Both sat up on the bed at the same time and looked each other.
"It can't be true!" She exclaimed, but if he understood what she was talking about, it mean… "It can't be true!
It took him almost a minute to process what happened. His mouth winded into a smile, "You were there…"
"No…" her fingers combed her long hair, "I'm a logic person. Those dreams were a product of my imagination." He saw the desperation on her face. It was a natural gesture on him, he enfolded her form into his arms forcing her to lean her head on his shoulder. "It can't be true." She said as he smiled pulling her closer.
The alarm clock whistled, it was ten o'clock.
She seemed to react. "I'm hungry…" she pushed his arms away, "I need a coffee."
Jane got up and started to walk like a zombie. 'A sensual and naked zombie' John saw her leave the bedroom. He followed her letting her space, she needed it. He crossed his arms on his chest leaning on the frame of the kitchen door. He observed how she fought against the coffee machine.
She poured the black liquid into two cups and placed them on the table. She sat down and then her eyes got lost into some invisible spot of the air.
He occupied a seat in front of her so he could see how her eyes were filled with tears.
Slowly she sipped the black liquid.
"Are you alright?" He asked wanting kick himself, 'Of course she wasn't right, you damn fool!' He placed his hand on her arm. She was trembling.
His touch took her out of her trance. She lifted her eyes gazing at him. "It was dreams, only dreams." He frowned hoping that she wouldn't freak out. Looking his expression she shook her head. "You don't understand… It was just dreams, only dreams." Tears began to fall down on her cheeks. "It was logical that I put your face on the man I've been dreaming of…"
Now he was the shocked one. "The man you've dreaming of…"
"I've been dreaming since I was a child." She drank the coffee and kept talking, "I have a powerful imagination." She giggled. "The boy in the hood, the plane crash… it was all my imagination…" She drank the rest of the coffee. "I'm an analytic, logical, rational person. I can distinguish reality from fantasy… at last, up till now, I was able to." She removed her hand under his, took her empty cup and walked to the wash machine. "I can't use it just for a single cup…" She opened the water and frantically washed it.
He stood behind her. Slowly he slipped his hands around her waist leaning his chin on her shoulder. "It doesn't matter if you thought it was a dream… we are together…" He kissed her nape. "There and here… always."
She spun searching his eyes. "You don't understand…" she blushed. "One of the reasons Micheal used to justify his behavior was…" She lowered her eyes unable to look at him, "was…"
His finger lifted her head, "What?"
She inhaled forcing her to hold his stare. "Many times when Michael and I made love… I… I screamed… another name."
He tilted his head frowning. "What name?"
She reddened even more, "Tarzan…"
His reaction shocked her. He fierily attacked her mouth. He could not forbid her to talk about her ex-lover, but he could make her forgot him completely.
He placed his hands on her butt moving her up as she wrapped her arms and legs around him. "How you screamed my name?" He walked at the near wall. "I want you scream my name…" he mutter over her lips.
And she showed him how she cried out his name more than twice…
To travel through the city jumping from roof to roof was unusual situation for the detective. But, even her brain screamed every time the ground disappeared under her feet, it was the best way to move without being detected.
Each room and computer of Greystoke had been checked but nothing was found. Nash had an invisible twenty-four-hour-escort spying him. But up till now, Jane's memory was the only source of information about the illegal Greystoke's activities.
Sam could contact Nicky and explain to her what happened with her sister. He too talked with Kathleen and couldn't help but teased John. She really looked upset knowing her nephew's true civil state.
So few people knew what was happening and Michael Foster wasn't one of them. He only knew that she was married to another man and it disturbed him. Carried by desperation, she allowed her desolation take control of her life and married to the first fool that crossed her way. That was the only explanation he could find for her unusual behavior. He had to talk to her.
Michael was working on his desk when he saw her auburn mane on Connor's office door. Automatically he looked at his watch. It was five past ten, atypical time for Connor to be in his office. Something was going on.
'She is on Connor's office instead her honey moon in Bahamas…' He scratched his chin thinking, 'there is only one explanation for this…' His lips drew a smile, 'She is working undercover.' His eyes returned to the file he was writing but his mind was fixed at the captain's office door.
Sam's voice came from a corner, he was talking with some tall, long haired blond man.
'Jane is here…', Michael was exited. He wouldn't waste the chance to talk to her.
He knew her. It won't be easy but he could convince her and this time he wouldn't let his hormones control him. He had pay too much for a brief, cheap and insignificant carnal satisfaction.
They could start over and made their relationship work out.
He got up and walked to the office door. He could not enter without a logical reason. So he opened the windows trying to calm himself.
He was edgy. 'She is here and I need to talk to her.' His fingers tapped on the windowsill. The street light darkened when she crossed the door. He swallowed and stepped toward her. Suddenly her scream filled the room. He lifted his eyes widened for his desperation.
The room became a chaos. Everybody was running, pointing their guns to the windows. He saw someone jumped outside. But his eyes was fixed on her figure leaned on the floor and on the red spot on her chest.
John watched the black haired man standing near the windows. His eyes were fixed on the office door where Jane and Connor were talking. "It's Michael" Sam murmured confirming his suspicions. The expression on his face, his body language was screaming his thoughts. And it didn't please John at all.
He stepped ahead but Sam's hand stopped him, "just keep in mind that you probably could sleep alone if you do something stupid." John frowned and Sam added, "you're gonna do something stupid, I can see it clearly in your face."
"I only want to make clear to him that she is not his any longer…" then he grinned mischievously, "but you are right, I don't want to sleep alone so I'll behave."
As he walked to the windows his eyes detected a twinkle on one window of the building on the other side of the street. It took him few second to identify the whistling sound above Michael's head. John's eyes followed the noisily trace meeting the shocked eyes of Jane. Something had impacted directly on her chest. Their gazes intertwined as his hands held her stunned shaking body. Her gaze changed from surprise to panic and then oblivion. Everybody screamed around while she fainted into his arms. Slowly John leaned her back on the floor, his eyes filled with tears.
Someone pushed him aside, other screamed calling a doctor. He stepped back. His heart ached seeing her motionless body. He lifted his eyes to the windows, again the twinkle on that windows.
He took his shoes out and climbed the windows grabbing the wire that reached the other side of the street. A feral grunt escaped from his throat as his toes touched the windowpane on the other side.
The window was open and a man was putting inside a suitcase three parts of a weapon. It seemed a long range rifle.
Soundless the ape-man came closer. The man turned his head but it was too late. The first blow knocked him down. Tarzan's arms went up and fell down furiously, there wasn't a place on the man's body where his hands didn't hit. Then his fingers encircled the man's neck. Tarzan turned his bleeding features to face him, he wanted to see his eyes before broke the bones of his neck. But suddenly his nose perceived a well-known scent. His fingers were craving to twist the man's throat but something stopped him. That smell…
He would hunt and find the responsible… But now wasn't the right time to hunt, she needed him by her side.
Snorting John Clayton stood up, loaded the man on his shoulder and grabbed the weapon-suitcase. Thirty seconds later the man and the suitcase dropped over the Connor's desk. Without a word he spun walking to the paramedic group assisting his woman.
He swallowed his pain and kneeled beside her. Sam whispered on the male nurse's ear, "he is her husband, let him go with you." The man nodded.
Leaning on the door frame Michael observed as John took Jane's hand begging her, "Don't leave me…" The ambulance door closed and detective Foster watched it ran down the street.
The sensation of being drowning made her open her eyes and mouth at the same time. She desperately swallowed a puff of air and sat up on the bed, her hands on the chest.
Two comforting and powerful arms surrounded her waist and she mechanically leaned her head over his warm and welcoming chest. His right hand caressed her head while he whispered on her ear how much he loved her. She felt safe into his arms.
The last thing she remembered was the piercing sensation on her chest, the pain burning, but then all came dark.
"Every thing is gonna be alright." His fingers combed her long auburn mane, "You are safe here with me."
She couldn't help but sob. It wasn't the first time that someone shot her but this one took her unaware. There was not part of her body that didn't hurt. She felt so uncomfortably numb. "John!" She finally spoke softly, even to talk was hard for her. "We were so naïves!"
He frowned pulling back to see her face, "Naïves?"
She beamed, "Yeah, naives." She inhaled deeply and kept talking. "I should foresee that something like that could happen. There were two places they could catch us, the court building and the precinct." She made herself comfortable on the bed but she didn't break his embrace. "I was the one who read the file on the Greystoke computer, they can't kill you…"
"Why not? I'm gonna sell the entire company."
"Probably to them…" She replied. "I memorized the names I read into the file because I didn't know when I would read it again, if I ever could see it again." She closed her eyes trying to control the nauseous feeling on her stomach. "What is happing to me?" He tightened his hold around her pushing her closer. "Why am I so tired?"
"You had being shot." He kissed her lightly leaned her back on the mattress, "you should rest."
"Don't leave me alone." She pleaded curling near him.
"Sleep." He softly commanded, "You are safe by my side."
Both closed their eyes together.
Five minutes later he woke up and spun his head to look at Jane. She was resting on her bed surrounded by tubes, needles and machines. Those things kept her alive.
He rose from the armchair he was sleeping and walked to stand beside her. His face was like a stone.
"You will always be safe by my side, no one will hurt you ever again… and the one who hurt you… will pay with his life for it."
She was right; they had been naive, but not any more.
He had transformed his penthouse in a hospital and her room had special shielded glass windows, no bullets could cross it, and a little army of twelve men safeguarded her.
No one would hurt her any more!
Hypothetically he would spend the night inside the house but as she was stable he could begin his hunt. The police had advanced in the investigation but they had not been able to establish a direct connection between the attack and Greystoke.
Mysteriously, that morning, the man, who shot Jane, was found hanging into his cell.
Tarzan couldn't waste more time.
He descended by the vertical wall and jumped to the next building roof. Lifting his hand he ordered to one of the guards closed the entry. No one could scale this wall, even him.
The hunt was on.
Shielded by the darkness of the night the ape-man traveled across the rooftops. He was an undetected shadow searching all over the city. Near the midnight he reached the apartment where the man that shot Jane had been caught.
Two week had lapsed and the smell had faded but his nose identified another one, a female scent, and she had been here less than a day. 'Katherine…' he sniffed around. He was sure that the woman, who drugged them in the woods, was close.
His bare feet touched the asphalt. 'She believes she is safe.' He walked down the street following her aromatic trace. 'She feels confident,' he beamed, 'confident enough to make a mistake. She makes it easy for me.' After almost four hours of searching he arrived to a huge building where her trace ended.
Then he froze. His nose had detected another aroma.
His hands closed into fist as he closed his eyes trying to control his rising fury. 'You need to be calm, tranquil to make him suffer for what he had done.' He commanded himself. 'Jane was hurt and my life is a hell because of him. Always because of him!' Slowly Tarzan climbed the wall reaching at an open window.
The loud groans and moans indicated what was happening inside. 'Son of the b...' John's eyes sparked with malice when he saw an empty champagne bottle on the floor and a bucket full with water on the table near the bed. 'Tarzan knows how cool lovers.'
They were buried in their physical task to pay attention to the shadow standing near them until the cool water abruptly bathed them. They jumped apart, the man cursed, "What the hell…" but he could not end the phrase. Five fingers circled his neck, lifted him from the bed and dragged his body across the floor. Suddenly the man found himself, naked, hanging outside the windows.
Just a furious fist circling his throat avoided him to fall thirty feet down. He froze grabbing the wrist of his captor. "Don't let me fall!" He begged and John tightened his grip.
"Look at me!" Tarzan demanded, "I want you to see my face when I let you fell…" John smiled seeing him shivered and hearing Katherine sobs inside the room.
"Please don't kill me…"
"Why not?" Tarzan shook his arm terrifying even more his prey, "You hurt her… you almost kill the woman I love. Why would I not kill you?" Tarzan took a step ahead, "Any way, you are already dead!"
His mind considered to broke his neck and end it now, it would be easy to tight his grip around his throat, to twist his hand… John watched his terrified expression. To kill him wasn't enough. No. This man had worked too much to build this intricate pantomime. The young Clayton was not interested to know why. He only wanted to destroy his shield. He definitely wanted to expose him.
John grinned loosing his grip. He looked into the man eyes and asked, "Why?" But he knew that never a true answer would come through his lips.
"My life was in danger."
"In fact…" His eyes naughty sparkled, "your life 'is' in danger…" to remark it he shook his arm, his pray startled.
"John…" his voice trembled, "we are family…" Far from calmed him, those words exasperated him. John's jaw tensed and he stepped ahead, "please… don't kill me. I would do whatever you want."
The young Clayton's finger tightened his grasp. He let his anger spoke. "You forget that I watched you play this game since I was a kid. You're an expert manipulator, but I know you well." Tarzan spun his head looking for the frighten woman that was curled in a corner of the room. "Stand up!" he commanded "There must be a laptop under the bed…" His prey raised his eyes gazing at him. "Put it on the table!" As she hesitated he coldly warned, "Do what I say, your bones are too fragile…" he didn't need to end the phrase. She crawled to the bed, took the computer and placed on the table. "Open it up. I want to see the page I saw in Greystoke." His voice was threatening, authoritarian, a true Clayton. "In a txt file write each one of the passwords I need to access into it, and write the address where I can find it." He snorted, "Remember that your neck is fragile and I could make it painfully for you to die…"
"John! You are not like this…"
Tarzan turned to face the man who had spoken. "I'm a Clayton, as you wanted me to be. I learned it from the best human beast." He faked a smile, "but I am surprised that I don't see any guard around you…" his mocking tone bothered his prey, "Uncle, you become careless!" His finger started to press his windpipe. Richard opened his mouth, desperately fought but couldn't release from his grip. John impassively observed the terror into his eyes while his arms loosened strength and finally the man who he called uncle fainted. Without any gentle gesture John's hand moved to let Richard's motionless body fell to the room floor.
Frantically Kathleen returned to her corner and closed her eyes. A tear ran down her cheek as she cursed silently the entire Clayton family.
Sam was on his desk when he heard a tug on the window, he lifted his eyes but couldn't believe what his eyes saw. "Holy return of the living-dead!" His eyes widened watching the naked body of the powerful Richard Clayton at his feet. "What is that" He opened the laptop that John placed on the desk.
"The end of the game…" Tarzan assured.
"The media had a banquet with the Clayton family." Sam assured looking at her partner. "First, Richard Clayton had falsified his own death, the news spread quicker than a fire in a barn, and now they know about his nephew faked his marriage." The black man beamed shaking the newspaper, "The press loved them because it would feed them for months."
She stretched on the bed. "But my real civil stage came back."
Sam smirked, "You talk as you want it back… and the smile on your face denies your asseveration girl." He suddenly laughed seeing her reaction at his words, "I can't believe you're blushing. Damn girl, you are living with him almost three months. You sinners…" the pillow hit his face. "Are you aware, young lady, that you just attack a police officer?" Another pillow hit him again.
"God!" Kathleen Clayton entered through the door, "this is a nightmare." Sam and Jane looked at her. "The building is besieged by the press."
"Don't worry Mrs. Clayton, all they need is another scandal." Jane's partner slightly spoke, "so they would forget the Claytons… by now. You know how the media works."
John's aunt shook her head, Sam Sullivan had one mission, entertain Jane, so she would be deaf to his awful words. "In fact they will have one soon." She sat down on a chair. "There is one more charge against Richard, the murder of the man on his car."
"Kidnap, murder," He pointed to his partner with his index adding, "murder attempt, embezzlement, smuggling and fiscal fraud… I think your brother will end his days into the jail Mrs. Clayton."
"Please, call me Kathleen, Sam." She rubbed her hands on her lap, "unfortunately you're right. Don't get me wrong, he deserves it, but it's hard to accept that your brother is… is a monster." None of them replied, there was nothing to add.
The door opened once again and a huge bouquet of roses appeared. Instantly Kathleen and Sam got up. "Kathleen… would you like to take a cup of coffee?" Sam gallantly offered his arm and without another word they rushed out of the room.
John's blue eyes gazed at the woman on the bed.
He had practiced the speech, what he would say but the words ran away from his brain, it was blank at this moment.
It happened in the other world too, in the dream world, when he was about to ask the same question.
Even he knew her answer, it didn't make it easier. Damn nerves.
He placed the flowers on the table and sat down beside her. Their lips tenderly touched. She wrapped her arm around his neck smiling playfully. "I think we can take a nap…"
His hand caressed her auburn mane. She was still weak but they had the other world, he smirked. "I wonder why you are so eagerly to sleep those past three months…"
She brushed her lips on his neck, "who knows…" He enfolded her pulling her closer. "I missed you."
"I leave just this morning."
"Too much time…"
He sighed closing his eyes. To be close to her was heaven.
He should have prepared a romantic dinner with candles, in a little intimate restaurant but she couldn't freely saunter yet and her diet was restricted too. A dinner with mash potatoes wasn't romantic at all.
Slowly he pulled back, she looked at him. "Why are you nervous?"
It was silly, but he could not control it. He was afraid. He had waited for her all of his life and to be with her was the most important thing in his life. Did her realize it?
He kneeled beside her and took a brown velvet box off his pocket. Her shocked eyes widened meeting his blue gaze, then she smiled wider. "That's why you are nervous." He nodded.
"You are a big wild fool. Do you know that, right?" He opened the box, took the ring and slipped it a long her finger. She didn't need to voice her answer. Her mouth had better things to do with his lips and her hands knew how to speak without words.
She took her time answering and he listened carefully each silent words, each touch. Then he replied in the same way.
The End (fin).