wasn't until she heard a car door close and the sound of her daughter's voice did she snap out of her trance and stand up.

"Mommy mommy! Look what aunt Abby got me!" Rindy was holding a medium sized book of planets.

Carol tried to pull a happy mask over herself for Rindy but Abby saw right through it of course.

"That is very cool sweetheart. Why do you go up to your room and put that away. We'll have dinner soon. I love you so much snowflake." Carol leaned down to hug and kiss her daughter. She let Rindy go when she couldn't stop her tears.

"Carol what happ-" Abby didn't even finish the question before her friend handed the envelope. The brunette look down confused but quickly took the contents out. As her eyes scanned the photos she didn't know what to do.

"You and Rindy are leaving." The blonde walked off into the kitchen to pour herself a big glass of scotch.

"Wait hold on. Let's talk about this." Abby followed her friend and watched. She could tell her friend was shaking and panicked.

"No. Tommy Tucker was here."

"He was here?! We have to call the cops or that detective!"

"We can't do that." The blonde finished her drink in one sip before continuing. "Tommy paid off the cop to help him. That's how he knew we were over here."

"That son of a bitch."

"Oh it gets better. He sent Richard Semco to track us down. When I met Therese he started selling drugs and ended up being Dannie's weed dealer."

"Oh my God. That is-Wait who is Dannie?"

"That is Therese's best friend. She met Richard and I guess he figured out I was the person she was seeing."

Abby had to sit down to take all this in. Carol sat down next to her and took her hand.

"I need you to pack as much as you can and get Rindy out of here. He threatened to kill her and also kill Therese. I will not let that man go near my child or hurt Therese. You have to do this for me."

"Okay, we'll pack tonight."

Chapter Text

Present Day

 

"So what happened after you found her gloves?"

"I held onto them. That night after my shift I called Lou to let her know she left them behind." Therese was scared and anxious. Her mind was working quick to find some way out of this mess alive.

"And do you still have her number? Why didn't you mail them?" Tommy leaned back letting out a thick puff of smoke.

"I don't. And because she said she would meet up with me."

"Ah yes. I believe Mr. Semco told me that. I have to make a phone call so please excuse me. Richard, why don't you make sure our guest doesn't go anywhere. I'll be back shortly."

Once the front door closed, Richard sat down in the chair directly next to her. For a few minutes they didn't say anything to each other. What was there to say anyways? She clearly knew he wasn't a good man. The only to figure out now was how the hell she could get away and call Lou.

"Richard I need to use the bathroom."

"Alright get up then. Follow me Terry." After taking about ten steps down the hallway they came to an open door. "I'll be waiting right here so don't even bother trying anything."

"It's only a half bathroom with no windows, what exactly could I try?"

"Fine. I'll still be waiting right outside of this door."

The young woman closed the door and let out a shakey breath. Quickly she pulled out her cellphone. She went to text Lou but realized she had no cell service and she couldn't really ask for the Wi-Fi password. So she sent the message anyway in hopes of it going through if her phone found service. After putting her phone away, flushing the toilet and washing her hands she opened the door and went back to her seat at the kitchen table.

"If you keep cooperating you'll be able to leave soon. And maybe we can rethink us going on a date."

Therese didn't say anything to that. She had no hope of getting out of this. But by some miracle she did, nothing would make her go out with Richard Semco.

"Alright Miss Belivet, where were we?"

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2 Days Ago

Carol and Abby decided to gather some of their belongings as soon as dinner was over. They made sure Rindy was sleeping before they did anything. With all the traveling the little girl has to do she needs her sleep. As soon as she woke up they would explain everything.

The two women were in the master bedroom looking through paperwork. Carol wanted her friend to take all of their birth certificates, any medical papers, passports, credit cards, checkbooks, etc. After about two hours passed, Abby came across something that shocked her.

"What the hell is this? You created a will and you didn't tell me?!" The older brunette was mad and hurt. "How could you keep this from me?"

"Abby I was going to tell you. I didn't mean to keep this from you. I had that made shortly after Harge was killed before you had to come into hiding with me. Things just moved so quickly that I couldn't find the time." Carol stood up from her bed and lit up a cigarette. "Even if you didn't find it now, you would have been notified."

"What do you me-" As Abby read the paper she saw Carol left everything to not only her daughter but to her as well. She would also become the legal guardian when her friend dies. "You want me to have Rindy."

"I told you the other night. This man won't stop until he kills me. If you and Rindy stick around he'll kill you both for fun while he makes me watch."

"You better kill him. You better come back to us Carol."

"Oh trust me Abigail, I'll fight to the death."

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1 Day Before

Carol watched as her daughter and best friend drove away. The three of them cried between hugs and assurances that she'll see them soon. Now alone, she decided to prepare herself. She knew one of two things would happen: One option is that Tucker kills her or the other outcome is she kills him. So she decided to kill him before he got the chance.

Carol pulled herself together and focused. Now was not the time to succumb to her emotions. She had to do this. As she climbed the stairs and entered her bedroom, she slowly walked up to the closet. The woman sighed as she lowered herself to the floor and pulled out a safe.

"I'll fucking kill you, Tommy." Carol whispered out loud to herself.

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Present

"So you started seeing her. Mr. Semco tells me you have been to her house in Jersey?"

"I was only there like twice. And before you ask I don't know what the address is; I took the bus." Therese was starting to get annoyed and pissed off. She couldn't workout why she even mattered to the man.

"Well, I wasn't going to ask you for the address. I've already paid Carol a little visit. Now, I don't really care about the details of your time spent together. What happened the last time you saw her? I was told you had a falling out."

"Why do you ask me questions you clearly know the answer to? Why do you even want me here? I don't matter and I'm not exactly a part of whatever this is for you."

"Oh but you are a part of this my dear. A very important part. I always like playing with my prey before I make a kill." Both men smirked when Tommy casually pulled out a hand gun and placed it on the table. He also pulled out a handful of bullets. "So, now that I have your attention Miss Belivet, why don't you tell me what happened. Richard mentioned you told him Carol had a girlfriend named Abby?"

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1 Day Before

 

Carol sat on her bed with the gun in her hands. She couldn't believe this was happening again. She always expected to be found...Just not so soon. Although considering who she's dealing with it's not surprising.

Taking a deep breath she stood up and made her way downstairs and walked into the kitchen. When she arrived at the counter she gently put the firearm down and picked up Tommy's envelope. As she spilled the contents she noticed a folded piece of paper. The paper had two addresses. The first one was Therese's apartment and the second one was for a place she didn't know. But seeing that they knew where the younger woman lived she knew she had to get to her.

--------------

Present

 

"Like I told him, I don't know who Abby is. I don't know if they were girlfriends. I was too upset to ask." Therese couldn't take her eyes off of that gun just sitting there. "That was the last time I talked to Lou. I haven't seen or spoken to her since."

"I must say that is quite unfortunate to hear. I was enjoying your company and conversation. But I guess everything must come to an end at some point."

Richard looked at his boss. He didn't think Tommy would end up actually killing Therese. Once Carol was located and Therese interrogated, he thought that would be it.

"What does that mea-" Before she could finish the buzzer went off.

"Ah that's probably Cy. Semco, buzz him in will you? I'm sure he wants to join the fun." Tommy stayed sitting with crossed arms and a smug smile.

Therese could feel her heart pounding harshly in her chest. She faintly heard the elevator go off and then heard footsteps getting closer and closer. She watched Richard unlocking and opening the door to welcome their guest. She shut her eyes quickly but they snapped open at what she heard come from the younger man.

"What the hell are you doing here?"

Chapter Text

"Richard is that any way to speak to our colleague? Let the man in and shut up!" Before anyone could say anything else, Tommy stood and kept talking. "I was starting to get worried you missed your flight. We have a lot to catch you up on Cy."

"I think I'm all up to speed." Carol walked into the room like she owned the place shocking everyone. Therese jumped to her feet when she heard the familiar voice.

"Lou?"

"Ah yes. I wasn't sure if you would show up Carol. I believe you know Miss Belivet already."

Carol locked eyes with the younger woman. Looking her over to see if she's been injured. When she noticed the faint scratch on her cheek she was fuming. "Let her go. I'm the one you want not her. She has no part in this!"

"Yeah sir, let me take her. We can have that date we talked about befo-" He was cut off when Carol turned around and aimed the gun at his head.

"You take one step towards her and I'll put a bullet in you skull."

"Lou what's going on? Who are thes-"

"Mrs. Aird please. Why don't you sit down so we can have a little chat? I'll put my gun down if you put yours down." In a show of good faith Tommy pushed his gun further onto the table but kept his hand on it. There was a thick silence as everyone waited to see what would happen. When the blonde looked back at Richard she lowered her gun and took a few steps forward.

"See? That wasn't so bad now was it?" Before the young man could even let out a breath, Tommy picked up his gun and shot him right in the head. Carol and Therese let out a scream as the body collapsed.

"Oh my God! Y-you just k-killed him!"

"Keep your mouth shut Miss Belivet now that you've seen me kill someone I've known so easily, do you think I won't kill you as well? Just ask Carol what I'm capable of."

"You son of a bitch. I swear to God if you even move in her direction I'll kill you!"

Tommy just smirked. "That isn't really in your best interest. Or I should say not in your little daughter's best interest...Speaking of which, where is little Rindy? I take it she's travelling with Abigail?"

"Lou who is Rindy? And is he talking about Abby? The woman you're with?"

Carol let out a heavy sigh as she looked to the brunette. "Rindy, Nerinda is my daughter's real name. Abby is my best friend; I lied when I let you think her and I were together. I was scared you would get hurt. A lot of good that did me."

"But what is even going on?! No one will tell me anything!" Therese was getting pissed off and upset. She couldn't seem to get a clear answer out of anyone.

"He killed my ex husband. Him and his two co-workers broke into his house one night and shot him. I hid but one of them saw me as they left the study." Carol noticed Tommy getting a little annoyed as she kept talking. "So when I went to the police they decided the three of us weren't safe and we were put into witness protection. My new identity was Louise Miller."

Therese was in shock. Hearing all of this was insane! But it made sense. She now knew who Abby was and how Carol was connected. And she also knew how Lou fit into all of this. Her Lou was Carol. Louise Miller was Carol Aird. Dylan was Rindy and Tammy was Abby. Richard was working for Tommy. Richard became friends with-

"Dannie!" Therese turned to look at the man. "Did you hurt Dannie? Or Phil?"

"Who are they?"

"They bought weed from him." She gestured to the dead body laying on the floor.

"Oh. I have no concern about the people my late employee sold weed to. So no, your little friends aren't hurt. But if you two are done playing catch up I'd like to continue." The man leaned onto the table to retrieve his gun but froze when he heard Carol cocking hers.

"You pick that gun up and I'll shoot you on the spot. Therese come get behind me." When she didn't move right away she repeated herself sternly. "Therese get behind me!"

"Okay Carol, I'll make you a deal. I'll let your little girlfriend walk out of here unharmed. That way you and I can have our conversation alone."

"Like hell I'm leaving! I'm not going anywhere with her."

"Go. Please go. I will not let you get killed because of me."

"Lou I'm not leaving you alone here!"

"Therese don't do thi-"

"I. Am. Not. Leaving."

"If the bitch wants to stay that's fine by me." While Carol was distracted he quickly picked up his gun and aimed right at the brunette. "Say goodbye to your girlfriend."

Chapter Text

Abby would never consider herself a stupid person. She was educated very intelligent. Which is why she is wondering why she made such a stupid decision to listen to her best friend. The second she started driving she knew she made a horribly stupid mistake.

She promised to take care of Rindy and keep her safe - which is what she plans to do. But she has to go back. Carol can't do this alone especially if the three men were together. Even though Harge was Carol's husband, he was also good friends with Abby. Over the years they all became close. Even closer when Rindy was born.

So, she pulled off the road when she saw a motel that had rooms available. Where they were in Pennsylvania the roads were getting bad from the snow. As she checked them into a room she pulled out her phone and went through her contacts to see who she could call that could be trusted to take care of her Goddaughter. She knew Carol's parents were way too far. Her own parents had died years ago so obviously they were out. Carol's sister also lived too far and she had no brothers or sisters.

When Abby got further into her contact list, she saw a name. Considering this was her only option she decided to make the call. She wouldn't give too many details. If the person was able to meet up with her, they would talk in person. Abby took a deep breath and hit the call button. After a few rings her call was answered.

"Hey Jeannette it's Abby. Yes Gerhard. Do you still live in Philly?" The older brunette glanced over to check on Rindy. The little girl was sleeping but she knew how upset she was.

"Look, I can't explain over the phone but if I give you an address can you meet me here? I need your help. Carol and Rindy need your help too." The call ended with Jeannette leaving to meet up with Abby.

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"Let me get this straight. You have been gone for months under a different name. And you came out of hiding because the men that killed Carol's husband is after you and found you guys?" Jeannette knew both women very well. They have been friends for years and was devastated when they disappeared.

"Pretty much, yeah. But there's one other thing..."

"There's more?!"

"I need you to take Rindy. I have to go back. Carol needs me. I can't just leave her there."

"Where would I even take her?" She looked at Abby as the woman wracked her brain.

"I don't know. Take her to your house or a hotel; I don't care. She just has to be safe. I don't know what happened to Carol and I don't know what nightmare I'll walk into." Jeannette stood up and embraced her friend in a tight hug. Tears began swelling up.

"I'll take care of Rindy. I'll take her to my place for a bit and then I'll figure something out." Abby could only nod her head in thanks. She couldn't leave the little girl alone but she had to go back. "Just promise me you'll come back for her...And come back to me."

-----------

 

"Say goodbye to your girlfriend Carol." Tommy had his finger on the trigger but before he could even blink, he heard a gun go off; a loud feminine scream and instant pain as he collapsed to the floor. "You fucking bitch! You stupid fucking bitch!" The blonde shot him in his left shoulder.

"Therese let's go! We have to get out of here now!" Carol quickly grabbed the younger woman by the wrist and rushed them out of there while Tommy shouted after them. The two women ran down the few flight of stairs; not stopping until they were running on the empty sidewalk to Carol's car.

Once they were both situated, they drove off. Therese was shaking; she could see the older woman was too. "Lou. What are we doing? W-where are we going?" The brunette could only whisper.

"We have to get out of the city. I'm so sorry you got dragged into this." Carol kept her eyes focused on the road. She decided to drive over to her house in New Jersey.

"Lou where are we going?"

"To my place." A tense silence came over them. Neither woman spoke for the rest of the drive.

Richard was dead. Tommy was injured. Cy was- Carol paused in thought at that. She had no idea where Cy was. He clearly wasn't at the condo. Was he in the city? Was he even in the Tri-state area? This wouldn't be over. Not as long as Tommy was still alive. She couldn't run away this time. She couldn't go into hiding. She had no choice but to end it.

------------

 

"Are sure we should be here? Is it safe?" Therese followed closely behind as they walked into the empty house. Not getting an answer, she followed the blonde into the kitchen. "Lou please talk to me?"

"You have to leave me. You cannot stay by my side. You'll get yourself killed. I already failed my daughter and my best friend...My ex husband."

"I'm not leaving. We can figure something out! We can go somewhere or -"

"We can't do tha-"

"We can go to the police I can tell them everything I saw and heard!"

"God damnit NO! The fucking police were helping him find me!"

"Lou I'm not leaving you so you can get yourself killed!" Therese was frantic and panicked while Carol was shaking from her anger as tears leaked down both of their faces. "I have to do something! WE have to do something!"

"If you stay you'll die! Don't you get that?! There's nothing you can do!"

"There has to be something." Therese could only talk just above a whisper.

"Yes. You have to get out of here. I don't have a choice anymore. I have to end this. And I have to end it alone."

"I can't leave you. I won't leave you, Lou."

Carol was getting frustrated. How could Therese not see how this would end? How could she not see that she'll be killed? Especially now that she shot the man but didn't kill him.

"If I can't protect my daughter, what makes you think I can protect you?"

"But you did! You did your best!"

Carol turned and faced the young woman. They stood a few feet apart. The older woman had been pacing but stopped at the last sentence spoken to her.

"Don't say that. My best? How dare you say that to me! You don't know what I've done or what I've seen." Carol turned away. "You don't even know my name." When she heard the brunette start crying her resolve broke and her own tears began to fall.

"I don't w-want to lose you! How can you expect me to just w-walk away?!" Therese felt soft hands grasp her face and lips kissing her cheeks and forehead in between sweet words.

"I'll be alright. You have to take care of yourself. I'll come back to you my darling. I promise you." Therese wrapped her arms around the older woman, holding on tight and crying into the woman's shoulder.

"Sweetheart I have to go. Please promise me you'll stay safe. I need you to stay safe." Carol slowly backed away. She had to put some distance between them if she was going to end all of this.

"P-please..." Carol walked back over and kissed her with as much passion and love that she could build up.

"I will come back for you, Therese."

"I love you..." Therese whispered as Carol walked away.

 

Therese cried as she watched the older woman quickly walk out of the house. When the front door closed, she collapsed onto her knees and sobbed. Sometime later, after her eyes had no more tears, she still curled up on her side staring at the closed front door...It wasn't until she heard footsteps approaching that she jumped up. She held her breath the door slowly creeped open...

Chapter Text

"Carol? Carol are you here?" Abby slowly walked into her house begging to a higher power that her best friend would be here. When she walked more into the house she saw Therese standing in the kitchen with wide eyes. "Therese? What are you doing here?"

"She's gone." The younger woman was shaking. "She left."

"Where did she go?" Abby paused and really looked at Therese. She could see some bruising and a cut. "What happened?"

"Tommy killed Richard."

"Wait what? How do you know this? How do you know Tommy?"

"Richard brought me to him. They interrogated me."

Both women stood staring at each other. Abby started slowly approaching the other brunette but stopped when the girl quickly backed away.

"I'm not going to hurt you honey. Let me take a look at your cut?" When she didn't get a response she moved closer until she could lift Therese's chin up and get a better look. "We should clean that cut out."

"I don't care about that! I want to go find C-carol. She's going to get herself killed!" Therese gently slapped Abby's hand away and started pacing. "And where the hell were you?! And where is her daughter?"

"Carol had me take Rindy out of here. I didn't get very far before I called a friend. Rindy is safe but we need to leave. We aren't safe here. If we're going to help Carol we kinda have to be alive." Abby turned and walked away. When she didn't hear movement she stopped and turned back. "Therese we need to get out of this house. He knows where we live."

Before anything else could be said they both got startled by a deep laugh slowly getting louder.

"Well well well. What do we have here?" Cy had a smug smirk plastered on his face. "When Tommy sent me over here I didn't expect to find anyone. Didn't think you'd be stupid enough."

"Cy Harrison. Carol isn't here so you're wasting your time." Abby stood protectively in front of the other woman. When she saw him tilt his head to get a better look she pushed her to the side. "Just leave us alone you bastard."

"I already know Carol isn't here. Tommy wanted me to scope the place out...See if her little girlfriend was here to play with. Quite the looker isn't she?"

"Take one step closer and I'll kill you myself." Abby was shaking with anger.

"At least introduce me Abby. I like to know who I'm going to have some fun with before I make a kill. Tommy said she's all mine." The second he took a step Abby moved forward and slapped him hard across the face. She saw a faint red line appear on his cheek. "I'll enjoy kill you. I was going to make it quick but I think I'll go nice and slow."

Therese began frantically looking around the kitchen for something, anything she could use as a weapon. She spotted a few knives and a bottle of wine. She heard the other two occupants talking but had no idea what they were saying. The only thing close enough for her to grab was the bottle of wine. She kept her eyes glued to it and tuned back into the conversation; waiting for an opening.

Chapter Text

As Therese kept both eyes on that wine bottle, she heard Abby let out a groan. When she turned around she saw Cy wearing a sickening grin as he looked down at the older woman. She heard footsteps coming toward her and before she knew it, her back was being forcibly pressed against the man's chest.

"Oh my dear, we are going to have so much fun. But should I just kill the other bitch now or make her watch?" Therese felt sick. Abby was still on the ground but the two women locked eyes. "What? Nothing to say sweetheart? From the little bit Tommy told me of you, you were a fighter..."

"Just let her go Cy. She has nothing to do with this. I'll do whatever you want just let her go...Please..." Abby was desperately trying to give Therese some kind of opening to grab that bottle or anything. She couldn't say for sure the man would fall for it but what else could she do?

"Oh? You want to trade places that badly huh? Fine." Cy turned the woman in his arms around so they faced each other. Without any warning he slapped Therese hard across the cheek and quickly pulled her head by roughly by the back of her hair. Therese whimpered in pain as she felt blood falling into her mouth. "That was for your friend slapping me bitch. If you so much as think of going to the cops I'll track you down and kill you slow." He yanked her hair hard, gave her a kiss on her cheek and tossed her aside.

Abby froze on the ground where he left her. Cy was slowly approaching her and taking off his belt. He was speaking but she couldn't focus. It was only the sound of the wine bottle being dropped that broke her out of her trance. Everyone froze when they heard a familiar voice coming from behind them.

"Don't even take one step Cy." Carol stood with her gun perfectly aimed right at the man's head. After about a minute, Cy decided to press his luck. He took one step forward and Carol gave a warning shot. Cy froze as a bullet flew right next to his head. "I told you. You move one more time I'll put a bullet in your skull."

"C-carol? But how? I thoug-"

"I'm so sorry I left Therese. I couldn't do it. I don't even know where I was but I had to turn around." Carol looked down at where her best friend was. "Abby can you stand?"

"Yeah I'm fine."

"Well, it looks like your time is running out fast you bastard. After I'm done with you I'll go and pay a visit to your boss. I'll enjoy killing both of you. A sort of poetic justice." The younger brunette was still standing behind Cy. She was too shocked to move. "Darling? Therese come over by me and help Abby up." When she saw her make her way over behind her, Carol moved forward, the gun locked in her tight grip.

"You really gonna kill me Carol? Don't you need to find Tucker?" Cy tried to smirk but it didn't work. The second he stopped talking Carol pressed the barrel of the gun between his eyes.

"You really think I'm not serious? After everything you have done to me and those I love? After the hell you put us through? Of course I'm going to kill you." Carol smirked when fear flashed over his face and leaned closer to whisper. "Do you know how many different places I can shoot you that would make you bleed to death? The stomach, thigh, neck; it would be slow and painful. Or I can put the gun in your mouth. Believe me now Mr. Harrison?"

A thick silence came over the entire room. Abby was leaning on Therese and holding the younger woman. Cy was genuinely scared of getting killed. You couldn't hear anything, not even the four people breathing. Minutes felt like hours that dragged on and on. Abby couldn't take her eyes away from the man being held at gun point. She was waiting to see how this part would end...Maybe if it even would end. After a few seconds or a few minutes, they all heard the gun being cocked back....

Chapter Text

Carol locked eyes with the man. As much as she wanted to, she couldn't look away. She could see nothing but fear looking back at her. A part of her relished seeing this. Seeing this murderer reduced to fear. But the other part of her was yelling at her to stop. Carol Aird was not a killer. But she knew the only way to stop this was to kill not only Cy but Tucker as well.

No one was moving or even breathing loudly. No one knew what would happen after this moment. This moment would change everyone's lives forever. Cy Harrison was looking into the eyes of his killer. A position he never thought he would be in. Having faced a great amount of criminals, some of them being murderers, he could see Carol struggling. Even though he truly believed the woman would pull the trigger, he saw the internal battle raging on inside of her. Seeing this gave him a very small fraction of hope. But even he knew not to taunt her or do anything to set her off.

Abby was torn. As she stood leaning on Therese, she wanted that bastard killed. Part of her even wanted to pull the trigger herself. But Abby also wanted to stop her friend. As much as this man deserved this, Carol would never forgive herself for taking a life. She knew her friend would carry the burden of guilt. More guilt than she already does.

Therese could not take her eyes off of Carol's finger on the trigger. She never thought she would find herself in this kind of situation. You hear about people on the news and in movies and TV shows talk about being held at gun point or being held hostage. She had no idea how to react. Like everyone else in the room, she was almost frozen. In the time that she knew Lou, well Carol, she knew the older woman wouldn't hurt someone else. Not on purpose anyways. In the short time she's known her, Carol has been kind and loving and warm; that wasn't the heart of a killer. It was that thought which melted the ice keeping her in place.

Taking a slow step forward, Therese started at a whisper, "C-carol...Please..." She saw Cy's eyes jump to her and Carol responded by pushing the gun harder into his forehead.t

"Don't you dare look at her." The blonde growled.

"Please Carol...Don't do this. We can figure something else out." Therese let her hand carefully slide up the older woman's arm as she got closer and closer. "I know you aren't this person. You aren't a killer."

Carol relaxed slightly but kept a firm grip on the gun, not moving it from the man's head. "I don't have a choice. If we want to have a life, if I want to see my daughter again I have to do this." Blue eyes turned almost black in rage as she moved away from the younger woman and forced Cy back a little. "This man did this. I may be the one who pulled the trigger, but you Cy, killed yourself."

Before another word could be said they all heard the front door being forced open. After hearing the door slamming shut, they heard heavy foot steps and a low sick laugh getting closer and closer.

"Ah, now why didn't anyone invite me to this little party? I must say it has been a long time since we were all in the same room together. Well, we might be missing a few people but that doesn't matter." Tommy Tucker walked onto the scene before him like he owned the place. He had a sick smirk on his face as he pulled a knife and gun from his pockets. He quickly moved closer and grabbed Therese. Carol and Cy turned so her gun was aimed at the back of his head as she stood behind him.

"You even think of hurting her I'll kill you Tucker."

The man just laughed as he trailed his pocket knife down her chest as he had an arm wrapped around her neck. "Hmm. This will prove to be one of the funnest nights I've had in a long while."

Abby was still standing where she was before. She locked eyes with Carol. Seemingly communicating with their eyes. Abby saw the bottle from before and very slowly moved as Tommy was taunting the women. She saw Carol whisper something to Cy. Then without any warning, a loud scream rang out at the same time as they all heard a gun...