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Dream Lover

Dream Lover

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Published by 12twilightfan

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Published by: 12twilightfan on Feb 08, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Dream Lover 
Follows Ten Big Ones
Chapter 1
Immediately following Sally’s rescue at the playground….Stephanie stood with Sally, carnage all around, and oddly enough, for the first time inher life she had a feeling things were going to be okay. In fact, she felt in her heartthat things could be great. She had done some sole searching while she was confined in Ranger’s apartmentduring the whole Slayer/Junkman thing and she realized that she had to come to termswith life as it was, not life as she wanted it to be. There was sadness in realizing thatshe had wasted so much time in trying to fit into other people’s molds. Families lovetheir children but they don’t realize how they try to constrain them unnaturallysometimes. Joe thought he loved her, if only she’d change. And she did want tochange some aspects of her life. But she wanted to consciously decide what changeswere best for her and do the work necessary. She didn’t want to be forced to makechanges as a knee jerk reaction to others’ opinions of her. She wanted to be a better  bounty hunter. She didn’t want anybody to be in more danger because of her anymore. She planned on improving all her skills as soon as her face healed from the beating she took. She had come to a conclusion about Joe, as painful as it was. She wasn’t ever goingto be what Joe wanted or needed. They would go round and round in their dysfunctional relationship if she didn’t end it. Both of them enjoyed each others’company and the sex so much it made ending the relationship excruciatingly hard.She had had one phone conversation broaching this subject with Joe but they would probably have to have one final, final one eventually. It would take her a while to get over Joe, she admitted to herself. This was Trenton,and more specifically the Burg, and she would know about each new relationship,eventual wedding, children, etc., as soon as the news hit the street. But she loved himenough to know that it was best for both of them. Besides she couldn’t really justifyliving with him or even having a committed relationship with him when she wasconstantly thinking of another man. With a start she realized that when she was withJoe she thought of Ranger, but when she was with Ranger it was more like, “Joewho?”And then there was Ranger…Ranger who could read her every look and her mindmost of the time. He gets no end of amusement in watching The Stephanie PlumShow and had even confessed to some deeper feelings for her recently that were asurprise to her. He said he loved her but added a qualifier of, “in my own way.”Knowing Ranger that could mean just about anything, Stephanie thought wryly.She had recently gotten on the wrong side of a gang in Trenton and needed a place tohang out after having gotten a murder contract put out on her head. Ranger’sapartment had seemed the ideal place to crash as he was out of town and the
apartment was in the middle of a high security building. After Ranger came homethings were heated but the passion was unrealized, as usual. Her flirting-to-fuckingratio really sucks, she thought. But this time she had no one to blame but herself. Shehad been in control of how far the flirting would progress and she had just chickenedout. She was beginning to have to really stretch to justify the heavy flirting withRanger. Usually she seized upon the flimsiest excuse to be as close as possible tohim. She admitted to herself that he was a big part of her life and she would miss himterribly if she had to live without him. The man himself rushed up to the scene right after the police. He had a visiblereaction to seeing her standing there with Sally and his pace slowed somewhat, andhis face creased into his amazing smile. “Nice job, destructo,” he said affectionately, surveying the carnage and then checkingout her busted lip. “That’s going to be a beauty.” “I didn’t do it,” Stephanie protested, jokingly. He shook his head and gave her another, “You never do, babe,” he said slinging anarm around her shoulder and kissing her below her ear. “Glad you’re okay,” hewhispered hoarsely against the shell of her ear and kissed her hard below her ear again, resting his head against hers for a fleeting second. Ranger stopped suddenly. He had cupped the back of her head, which was a favouritething for him to do, and he began to run his hands over her head. “Babe, you have some serious bumps on your head. What were you struck with?Were you kicked?” He was starting to sound concerned. “I don’t know, it all happened so fast,” Stephanie began. Her adrenaline rush was beginning to fade and she felt slightly weak and started to lean against Ranger. Hewrapped both arms around her and held her tightly for a few minutes, waiting for her to regain some strength. He pushed her head down on his shoulder and tucked her head under his chin and just stood there with both arms holding her up. Morelli glanced over at Stephanie in Ranger’s arms and thought of a few choiceItalian phrases that he was used to muttering when Ranger was around. They werestanding about 20 feet away and seemed to be oblivious to their surroundings. Ranger seemed to be trying to comfort Stephanie. Morelli was discussing the entire situationand resulting mayhem with the supervising sergeant but keeping his eye on Stephaniewhen he noted she suddenly stiffened and her head shot up from Ranger’s shoulder.From where Morelli stood he could see a look of extreme concern cross Ranger’s faceas he focused on Stephanie’s face. The fact that Ranger was concerned aboutanything was alarming in the extreme. Ranger figured Stephanie was having a delayed shock reaction and he was gentlyrocking her and murmuring things in her ear. He was trying to move her closer towhere the paramedics were set up but she suddenly stiffened in his arms and her gazelocked on to his. Without saying a word, her eyes seemed to fixate on something tothe right of him and then roll up in her head. Her left hand curled unnaturally into a
claw shape and she started to coil into a fetal position. Her left hand and head beganmaking rhythmic movements. “Over here!” Ranger yelled to the closest of the paramedics. “She’s having aseizure,” he added. That man ran and got a blanket and placed it on the ground and indicated Ranger to place her on the blanket. “You’re going to have to let her go, sir, so we can help her.” Ranger knew it was true but he had an irrational fear that something worse wouldhappen if she wasn’t in his arms. Morelli ran over at this time and told him firmly to put her down. By this time the seizure had run its course and no medication wasneeded to stop it, and Ranger gently lay her on the outstretched blanket. The paramedic crouched over her taking all the vital signs and evaluating her for trauma. Ranger and Morelli leaned over to see as much as they could but werecontinually told to back away. It was obvious that Stephanie was not back to normal.Her head was flopping around and she appeared groggy and out of it, only semi-conscious. The paramedic checked her over then phoned into the hospital on his cell phone.“We’re transporting one Caucasian female, estimated age 30, estimated weight 130.She’s had multiple trauma to the head as the result of an assault. Suffered a 3-minutetonic-clonic seizure which resolved spontaneously without Diovan. Vitals 99, 105,24, 98/68. Oxygen saturation of 98% on 2 liters by nasal cannula. GCS 9.” Heappeared to wait for a response, and then he confirmed. “That’s 10-4. We are enroute St. Francis ETA 10. We will load Dilantin 500 mg I.V. push.” He turned to Ranger as he was the one that had called him over. “We’re taking her toSt. Francis, sir. You can see her over there.” Ranger attempted to hitch a ride in theambulance but they refused and he decided it wasn’t worth the fight right now for a10-minute ride. “What the fuck happened?” Joe yelled for the first time, turning to Ranger as Ranger started for his truck. Ranger never broke his stride. “She’s had some trauma to the head. She beganhaving a seizure. It went away and now it looks like she’s in shock.” He swung openhis door and added, “Finish up here. I’m going over now. I’ll call you and give youan update,” and he was gone. Morelli stood for a few minutes trying to decide whether he should try to head over tothe hospital. Then he looked around. This was a war zone. They needed everyavailable uniform and plainclothes person to work this scene. Besides, he thoughtsourly, Ranger was handling things as usual. As much as he disliked the guy, Morelliknew he would take a bullet for Stephanie before he’d let anything happen to her.This Joe felt in his gut.

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