Author: Bine2889 PM
Post TS, so SPOILERS! Tank and Lula are engaged, Steph gets to know Ranger's family and there is this dangerous job...Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Chapters: 8 - Words: 11,652 - Reviews: 56 - Favs: 23 - Follows: 49 - Updated: 10-31-06 - Published: 07-18-06 - id: 3050761
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Sorry for not updating for so long, but this story isn't as easy to write as "Joy and Pain".
Thanks for the nice reviews.
As always, I don't own anything nor do I make any profit.
Chapter Eight: Missing
At eight o'clock Lula knocked on the appartment door.
Ranger and Tank had left half an hour ago. They would meet Juniak, Morelli, Hal and Cal at the warehouse. Stephanie felt very nervous and was happy that Lula was here now.
She opened the door and Lula immediately stormed in.
"Wow, so that is the Batcave. Fucking unbelievable….oh, and WOULD you look at that furniture. Very elegant." She went into the living room. "And that's what I call a TV. That thing fits Batman. Ohhh and a big kitchen." She opened the fridge. "Huh, just what I expected. How can one survive here!"
"Well, he has a housekeeper."
"Oh, I bet it's a man called Alfred." Stephanie had to laugh.
"No, not really. It's a nice woman and she's called Ella."
"Huh, I'm disappointed. Where is the bedroom?"
Stephanie had barely risen her arm to point when Lula stormed into the direction.
"Wow, would you look at that bed. Huh, he sue as hell can dance around here."
Stephanie felt her face heaten and quickly turned to the closet. She was still feeling cold easily so she wanted to get another sweater. She had just opened the door when Lula walked in and squealed.
"Oh, my god. He has a walk-in closet. And there are things from you in here." She turned towards Stephanie, her hands on her hips.
"Why are your things here, girl? Is there something you didn't tell me?"
"These aren't my things, there are just a few things from when I worked here." Okay, so she knew that, that was a bad lie.
"Huh, and why don't I see things from Tank or the others here? They work here, too."
"Uh, because they have their own appartment?" Lula shook her head.
"I'm disappointed, girl. You should know that I won't believe this. I mean, when you two are in one room you cannot keep your eyes from each other and it could even better during the last time. Now you're always touching. So spill."
Stephanie sighed. She didn't have a choice.
"Okay, lets sit down in the living room." They sat down and she told Lula everything. Well not everything. She left out their night together and just started with her living in the appartment during the Slayer-thing and then coming here when she worked here and then now, that she was sleeping here again and would stay here at least until everything had been solved.
"Huh, why didn't you tell me before?"
"It's no big deal." Lula rose an eyebrow but Steph didn't want to elaborate. It was too confusing and too depressing.
"So, what do you want to plan?" Lula looked at Steph for a few minutes. That was a quick change. She would see if Tank knows something.
"I want to start making a guest list and I have a few magazines. I want an extraordinary wedding so we'll have to think of something."
One hour later, Steph had just talked Lula out of lime-green for the braidsmaids, when the phone rang.
"Yo, babe. Come down, we'll meet at my office."
"Did something happen? Is anyone hurt?"
"Nobody's hurt. Come down, now." And he disconnected.
Five minutes later Stephanie and Lula were sitting in Ranger's office, together with Tank, Juniak and Morelli.
"We found this." He held a purse up, inside a plastic bag. "It's Jackie's."
Lula gasped. Tank stepped behind her and stroked her shoulders. Steph just sat there staring right through Ranger. She had hoped that Jackie would be lucky. So much had gone wrong in her life and then, we she finally got something right…everything crashed again.
Lula had started to cry. Ranger studied Steph and decided that she was in shock, but okay so he just nodded towards Tank. Tank pulled Lula up, put an arm around her shoulder and went out of the office with her. He would take her to his appartment. There he would hold her until she calmed down and then they would talk about it.
Stephanie jumped when the door closed. She focused on Ranger again, who was studying her. "Where did you find it?"
"Inside the truck we saw on the shot."
"Won't they notice that you took it."
"It won't matter because tomorrow the police will be there with a search warrant. They will find it." Juniak answered. Morelli was just sitting there, silently observing. He felt guilty because he thought that this was at least partly his fault. But he had just done his job. Everything had spoken against Jackie and there hadn't been anything else he could have done, had there?
"Where do you have the information on Jackie and her ex?" Ranger asked Staphanie.
"Upstairs. Do you want me to get them?" He shook his head. "We'll just go up." She looked at him, surprised. He shot her an almost smile and stood up.
"You can already go up, I have to arrange a few things." He had a brilliant plan. He would show Morelli how comfortable he and his babe were around each other. Morelli would have to understand that everything was over between him and Stephanie.
Stephanie stood up and asked Juniak and Joe to follow her. They went to the elevator and Stephanie pointed the remote at it. Morelli rose an eyebrow. A few seconds later his eyes narrowed when Stephanie pulled out a keychain. Silver with blue jewels that were probably real, it read "Babe". His jaw clenched when she opened the door with "her key".
They went in and Stephanie put her key on thec ounter, then she took her jacket off and put it in the wardrobe.
"You sure as hell know your way around here." Stephanie looked at Morelli, saw his clenched jaw and narrowed eyes and decided not to answer. Instead she walked into the kitchen.
"Do you want coffee?"
Morelli just nodded. "Yes, please." Juniak smiled at her.
Stephanie opened drawers, got cups and the coffee ready. She wanted to busy herself. She didn't want to think about what had happened tonight and what it definetly meant and what it could mean.
She was just pouring the coffee in whan Ranger walked into the kitchen. He took one look at her and cursed himself. He shouldn't have left her alone. She was obviously more in shock than he had thought. She needed him and he had just thought about making Morelli angry.
He turned to Juniak and Morelli.
"I have the file in the living room." Juniak turned but Morelli just looked at him. "You can already go, we'll follow soon."
He turned and walked out.
Ranger went to where Stephanie stood at the counter, adding milk and sugar to her coffee. He stepped behind her and wrapped his arms around her waist. She stood still for a few seconds than leaned back into him.
He kissed her hair and nuzzled her neck. "It will be okay. You can't always guess the worst. That would kill you sooner or later."
She turned and snuggled into his embrance, there were tears running down her cheeks. "I know, but it's hard. She was finally getting everything right. She was happy and then…"
Ranger sighed and kissed her forehead. "I know and believe me we will do our best to help her get everything back. Okay?"
"I hope I'm not interrupting anything."