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Part III

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Danielle awoke the next morning disoriented. Memories of the previous night, came flooding back. Her body ached from the beating she had received, confirming that it hadnít been a dream. She looked in wonder at the woman asleep in the chair beside her. She was the most attractive woman Danielle had ever seen. It was as if this dark beauty had stepped out of her dreams. A warrior sent to protect her, she fantasized. A calm washed over her, when she thought of this woman staying with her the entire night, insuring her well-being. She had never felt so safe, so protected.

Her muscles complained, stiff from being stationary. She needed to shift her position, but hesitated, not wanting to awaken the woman. As if sensing her thoughts, Alex opened her eyes. Danielle was momentarily stunned by the blue she saw there.

"How are you feeling?" Alex asked.

The sound of the womanís voice was like a balm to her soul. He mind went blank for an instant. The troubled expression on the womanís face brought Danielle back to her senses. "Iím better. I... I donít know how to thank you."

"I was just in the right place at the right time."

"I donít even know your name."

"There wasnít much time for formal introductions last night." She smiled warmly. "Alex, Alex Lord."

"Danielle Stafford."

Alex gently pulled her hand from under the young womanís cheek. Danielle flushed with embarrassment. It had felt so natural against her skin that she hadnít realized she was still holding it.

Alex smiled. Flexing her fingers, "Iíll need these if Iím going to fix breakfast."

Danielleís stomach perked up at the mention of food. It felt abysmally empty. When Alex went to the kitchen, Danielle gingerly made her way to the bathroom. She was shocked when she looked in the mirror. Her nose was swollen and both of her eyes were back and blue. She opened the robe and winced at the ugly bruises on her abdomen and ribs. It could have been a lot worse. She had been incredibly fortunate.

Enticed by the aroma of chicken soup. She made her way to the kitchen. "Mmm, something smells wonderful."

"Chicken soup out of a can. Iím sorry, but Iím not much of a cook." Alex apologized, placing a bowl in front of the woman.

"This is great, thanks." Danielle began eating with a fervor that warmed Alexís heart. It was clear she relished every bite. Alex passed her the bread and watched while she finished the entire pot of soup and half a loaf of bread.

"Good to see you have an appetite." She was fascinated by the way Danielleís eyes sparkled when she smiled.

"Iím always able to eat, believe me." Danielle commented, flashing her beautiful smile again.

"Yes, I see." Alex lifted a brow playfully. There was something completely disarming about the young womanís demeanor. Alex found herself looking at her longer than was appropriate. She stood up and began cleaning the dishes.

Danielle stretched cautiously. Amazed how much better she felt. "That miracle drug you gave me last night really helped. Are you a doctor?"

Alex hesitated. "Not really. I hope youíre not going to turn me in for practicing without a license."

"Are you kidding? It would have been a rough night without your help." Danielle shivered involuntarily as she thought how close she had come to being raped. "Where did you learn to fight like that?

"Itís just something I picked up." Alex replied and tried to shift the direction of the conversation. "Why were you walking alone in that part of town?"

Danielle blushed. There was no way she could explain the park thing. "Itís a long story. But this wasnít a random attack, he knew me. I called the police the night before last when he nearly beat his wife to death." She frowned. "I canít believe heís out walking the streets already."

"If itís any consolation, he wonít be walking that well this morning." Alex smiled, rather pleased with the vision.

"I found that the police arenít very effective in dealing with these situations." Danielle was puzzled by her friends reluctance to get the police involved, but after all Alex had done to help her she didnít press it.

"Itís hard to understand what drives a person to such violence. I went to see his wife at the hospital last night, sheís in pretty bad shape. They had to deliver the baby early and werenít sure if the child would make it. Itís so tragic. What a way to come into the world."

Alex couldnít meet her gaze. "Violence is all some people understand, they donít have any good in them. One way or another, this baby is better off without that kind of father, believe me."

"I donít agree. Everyone has good in them, deep down. Even he deserves a second chance, an opportunity to get help."

Alex decided not to argue the point and wondered if she needed to believe just a little of what Danielle had said. "Itís sunny outside. Feel like having a cup of coffee on the porch?"

They sat out on the deck that wrapped around the back of the house. It had a magnificent view of small lake only a hundred yards off.

Danielle sat back in the wicker chair, letting the sun warm her achy muscles. "This is a wonderful place you have."

"Thanks, actually Iím only renting. I wonít be staying much longer."

Danielle tensed at the news. "Youíre moving?"

"Yeah, I never stay in one place very long. I get restless."

Danielle tried not to let her anxiousness show and changed the subject. "What do you do for a living?"

Alex hadnít prepared herself for a conversation with the woman. She used an old standby. "I just got out of the service. Iím between jobs."

"That must be where you learned to handle yourself so well, huh?"

Alex nodded. Uncomfortable with the lie, she stood, attempting to divert the focus of the conversation. "Iím about ready for a refill. Can I get you one?" Alex walked inside effectively avoiding further questions.

*****

Detective Sands rushed into Bowinís office and tossed a file on his desk He looked up to find her grinning ear to ear.

"We got a break on the Palanos robbery." His eyes brightened with interest.

"We really got lucky on this one. The guys in vice picked up some rich boy on drug charges. Turns out his father is a jeweler. In an effort to save his sorry-ass son, he offered information on a recent robbery. He agreed to give the name of a fence who sold him the items, if the charges were dropped against he and his son."

"Whoís the fence"

"Our old friend Sal."

"Call Judge Brennen. Letís get a search warrant."

Marisa winked and handed Bowin the warrant. "I thought you were going to say that."

He smiled outright. "What would I do without you?"

"Beats me."

"Letís go get him."

*****

Alex rummaged through her clothing looking for something that would fit Danielle. The best she could do was a T-shirt and pair of sweats. She also grabbed a pair of underwear. Danielle was sitting on the couch, staring into the fire. She looked up when Alex came into the room.

"I think Iíve managed to find some clothes for you. They're no a fashion statement, but they should do for the trip home."

Danielle was quiet. The idea of going home to her empty apartment right next door to her attacker frightened her. Alex noticed the change in the young woman and sat beside her. "Are you okay?"

"Yes, I... Itís just the thought of going home... Heís my neighbor."

Alex cursed herself for being insensitive to the young womanís fear. The pained expression on Danielleís face made her want to take the young woman into her arms and comfort her but she held back. "Iím sorry, I should have thought... I... youíre welcome to stay with me as long as you need to."

"I donít want to be a bother... Iíve been too much trouble already. I just..."

"You havenít been any trouble..." Alex tried to think of something to say that would make Danielle feel better. "I've enjoyed your company. Itís been nice having someone around to talk to."

Danielle glanced at her hopefully. "Really?"

"Yes, Iíd like it if you stayed." Alex realized with some surprise that she truly meant it.

"Thanks... if I could just stay the weekend?"

"As long as you want." Alex watched the young woman visibly relax. "I have one condition though. I want you to get these underclothes on so that I can take a look at your bruises. I want to make sure youíre healing properly." Danielle heart swelled at Alexís concern.

She beamed. "Iíll get changed."

While Danielle was in the bathroom dressing, Alex went to the bedroom to retrieve a jar of homemade salve from her medical bag.

"Okay doc... Iím ready."

Alex smiled. "Hop on the bed and lie down."

Danielle did as she asked, suddenly feeling a little self-conscious. Alex sat beside her and examined the bruises on her face. The swelling had gone down from this morning, but she still looked like the loser in a boxing match.

"Iím going to put a little salve on the cuts and bruises. The pressure may hurt a little, but the salve itself is painless." Alex dipped her finger in the jar and began to apply the ointment with gentle strokes.

Danielle closed her eyes and braced herself for the pain. She was sore, there was no getting around it. But, the physical discomfort was forgotten as she became acutely aware of the softness of Alexís fingers and the tenderness in her touch.

She opened her eyes. Alex was leaning over her, blue eyes focused on the task. Her fingers were so attentive that it brought to mind the intimacy of a loverís caress. Danielle felt the surface of her skin heat.

Her glance dropped to Alexís mouth. Her full lips were parted slightly. She wondered if they could possibly feel as soft as they looked. Danielle wanted to know. She felt an urge to press her lips to Alexís and fought to suppress it, but she couldnít help thinking about what lay beyond her lips. What would this amazing woman taste like? Her body was melting under Alexís touch. It tingled all over. She stiffened, afraid she would not be able to control the sensations building inside her.

Alex pulled back. "Iím sorry... did I hurt you?"

"Just a little," Danielle lied. "But itís okay."

"Iím done with your face, Iím going to take a look at your ribs and stomach. Ready?" Danielle nodded.

Alexís hand hesitated momentarily at the tie of Danielleís robe. She flashed back to the robbery and forced her mind to clear. Her finger trembled slightly when she causally attempted to open the front. As she looked down at Danielleís slender form, her eyes lingered on the firm, well proportioned body. Alex gently ran her fingers over the ribs. Although Danielle was terribly bruised, the skin was not broken. She slowly began to cover each bruise with the medicine.

Danielle clenched her teeth to stifle a moan. Her body was alive with sensation. She could feel her nipples harden against her bra, so sensitized that the material felt coarse against them. The muscles of her lower abdomen tightened and she felt a warm moisture building between her legs. She could not believe what was she was experiencing. Was this what other people felt? It was incredible. She glanced quickly at Alex, praying she hadnít noticed. Alex was focused on her task.

Danielle had never in her life felt anything so wonderful. Her skin burned everywhere Alex touched. With each stroke her arousal increased. She felt a spasm between her legs and held her breath, terrified her body would betray her feelings.

Alex felt Danielle flinch and assumed she was in pain. She tried to hurry along. At last, she finished. When she removed her hand, Danielleís body trembled. Alex quickly closed her robe.

"Youíre going to be fine. Nothingís broken. Youíre healing well. I want you to apply this salve twice a day until the bruises begin to fade." She handed her the jar.

Alex noticed the oddest look on the young womanís face. She let it pass without comment. Danielle had been through a lot in the past few days. It had taken its toll. Danielle needed rest and time to allow her body to heal. Alex stood up reluctantly.

"You should try to get some sleep. Iím afraid I donít have much in the house to eat. Iím going out to get groceries. I thought Iíd pick up Chinese food for dinnerÖ if you like it."

"Sounds great!"

"Okay then, Iíll be back in a little while." Alex closed the door quietly behind her.

As soon as the door clicked shut, Danielle released an audible sigh. Her body hummed with a newfound energy. The physical excitement pulsing through her was intoxicating. She pulled the comforter over herself and let her hand slide under the elastic of her underpants. Her inquisitive fingers slid lightly across her sex. She withdrew them from the slippery wetness and curled up on her side. A single tear hit the pillow. Alex had just awoken her.

*****

When Alex returned she noted the subtle aroma of incense. Danielle had also set the table and started a fire. Suddenly the cabin felt like a home to her. Not since she was a child had she come home to find someone waiting for her. It reminded her how alone she had been and it hurt to realize that soon she would be alone again. Danielle would return to her life, as would she. She squared her shoulders and went to the kitchen. She found Danielle there, brewing a pot of coffee.

"I thought you were going to get some rest?" Alex questioned.

"I did sleep for a little while... I had a nightmare and..."

Alex put down the groceries and turned to face the young woman. "You donít have to worry about him hurting you. I know his kind. Heís a coward. Youíll never see him again. In fact I doubt heíll return to his apartment."

Danielle hugged herself rubbing her hands along her arms in an attempt to rid herself of the chill that enveloped her. "I hope youíre right. Just thinking about going home makes me nervous."

"I would never take you back there, if I thought it werenít safe." Alex spoke with more emotion than she had intended. She felt the heat rise to her face and shifted uncomfortably.

"Anyway, I hope you're hungry. Thereís a lot of food here."

Danielle smiled, relieved to have something else to focus on. "Iím always hungry."

After they put the groceries away, they sat down to eat. Alex handed the young woman a pair of chopsticks.

Danielle had never used them before and watched Alex for a few bites before giving it a try. After a few attempts, she was successful at grabbing a pea pod and lifted it carefully. It was almost to her mouth when the sticks separated, sending it flying toward Alex who gracefully snagged it in mid air with her own chopsticks. Danielle looked at her in amazement.

"Wow, youíre really good with those!"

Alex winked. "Just one of those unusual skills Iíve picked up." Danielle looked regretfully at her empty sticks. Alex smiled and held the morsel out for her to eat. Danielle opened her mouth in grateful acceptance. As Alex slid the chopsticks from Danielleís lips, their eyes met. Danielle felt the spark between them and glanced down.

"Maybe I should get you a fork." Alex said clearing her throat.

"No, I want to give this a chance. Let me try again."

Alex walked up behind her and leaned down. She placed her hand over Danielleís molding her fingers into the proper position. "Itís just a matter of applying the correct amount of pressure."

Her hair draped down, tickling the young womanís neck. Danielle felt Alexís breath against her skin and realized if she turned her head, their lips would nearly touch. She felt a rush of heat and fought to stay concentrated on her task. With Alex steadying her fingers, she made it all the way to her mouth.

"See? Nothing to it." Alex released her hand and sat back down. "Now, try it on your own."

Danielle looked reluctantly at her friend. "Something tells me this is going to be the longest meal in history."

Alex smiled.

Danielle poked at her food and tried to sound casual. "So you said you were leaving soon. Where are you moving?"

Alex hesitated momentarily. "Iím trying to decide between a couple of places." She quickly changed the focus of the conversation. "It depends on what I decide to do career wise. What about you? What do you do?"

Danielle had finally gotten the hang of eating with the strange instruments and hurried to finish a mouthful. "I work at the Sentinel."

"A reporter, huh?"

"Well, not yet. Iíve been stuck writing obituaries for the past six months, but I just got the go ahead to do my first article." Danielle paused thoughtfully. "I really donít think of myself as a writer. Iím more of a storyteller. Peopleís lives and adventures fascinate me. My whole life Iíve been intrigued by exciting and dangerous tales."

Alex watched Danielle with interest. She enjoyed the animated way she spoke, using her hands and body with great flourish. "Itís good theyíre finally giving you a chance."

"Yeah, this is a big break for me."

"So, whatís the story about?"

"Battered women who have survived and turned their lives around. I hope that victims of abuse who read it find comfort in hearing how others have escaped and gone on to happier lives. Maybe theyíll be encouraged to do the same."

"You like helping people." Alex stated.

"Well, yes. These women are so brave. They have triumphed over such adversity. Their stories really touched me."

Alex got up to pour coffee. "So do I get a preview of the article?"

Danielleís face lit up. "Sure."

They sat by the fire while Danielle spoke about the womenís lives. Alex was moved. But it wasnít just their stories that captivated her, but the skill with which Danielle related them. She had a wonderful ability to bring their experiences to life. Alex felt like she was watching their stories unfold. She found herself touched by the tragedy and inspired by their courage. Alex could visualize the women, feel their pain and appreciate their achievements.

Much later that evening, Danielle finished, nearly breathless. Her face was flushed with excitement. "Iím sorry, I really ran on."

"Donít apologize. You were wonderful. You really have a gift."

Danielle blushed, flattered. "A gift of gab maybe." She smiled.

"I think these women are fortunate to have you telling their stories. Itís great that youíve found your niche."

Danielle had a talent for drawing people out, getting them to talk about themselves. But, so far sheíd been unsuccessful with Alex. Whenever she tried, Alex became uncomfortable and changed the flow of the conversation.

"Have you found yours?" Danielle questioned.

Alex smiled cynically. "Iíve found what Iím good at. Iím just not happy doing it anymore." She stood anxiously. Danielle could almost feel the walls go up.

"Iíve kept you up long enough. You need your rest. Iíll grab a blanket and sleep on the couch."

"I donít want to kick you out of your bed again tonight. I can sleep on the couch."

"No, I insist. I end up falling asleep on the couch most nights anyway."

"Okay, goodnight Alex." She turned, a little reluctant to face her dreams."

"Danielle if you have a nightmare and need to talk... Iím a light sleeper."

*****

Alex awoke in the middle of the night. An unfamiliar noise alerted her senses. Someone was in the room. Slowly her eyes adjusted and she looked about warily.

Danielle lay on the floor beside her, curled up in a blanket.

Alex whispered, not wanting to startle her. "Are you all right?"

Danielle rolled over to face her. "Iím sorry. Did I wake you?"

"Is everything okay?" Alex asked.

"I had another nightmare. I didnít mean to wake you... I just wanted to be close to... someone. Iím such a coward."

"You are anything but a coward." Alex reached down to give her a hand up. "Come on, I think we would both sleep better in bed."

Danielle felt relief wash over her and she looked up gratefully. The unexpected tenderness of Alexís expression touched her heart. Their eyes met, and Danielle felt that pleasant flutter again. She glanced away nervously.

Alex noticed her anxiety "You donít snore, do you?" Alex teased.

"Err, no. At least I donít think so..." She relaxed a little and decided to play along. "I hope you arenít one of those people who steal all the covers."

Alex started toward the bedroom. "Iíve never had any complaints."

Danielle didnít doubt that for a minute. She smiled to herself and followed.

They settled in quietly. The memories of her attackers were the furthest thing from Danielleís mind as she lay beside the older woman. She felt safe.

"Thanks."

Alex was on her side facing the door, an ingrained safety precaution. She turned to Danielle, and gently tucked a stray lock of hair behind the young womanís ear. "Get some sleep. Everythingís going to be all right."

Danielle knew it was true; she never felt better. She took a deep breath and closed her eyes. In no time she was fast asleep.

*****

It was a beautiful sunny day. They rowed across the lake to a favorite spot of Alexís to have a picnic lunch that Danielle had spent the morning preparing. After pulling the boat ashore, they hiked into the woods for several miles. It had been well worth the walk. The view when they broke through the woods into the clearing took Danielleís breath away. The sun streamed down giving the area a magical feel.

It was a pleasant afternoon. Danielle spent most of the time chatting non-stop while Alex listened.

She had tried to draw her friend out on a couple of occasions but Alex seemed content to let Danielle monopolize the conversation. She found the stories about Danielleís childhood experiences fascinating. Danielleís youth had been so different from her own.

Alex began packing up the remnants of their picnic lunch while Danielle sat back enjoying the feel of the refreshing breeze against her skin. She had never been more content and didnít want to come down from this natural high. The time she had spent with Alex the last two days had been wonderful.

She stood and stretched in the warm sunlight, taking in her surroundings with a child-like awe. Catching a glimpse of color to her right, she walked toward it.

"Wild flowers!"

Alex watched with amusement, as Danielle ran her fingers over the brightly colored petals and took in their sweet scent. She was amazed how the smallest things gave Danielle pleasure. The young woman saw only the good in things, approaching life with a naive wonder. It was a fragile quality and Alex found herself wanting to shield her from anything that would corrupt it.

Danielle sat on a log, reveling in the beauty around her. She was so distracted that she didnít notice four fox pups emerge from a burrow near the end of the fallen tree. They ran playfully toward her. She gasped in surprise.

"Alex, look..."

Alex got to her feet and scanned the tree line cautiously, sure the mother was nearby. "Danielle, get up and back away slowly."

Danielle looked up and smiled. One pup playfully nipped at her shoelace, pulling her attention from Alex. Danielle laughed and gently ran her fingers through itís coat. "Heís so soft."

Alex started to repeat her warning, but it was too late. The vixen broke through the woods and headed toward Danielle. There was not enough time to position herself between Danielle and the mother. Alex looked around quickly for something she could use as a weapon. She eyed a good sized rock and bent to pick it up.

Danielle noticed the motherís approach and looked toward Alex. When her eyes settled on the crude weapon in Alexís hand, her stomach lurched. She understood what her friend meant to do.

Alex gauged the distance, taking the weight of the rock into consideration. She watched the vixen anxiously, her muscles taut, ready to react. If the fox made a move to attack Danielle, she felt fairly confident she could hit it.

"Wait!"

Danielle slowly stood up. She took a small step backward. But, the pups followed her playfully biting at her sneakers. The mother was only about twenty feet from Danielle now, weaving back and forth, watching her intently.

Danielle sat down, eyeing the worried mother. She slid her sneakers off and began playing with the pups. The vixen got within ten feet and stopped. Her attention fully focused on the young woman.

Danielle could not contain a laugh as one aggressive pup pulled the shoe from her grasp and proudly pranced off to present the prize to its mother. The vixen sniffed the shoe and laid down, cautiously watching the scene.

Alex looked on in disbelief. Three of the pups were frolicking around Danielle and the fourth was snuggled up against her leg. "Alex." Danielle waved her arm, encouraging her friend to come closer.

Alex approached slowly, never taking her eyes off the mother. As she neared, the vixen sat up warily. The tall womanís body was tense, ready to react. Danielle smiled up at her and reached out, lightly brushing the fingers that clutched the jagged weapon. The young womanís touch melted her tension away. Danielle eased the rock from her grasp and laid it down, replacing it with the warmth of her hand. She gently pulled Alexís arm, urging her to sit.

As soon as Alex was at their level, the pups were all over her, sniffing and prodding. Danielle held her hand, squeezing comfortingly, then she placed it on the pup at her side. "Feel how soft. Arenít they beautiful?" The orange pups had black ears and feet. Their bellies were white and their tails were long and bushy. Their eyes were alert, cat-like.

Alex ran her fingers through the plush fur, acutely aware of the hand that lay over hers. As Danielleís fingers stroked the soft fur, her palm caressed the back of Alexís hand. Alex sunk her fingers into the thick fur and quietly relished the innocent contact.

Danielle didnít seem to notice. Her attention was focused on the playful pups. Alex allowed herself the luxury of extending her gaze at her young friend. She was entranced by the way Danielleís nose crinkled when she smiled and her eyes sparkled when she laughed. Alex thought for one moment about lifting the soft fingers to her lips and quickly closed her eyes.

Suddenly, the energetic pups bounded onto her lap, pushing her backward. Danielle was startled by the soft sounds coming from her friend. It struck her that it was the first time she had heard Alex laugh. It was magical.

Danielle looked down at the happy woman, normally so stoic and controlled, and her heart swelled. The pups were having a field day. One had a hold of the laces of Alexís top, another was licking at her neck, while yet another was engaged with her in a tug of war for Danielleís sneaker.

The sun reflected off her dazzling blue eyes and suddenly Danielle was lost in them. Without thought, she moved her hand to Alexís face, her fingers lifting the stray strands of dark hair from her moist lips. Their eyes met and Danielle began to lean down.

There was a sharp bark. Danielle pulled back and Alex sat up quickly. The father was at the edge of the woods calling. The family quickly ran to him, disappearing into the woods. Danielleís heart was pounding furiously. She meant to kiss Alex and had nearly done it.

Alex smiled and looked at her. "That was amazing."

Danielle heart stopped for one instant, then realized they were thinking different things. Alex hadnít even noticed her clumsy advance.

Danielle shrugged and tried to recover. "Animals like me." She winked. "You arenít the only one with unusual skills." She effectively masked her disappointment with humor.

"Apparently not." Alex grinned.

Danielle glanced at Alexís dark top sprinkled with red fur. She innocently wiped the hair off, accidentally brushing Alexís breast. Suddenly aware of the intimacy of her action she pulled back. "I... err... they got hair all over you."

Alexís nipple hardened from the brief contact. She stood up awkwardly and brushed off her clothes. A torrent of unfamiliar emotions flooded through her. "Yeah... ah... itís getting late. We should finish packing up and go back."

"Sure, if you want." Danielle said sadly.

They picked up their things in awkward silence. Danielle was angry with herself for ruining the moment. Had Alex thought she was making a pass? She hadnít meant anything by the casual touch, but even as the thought crossed her mind, she knew her lack of courage had been the only thing to keep her from doing more. Her fingers tingled, remembering the brief contact. She felt miserable and risked a glance at Alex who seemed to be avoiding eye contact. Danielle got up to search for her sneakers.

Alex watched Danielle walk away and grimaced. She didnít think Danielle had noticed her react to her touch but she wasnít sure. Alex was confused by the excitement coursing through her body. Her friend's action had been innocent, she had no doubt about that, but for a split second she had considered pushing the young woman back on the grass and ...

What was happening to her? She knew she had to get a grip on her emotions. She cared about Danielle far too much to lead her on when nothing could come of it. The thought saddened her. She looked up to see Danielle return shoeless and tried to act casual.

"No luck, huh?"

"Nope." Danielle shrugged. "They were kind of old anyway." She looked hesitantly in the direction of the lake. The idea of tromping through the woods in her stocking feet didnít appeal to her.

Alex hesitated only a moment. "Iíll give you a lift."

Danielle looked at her curiously. Alex smiled. "Come on, Iíll carry you."

"You... you mean like a piggy back ride?"

"Yeah, didnít you ever do that when you were a kid?"

"Sure, itís just... well Iím quite a bit heavier now. I donít want to hurt you."

Alexís face broke into a playful smile. "I think I can handle the strain."

Danielle couldnít help but laugh. "All right, you asked for it."

Alex positioned herself in front of a large rock. "Youíll have to carry the basket. Iíll hold your legs." Danielle stepped up and wrapped her free arm around Alexís neck. Her legs slid easily around the taller womanís waist. Firm arms locked around her thighs, securing her in place. They were a perfect fit.

True to her word Alex carried her effortlessly and much sooner than Danielle would have liked, they were back at the boat. The trip across the lake back to the cabin was a quiet one. Both women had a lot on their minds. The weekend was over. It was time for Danielle to return home.

Continue to Part IV

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