Rescue Me, Chapter 5

Previously: Chapter 4 [X]

Final part. Better late than never.

Rated: A.

* * *

Chapter 5: Abri todas as portas do coração

Ashley woke up with the unexpected warmth of a naked body next to her own. It was far from the first time that it had happened to her, but it was one of the few times that she could remember being truly happy about it.

She lifted her hand to brush some damp strands of blonde hair from Spencer’s forehead and winced slightly, inhaling sharply. Between the kidnapping and her little drug-induced jungle trek – not to mention some impressively gymnastic sex the previous evening and into the early morning – she was sore and stiff almost everywhere.

“You get used to it,” Spencer mumbled, opening one eye and giving a little half-smile in Ashley’s direction. She was lying on her stomach and Ashley watched in fascination as the blonde stretched her arms out and arched her back to force the kinks out of it.

“What?”

“Pain.”

“Not sure I want to.” Ashley yawned as she let her fingers trace along the jagged, still-healing scar that ran from Spencer’s shoulder blade to her elbow.

“Not sure I want you to, either.” They smiled at each other. And everything felt right. Then Spencer spoiled it by adding, “We really need to get up and dressed soon, you know. Brendan will be here before you know it.”

Ashley turned away so that Spencer could not see her face, for fear that the truth would show on it. She felt bad for having lied to Spencer – and, by extension, Brendan, Glen and even her father – by claiming that there had only been one kidnapper. Despite everything that had happened to her, the one thing that she had known was that Cãozinho had been an unwilling partner. He was the one who had tended to her and, most important, he had freed her. He was the one who had contacted Spencer. Despite everyone’s insistence that there had to be more than one kidnapper, Ashley stuck to her story that she had only been aware of one person in the cabin with her. And the person that she described was the older, crueller brother whom she had seen only fleetingly.

Brendan’s contacts had proven as reliable as everyone might have hoped. Cesar Veloso had been captured within hours of the second money drop. From the half of the telephone conversation between Brendan and Spencer that she had overheard, Ashley was pretty sure that he had suffered for his greed at the hands of some of Brendan’s less-regular employees, the ones who didn’t appear on the payroll records.

Ashley heard Spencer sitting up behind her. She was sorely tempted to turn around and stare. Instead, she picked up a robe from the floor and pulled it on.

“I should shower, then,” she commented quietly, rising from the bed and heading to the bathroom. She wondered if Spencer might join her, but she heard the sound of a phone ringing and knew that it must be Brendan. By the time she had returned from her shower, Spencer was fully dressed and sitting in an armchair, scribbling something into a notebook balanced on her lap.

Ashley smiled. There was something about the confidence that Spencer exuded – the way she always seemed in command of her surroundings, even at rest – that was incalculably attractive. The way that she filled out her combat pants and tank top didn’t hurt, either.

“Was that Brendan?” She picked up a hairbrush and started to tease the tangles out of her hair.

“Glen, actually.” Spencer looked up. “He says nearly all the money’s been recovered already. There’s a few thousand missing, but they think that was probably to used to pay off casual accomplices – you know, like for guns, cars, paying for people’s silence, what have you. They’re handing this Veloso guy over to the authorities this morning.”

“And they definitely think he acted alone?” She could hear the tremulous tone in her voice.

Spencer stood and moved to her side, reaching out and rubbing the back of her hand against Ashley’s cheek. “You don’t have to worry. If there’s anyone else involved, we’ll get them. No-one will ever hurt you again.” Ashley shrugged. That was what she was afraid of: not that there might be someone else involved who might hurt her in the future, but that they might find out about Cãozinho, who had never wanted to hurt her in the first place. She appreciated Spencer’s vehemence in wanting to protect her, though. She pulled the blonde into a tight hug, both to hide her face and to express her thanks.

“You know yesterday, when you called me ‘baby’?” she whispered in Spencer’s ear, wanting to change the subject.

“Yeah?” Spencer returned the hug, her warmth seeping into Ashley.

“I liked that.” She planted a little kiss below Spencer’s ear. “A lot.”

“Uh-huh?”

“Yeah. You gonna stop pretending that there’s nothing between us?”

Spencer pulled back to look at her. “I’m pretty sure that we’ve crossed that bridge now.” She nodded her head in the direction of the bed which Ashley noted had been made up with almost military precision.

“I think so, too.” Ashley stretched her back as she felt Spencer’s hands working their way inside the towel that was wrapped around her.

“You know,” Spencer added, starting to free the towel, “you’re probably going to have to stay here to answer police questions and then there might be a trial.”

“Might be?” Ashley moved back so that her towel could fall to the floor and she insinuated her own hands under Spencer’s top.

“He might decide that it’s easier to plead guilty.” Spencer’s tone indicated that she thought it likely that Cesar would do just that. Ashley didn’t doubt that Brendan’s company would make sure that the police were delivered a watertight case. “But, you’ll probably have to stay on for a while until we know what’s happening.”

“Ah.” Ashley pushed Spencer’s top all the way up and grinned when the blonde helped her with its removal.

“Would that be okay with you?”

“Staying here?” Her breath hitched as Spencer’s hands started roaming over her naked body.

“For a while.”

“Well, given everything that’s happened, there is a definite security issue. I mean, I’ll probably need looking after around-the-clock, don’t you think?”

“Oh, absolutely.” Spencer’s reply was breathless as Ashley started easing down the zip on Spencer’s pants, her fingers brushing the soft skin of the blonde’s lower abdomen as she did. “All day and all night.”

“You think that you could help with that?”

Spencer’s head dipped. She let her mouth trail across Ashley’s shoulder blade. “I could probably see my way clear to making you my top priority.” Her hands grabbed Ashley’s hips, pulling her hard against her. “My only priority, in fact.”

“How long till Glen and Brendan get here?”

“Long enough,” Spencer growled, dropping to her knees and kissing Ashley’s belly, before her mouth started moving south. “Long enough.”

* * *

Eight Months Later

The sun beat down hard, making Ashley wish that the bar was closer to her apartment and she didn’t have to walk over a mile up the crowded street. She could feel the humidity enhancing the natural curliness of her hair. One of the first things that she’d appreciated about living in such a climate was that straighteners were an exercise in futility. On the up side, linen pants didn’t get as rumpled, as the heat forced the creases out.

From a street cafe, she heard some classic bossanova. She recognised it as Agua de Beber. In the past few months, her Portuguese had improved to the point that she could sing along to herself as she strode up the middle of the street, weaving her way in and out of the throngs of people out celebrating National Independence Day. Most people smiled at her as she passed and some of the men even hit on her. She laughed them off and kept on walking.

She had grown to love the city, its history, its contradictions and its vitality. She felt at home there, more than she ever had in Los Angeles or New York. She enjoyed discovering new places, new people. When it wasn’t so hot, she loved walking through the back streets and alleys. She felt no fear, despite what had happened to her. She knew the areas to avoid, the signs that she needed to look for. Brendan had trained her to be aware of everything around her in a way she never had been previously. She noticed things now. It made her feel as if she could see a secret world on which everyone else was missing out.

Well, not everyone was missing out. Her new extended family shared this world with her. It could, at times, be a curse as much as a blessing. She knew, for example, that Glen was driven to distraction by the appraising looks that Pilar got everywhere they went. It amused Ashley because, at times, Glen got so caught up in jealousy over these rival suitors that he missed the most obvious thing: that his girlfriend had eyes only for him and that she didn’t even see other men when they were together. Thankfully, Pilar found Glen’s gruff jealousy amusing; in any case, he never directed his frustration towards her. His outraged sense of male pride impressed his girlfriend’s brothers, though. That would stand in his favour if he eventually got round to making their relationship permanent, which everyone around them assumed would happen sooner rather than later.

Heading into the bar that was her destination, she looked around, but did not recognise anyone within. It was unusual for her to be the first to arrive, but it was hard to move in the city and the others were also on foot. Heading back outside, she took a seat at the sidewalk and ordered a beer from the young waiter who almost immediately appeared.

As her beer arrived, she took a long drink and looked around as she absently picked the foil label off the bottle. She was aware that she was attracting stares of her own. That was hardly unexpected in a country where men openly ogled other women even while with their wives or girlfriends. Then she saw someone sitting alone at a table across the street who was trying hard to seem like he was not looking at all, pretending to be interested only in the engineering textbook he held in his hand.

She was weighing up what to do when she spotted Glen and Pilar strolling towards her, holding hands. Turning her full attention to them, she welcomed them both warmly, greeting each with a hug.

“Sorry we’re late,” Glen commented. “Pilar wanted to stop by her mother’s and you know how that goes.” He rolled his eyes dramatically as he fended off a slap to his forearm from his girlfriend.

“Not a problem. I only just got here myself.” All three sat down and another round of drinks was ordered. “Beautiful day for the celebrations,” she noted.

“And I’m with two smokin’ hot women!” Glen said, putting his arm around Pilar’s shoulders.

“You look beautiful today, Ashley” Pilar agreed.

Ashley blushed. She’d bought a new dress especially for the occasion. It was short and floaty and she hoped that Spencer would like it. But then, Spencer liked everything she wore, although she tended to prefer Ashley in as little as possible. While her girlfriend was a million miles from what anyone might call butch, Spencer shared some very specific ‘guy’ qualities with her brother: both were incredibly protective of their girlfriends and both were like a walking hormone.

Ashley had never had a girlfriend before who enjoyed sex as freely and lustily as Spencer. Equally, she had never been with anyone who was so romantic. Spencer brought her flowers all the time (“just because it’s Tuesday”) and left her love notes on the pillow every morning. If her work kept her away overnight, as it often did, she called to say how lonely she was at having to sleep alone and what she would prefer to be doing to and with her girlfriend. Spencer made her feel safe and cherished and adored. She was utterly and completely in love with her.

“She’s got that look again,” Glen commented in a tone loud enough to intentionally disturb Ashley’s thoughts. “She must be thinking about my sister.”

“Glen!” Pilar chided softly. “Leave her. She’s in love.”

Ashley blushed hard and was about to say something to both of them about their gentle teasing when she noticed the boy across the street pulling some money from his pocket and tucking it under his empty coffee cup.

“I’ll, uh, be right back.”

The boy was walking at a brisk pace and Ashley had to break into a run to catch up with him. She didn’t want to call out to him and, in any case, she knew he was aware of her following him. She finally caught him a few hundred yards down the street, trying to head off into an alleyway.

“Why do you run from me?” she asked in slightly faltering Portuguese.

The boy spun around, wide-eyed, and looked at his arm where she was holding on to him. “Sorry, I do not think we’ve met,” he lied. Looking all around to see if they were being observed or overheard, he added, “I’m sure I would remember such a beautiful woman.”

Ashley rolled her eyes. “Don’t even start that,” she warned. She let go of his arm and smiled reassuringly. “How have you been?”

Cãozinho dropped his head and muttered quietly, “I’m so sorry.”

“No need to apologise.” Ashley shook her head firmly and smiled at the boy. She really did not blame him. And, for that reason, she had held onto her story that there had been only one kidnapper acting alone, never wavering for a moment.

To be grudgingly fair to Cesar, he had also maintained the fiction that he had acted alone. The fact that he was willing to protect his little brother, without even knowing that Ashley had done the same, had cut him some slack with her. At the sentencing portion of his incredibly speedy trial (Spencer had been right about him pleading guilty), she had confirmed that she had never been harmed and had been well-fed and looked after. It had bought Cesar little leniency, however, and he had been sentenced to twenty years. Ashley suspected that hard time in Costa Mesa was very hard time.

The only other person who was ever charged was Cristiano, the gardener at the Residence who had been the one to identify Ashley as a potential target in the first place. As there had been no evidence that he had played any further part in Ashley’s abduction, he had only been given three years. Either he knew nothing of Cãozinho’s involvement or was more scared of Cesar than the police, but he hadn’t mentioned a second kidnapper, either.

“So, what should I call you?” Ashley asked, extending her hand in greeting.

“Marcio,” he replied, shaking her hand warmly. “I am Marcio.”

“Pleased to meet you, Marcio,” she grinned. “Are you a student?” She nodded towards the textbooks in his hands.

“Engineering.” He glanced to the side and chuckled slyly. “My brother, he managed to leave me a little money before he had to go away. Enough to pay for my course.” He suddenly looked ashamed again. “He is… He was…”

Ashley shrugged. “He’s your brother. And he can’t have been so bad if he paid for your education.”

He nodded. “Maybe.”

“I’m glad you’re okay.”

“Thank you.” He stared at her face intently. “For everything.”

“You don’t have to -“

“Hey! There you are.” Ashley and Cãozinho turned around to see Spencer standing, her hands on her hips, smiling broadly. “Who’s your friend?” The blonde took a few steps closer and slid her arm around Ashley’s waist in a sign of both protection and affection.

“This is Marcio. We met when I first came here,” she explained vaguely. “We just ran into each other again. Marcio, this is Spencer, my girlfriend.” She still bristled with pride whenever she said that. It never got old.

“Nice to meet you, Marcio,” Spencer greeted him in her perfect Portuguese. The young man just nodded curtly with an uncertain smile. He was obviously wary of the blonde. “Of course, we’ve met before,” she added in English. Ashley’s head swung around, but Spencer just tightened her grip on her girlfriend’s waist and kept her gaze firmly on the young man.

“You have?” Ashley squeaked.

Spencer effortlessly slipped back into Portuguese. “Well, we spoke, didn’t we?” The question was rhetorical. “About eight months ago, I think.” Marcio’s face flushed and his growing fear was evident in the slight trembling of the hand which held his textbooks. “And, of course, he was in the bar that night you were trying to make me jealous by flirting shamelessly with all those guys.” There was a warmth in her voice that seemed reassuring, but Ashley still held her breath. “And, I’m pretty sure he was in the department store the day of the fire alarm.”

Ashley finally exhaled, “Oh.” She should have known that Spencer couldn’t ever be fooled. She was gripped with almost as much fear as Marcio. Her concern was not her freedom, though: she was terrified that Spencer wouldn’t want anything to do with her now that she knew that Ashley had lied to her.

“Well, like I said, it’s nice to meet you, Marcio.” Spencer kissed the side of Ashley’s head. “It’s good to finally be able to thank you for looking after my girl.”

He nodded, still uncertain as to where the conversation was going and the threat that Spencer might pose. “I -” He shrugged, not knowing what to say.

“I mean it,” Spencer added. “I’m grateful to you for giving her back to me.”

Ashley couldn’t see Spencer’s face but, from Marcio’s tremulous smile, she surmised that a look of understanding had passed between them.

“We should get back to Glen and Pilar,” Spencer announced. “And I’m sure your friend wants to be with his own family on a day like today.”

“Uh-huh.” She was stunned. She was still trying to figure out how long Spencer had known her secret.

“I can go?” Marcio asked.

“Of course.” Spencer acted as if it was a ridiculous question.

He smiled at Ashley, nodded to Spencer. “Happy Independence Day,” he said in English.

“You, too,” Ashley replied.

As he trotted off down the alleyway, Ashley didn’t move. She stood where she was, Spencer’s arm around her, staring after the boy. She felt Spencer’s hand lightly stroking her waist.

“How long?” She didn’t need to explain what she meant.

“Since the day I rescued you.”

Ashley spun around. “Really?”

“First of all, I’d already seen him following you, like I said, although I didn’t see him as a threat. Which is totally my fault. I should have reported it, but you made me so fucking crazy.” Spencer rarely swore, so it made it even more emphatic when she did. “Then there was the fact that no serious kidnapper phones his captive’s girlfriend to encourage her to swoop to the rescue.”

“You weren’t my girlfriend then.”

Spencer raised a scornful eyebrow, as if to say Don’t push it. “Anyway, I’d kind of figured that someone else had to be involved and, when you claimed no-one was…” She shrugged. “Gotta admit, at first I thought you might have been acting out of fear. But I did a little digging, found a brother who’d dropped out of school at fifteen and worked three jobs to help his mother raise his two little sisters while the father and the older brother were in and out of jail. That didn’t sound like a hardened criminal to me.”

“You never told anyone?”

Spencer reached out and cupped Ashley’s cheek in her hand. “Hey, my first and most important job is doing whatever’s best for you.”

“And you’re not mad at me? You don’t hate me for lying to you?”

Spencer chuckled. “If there’s one thing that I learned in my job, it’s that everyone has secrets. Everyone. And yours was hardly keeping a second family or human trafficking.” She reached out to slide her hands to Ashley’s hips, pulling the brunette closer. “You don’t have any other secrets, do you?”

Ashley feet the relief coursing through her. “Not that I can think of.”

“Good.”

“You’re really not angry?”

“Not when you’re wearing that dress, I’m not.”

Ashley grinned and stepped closer to her girlfriend. She recognised that tone in Spencer’s voice. She loved that tone. That tone made her feel like the most desirable woman in the world. “I picked it just for you.”

“I really, really like it.” Spencer looked up and down the alleyway, before pushing Ashley against the nearest wall and dropping her mouth to Ashley’s neck.

“What about Glen and Pilar?” She didn’t really care about anyone else when Spencer was kissing her, but she felt it was polite to ask.

“Oh, I don’t think they’ll want to be involved in what I have in mind.”

“Not what I meant.” She moaned softly as Spencer slipped a hand between them and traced her fingertips up the inside of her thigh. “Spence, we’re in public,” she hissed.

The hand that was perilously close to the juncture of her thighs stilled and then Spencer breathed deeply and stepped back. “Fine. Let’s go.” She smiled and held her hand out to Ashley. “Come on, let’s get back to our own little family before I change my mind.”

As they strolled back towards the bar, Spencer’s thumb tracing patterns across the back of Ashley’s hand, Ashley couldn’t remember a time when she had ever been happier than she was at that moment.

“That dress is going to drive me crazy all day,” Spencer murmured quietly.

“Then it’ll give you a better appreciation for taking it off me later,” she replied. She squeezed Spencer’s hand. “Who’d have ever thought that getting kidnapped would turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to me?”

Spencer nodded. “No regrets, then?”

“None.”

“Love me?”

“Always.”

“Me, too.”

* * * * *

THE END

* * * * *

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7 Comments

  1. jsparky04
    Posted 3 November 2011 at 10.04pm | Permalink

    Loved the story and really loved the ending. Perfect.

  2. Toni
    Posted 4 November 2011 at 2.37am | Permalink

    Wonderful. Loved it!

  3. spikkels
    Posted 4 November 2011 at 11.45am | Permalink

    Definitely Worth the wait, I have to say. Nice ending. I have to say I love that you didn’t let Cãozinho’s character just fade away and how you brought it to a nice and smooth end. Thank you!

  4. Garbledygook
    Posted 4 November 2011 at 1.56pm | Permalink

    Yay!!! Thankyou so much for finishing this up. Super happy. :)
    Loved this story, and especially loved SuperHot-Bodyguard-SecretAgent-HardAss Spencer. One of my favourites!! :D

  5. cosmic
    Posted 7 November 2011 at 4.40am | Permalink

    I really love this story. And badass Spencer is always cool :)

  6. Jb Graham Hotchner
    Posted 14 March 2012 at 1.36pm | Permalink

    This is one of the most enticing stories i have ever read… no lie

  7. Sam
    Posted 17 May 2013 at 11.31am | Permalink

    You guys have the best fanfics!!!! Thank you for making them :)))

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