Second half of Sixteen...well more like 3/4 of sixteen.
Stephanie's POV, Thursday morning.
I stopped at the Tasty Pastry before going to the office. Ranger's Mercedes was there when I arrived but Ranger wasn't in sight so he was probably talking to Vinnie.
"Donuts!" yelled Lula when I swung through the door. She took the box from my hand and dug in.
"Wow, what are you doing here so early?" Usually Lula was late on a Thursday…and Friday, and Saturday, and Sunday, and Monday, and Tuesday, and Wednesday.
"I was having intestinal problems this morning and couldn't go back to sleep. So I just decided to come here and get some filing done." I glanced over at the filing cabinet. Nothing had been done.
"Ranger in there?" I asked Connie, nodding towards Vinnie's sanctuary.
"Yep," said Connie, blowing on her still wet nails.
Ranger came out of Vinnie's office and raised an eyebrow at me. "Did you talk to Jamie?"
I nodded. "Yeah and I'm not suppose to tell you but she said she was going to drive until she hit the Pacific." I know that's breaking every rule of the Code of Sisterhood, but something told me it was important for Ranger to know.
Ranger half smiled. "Babe," he said and then he left.
"That man is so hot," said Lula.
My cell phone chirped. It was Jamie. "I never said I was leaving today," she said.
"Well you probably already told Ranger about the Pacific thing, right? But I never told you I was leaving today. Jeez, what kind of sister do you think I am? I would say goodbye before I left." So Ranger isn't the only one with ESP.
"So what are you doing today?"
"Ehn. Working. I missed three control room shifts and Tank is making me make up for it. He's overworking me though. I mean, I put itching powder in the guy's underwear once and he never lets go. Pathetic."
I winced. "Itching powder?" She better leave soon.
"Totally Lester's idea." I heard a NO WAY in the background. "Sorry sis, in the words of Jimmy Neutron, gotta blast." Disconnect.
"Any new files?" I asked Connie.
"Well damn. Now what?"
"You could help me file," said Lula.
"We could go to the mall."
"Filing can wait."
I was hiding from Tank. Again. I was on the sixth floor, crouched behind a desk, water gun at the ready. I had found the water gun in a broom closet, filled it up, and let loose on all the Merry Men who were in the gym. And now Tank, Hal, Cal, Junior, and Woody were all after my ass.
"You go that way, I'll go the other way," I heard Woody say. I snickered. This was going to be fun. They would have been using the cameras to catch me but I covered every one I came upon. I'd been in Ranger's building in Miami, so I pretty much knew where to look for cameras—hidden or not. I moved across the floor, staying low to the ground. I came up behind an unsuspecting Woody.
"Howdy," I said and when he whirled around I got him in the face with a blast of water. "Be thankful that wasn't ink!" I yelled as I flew towards the elevators. I caught a glimpse of Cal running towards me and quickened my pace. I reached the elevators but decided against using the elevator, instead blasting through the stairwell door. I jumped down the stairs and was almost to the second floor when I crashed into a wall and sent us both flying.
"Cripes, Jazz, I know we haven't seen each other in a while but don't you think this is going a little far?" said Ranger. I was lying on top of him and rather enjoying it.
I rolled off of him and winced at the pain in my shoulder. Probably I shouldn't be running around, pissing off ex-army guys with a gunshot wound.
"You're going to reopen that gunshot wound," said Ranger, hauling me up off the floor. My water gun was in ruins, cracked and leaking.
"Thanks," I said sarcastically, sticking out my tongue, "Now you've basically condemned me to death."
He did the almost smile. "Kid, you've been condemned to death so many times I'm surprised you still walk the streets."
He was right. There are a few people who'd like to see me disappear.
"Yeah well now you've lengthened the list. Tank is going to hurt me. And so is Cal and Junior and Woody and Hal. Can I take your Porsche?"
He handed me the keys. "Just wait a while before you head off to the Pacific."
Like that was going to happen. I was probably going to leave either tonight or tomorrow.
I pulled into the mall parking lot. I really needed to do some quality shopping. I was just paying for some polka-dot lacy boy-shorts when I heard my name being called.
"Hey Jamie I thought you were on control duty," said Stephanie. I grabbed my Victoria's Secret bag and followed Stephanie out of the store. "Yeah well I was a bit side-tracked." I told her about the water-gun incident. Lula was waiting in the food court for us. We ate and then did some serious shopping, ate dinner, and saw a movie. Definitely one of my better days.
But now the day was over. I was lying on the couch in my Rangeman apartment, thinking about everything. I sighed. I was going to do it, whether anyone liked it or not. I had to leave. I needed to be on the move. I needed to get Jack away from Trenton, and I needed to get away from Ranger. I stood up, gathered all my random crap into my messenger bag, shrugged into my jacket, laced up my boots, checked that all weapons were in place, and left.
Steph's POV, Thursday night
I sighed and clomped up the stairs to the bedroom. Morelli was relieving someone on a stakeout tonight so it was just me. Jamie had gone back to Rangeman, and Lula had gone home. It was nine o'clock and I was beat from all that shopping, so I took a shower and flopped into bed.
Ranger's POV, Friday morning, Five AM.
I shook my head and sighed. I was sighing a lot lately. It probably had to do with a certain twenty-one-year old. This morning I had woken up and found a note attached to my front door.
Yeah so I'm leaving and you better not come after me. Truth is, I'm getting pretty old and creaky so I thought it might be a good idea to see to see the rest of the world while I was still alive. So….say hi to Tank for me…except call him Patricia, okay? That'll piss him off. Oh and tell him sorry about the laxatives. Did you know you snore? Like, I thought there was rhinoceros in the room or something. I saw a show once that said snoring causes cancer…but then again, what doesn't? Yes, well, I probably should be going. I'm surprised ninjas haven't dropped from the ceiling and trussed me up like a Christmas turkey. I mean jeez, here I am, right outside of your apartment, sitting on the floor, and no one has showed up to impale me or anything. You need to tighten your security, my friend, or you're gonna end up being raped by a bunch of sex-crazed women Aaahaha….right. so. Um…..I guess that's all I have to say. OH right…sorry about being a bitch you know, the whole 'fuck you' thing…but hey I'm a woman and I deserve to be a bitch once in a while, right? And besides, you made me waste three hundred bucks which I expect you to pay me back…Good luck with steph. One more thing….I love you.
xoxoxox Jamie Rose
She was trying to be funny even though clearly this was a serious note. First of all, she had written my real name. Second, she had signed it with her real name. Thirdly, she had written I love you. Sure she had written me lots of gushy love letters but those were mostly her being funny and stoned or high on Red Bull…never really being serious. It had mostly stuff like omigod I'm pining for you like a pine forest. God I crack myself up. The simple I love you said more than anything she had ever said or written before. I noticed there was writing on the back. I flipped over the paper.
Wow. I sat down on a chair and remembered the first time I spoke to her. After I watched her drive out of the lot in my Porsche, Tank and I followed in his SUV. I called the Porsche's phone from my cell.
"Yello?" she answered.
"How old are you?" I asked. She had looked pretty young.
"Sixteen. How old are you?" Sixteen?
We were on the highway by now, cutting in and out of cars, staying close on her tail. Stupid kid.
"This is what you're going to do," I said, keeping my voice low and dangerous, "There is a rest stop coming up in a mile. You are going to stop there and return the car and if you're cooperative I might not arrest you." I really didn't have any authority to arrest, seeing as she wasn't FTA, but I might as well bluff.
She sighed. "Fine."
We came up to the exit and Tank changed lanes in back of the Porsche. Just as she was changing lanes she swerved to the side, not giving Tank enough time to follow. Tank pressed the pedal to the floor, blasting through the rest stop, and we came out a few cars behind the Porsche. My cell phone rang.
"Sorry," she said, "I thought you meant the next one. Can't I just keep the car? I promise I won't dent it or anything."
Jesus. Did this kid have a death wish? "Pull over." I said dangerously.
"Sorry. No can do. Maybe some other time." With that she hung up on me.
I smiled at the memory. That was one of the things I like the best about her. She wasn't scared of me, even from the beginning. Hell I don't think she was scared of anything.
Stephanie's POV, Friday, TWO AM
"Steph, wake up. Come on, wake up."
I rolled over and looked at the clock. Two in the morning. "Jamie wadayawant?"
"I'm leaving," she said softly. I sat up fast. She was standing next to my bed, her messenger bag slung over her shoulder, jacket zipped up, car keys in hand.
"Why? Where? How long?"
She laughed softly at my questions. "Because I want to, I already told you to the Pacific, and I don't know."
"Why?" I asked again.
"I dunno. I just need to. I can't stay in one place for too long."
"Shouldn't you wait for your gun shots to heal?"
She shrugged with her left shoulder. "I've had worse."
"See ya, sis, I already said goodbye to Ranger and mom." She said. And then she was gone.
To be continued...but not for a while
YEah so thats the end. Well not really 'cuz I'm probably gonna write a sequel but it's the end for now.I didn't really like the end of this story, I thought it was too abrupt,but again, it probably isn't the end.
thanks for all the reviews, Bowlingforshrimp
ps, my middle name is Rose and I thought it should be part ofJamie's name...what with her being my alter-ego and all