Unfinished Business Series by HeatherTN.
Theme – I always like fanfic that examine character backgrounds, relationships and possibly explore what we might not know about their lives but guess at what drives them. I'm going to try this on our three Nemesis agents, and will attempt to stick to canon as best possible but obviously with some ideas of my own thrown in about their backgrounds.
It's a bit wordy and descriptive, so please also accept my apologies for my lack of experience with dialogue writing. I hope some of you don't mind but I have borrowed some ideas from here about Sharron's family (having three brothers, her late husband's name) and the living arrangements of our Nemesis team (all sharing an apartment). So acknowledgements and thanks to those authors who have originated those ideas, especially Rachael Jurassic, Idontlikegravy, Xenon, Mandi5, as well as other talented authors. Please review and go gentle! This is my first foray in to public FanFic writing! All the tales I have read here are wonderful. Please feel free give me a kick up the backside if I've broken any rules. As said before, this is my first outing! Constructive critism and advice will always be welcome.
The characters and ideas contained within this story are owned by ITC and their creators. I'm only playing with 'em and then will send 'em back home for supper after. No profit or sales to be made from this tale, it's for rabid Champion fan and fanfic fan enjoyment on this site only.
I rate this story as T, for adult themes, some marginal violence, description of medical problems and implied sexual assault.
Story One – Sharron's Little Secret.
The first thing Sharron became aware of was how cold the floor was, that she was lying on. The second was to realise that for some reason bare skin was connecting with the hard surface where there should have been clothing. Carefully, Sharron worked her way through her body, flexing fingers, stretching arms, legs and eventually rolling on to her back. It was then she realised that she was totally naked, not a stitch, and began to shiver not just from the cold but also from fear.
Her eyes snapped open and were hit with the harsh glare of the single but powerful light bulb above her. Slowly Sharron eased herself up onto her elbows and then in to a sitting position. With her vision now clearing she began to fully assess her surroundings.
She was in a featureless room, walls approximately nine to ten feet high, and the width of the room in the same dimensions. That she was in some sort of secure room became obvious with the metal door in front of her, that did not appear to have any sort of handle, lock or other feature, save for a small grill at the bottom. There were no furnishings or items, except for a bucket, and what looked to be a pile of cloth about a foot away to her left, to which Sharron leaned over and grabbed and found to be a coarse blanket. For now it was a welcome cover against the cold and her nudity.
Sharron began to reflect on her situation, and at the same time stretch out her mind to call for help, using the powers and enhancements given to her some years back.
She had been a greenhorn recruit to an organisation called Nemesis, an international counter espionage and security unit that worked with the U.N. and other independent organisations around the world. It was multi-national and engaged in the type of work that often was clandestine, and as Sharron found out, also dangerous. She had joined not long after the death of her husband Paul, who had also been an agent, out of a longing to be close to his work and maybe to the memory of him as well. The reflection caused Sharron to think back on how they first met and her life to date in general.
She had been admitted to Cambridge at age 15 under a special programme for genius level young adults, her interest and skills being in the biological sciences. She dreamed one day of becoming a doctor in medicine, and seemed to cope with the realities of what that could mean in terms of not just with diagnosis but the very adult and sometimes heartbreaking realities of dealing with the sick and injured. Her age counted against her at times, in the fact she was not always treated with the greatest of respect from her peers and tutors.
Also, there were concerns of someone of such a young age having to deal with the human body, but Sharron was quick to learn and mature. She impressed her tutors at the Department of Medicine, especially after her first placement at a local Thoracic hospital, set in the grounds of a once large country estate near Cambridge itself, where the long term effects of tuberculosis of the lung could be devastating.
Despite the availability of a vaccine, there were still those confined for months in hospital, isolated from family and friends, and not all survived. Some of the older staff had also been T.B. sufferers working out their lives in what was once a T.B. colony, their experiences teaching Sharron much in terms of strength and determination. She grew up fast while dealing with the raw reality of chronic illness, death and dealing with the dying.
When back in college between placements, Sharon was voracious with her research work and steamed ahead in her studies, and also her social life. She was to gain the attraction of one colleague in particular, who was tidying up some of his work funded by the United Nations and an organisation out of Geneva, where he worked freelance on 'various projects'.
Paul Macready was an outgoing Scot who charmed the youngest undergraduate student Cambridge had in its ranks at a social. He was a research scientist working through the School of Biological Sciences under contract with the U.N and Nemesis – the Geneva organisation - and had been smitten by the tall blonde seventeen year old Sharron Blaike from Hove in Sussex.
Their attraction was immediate but still he was acutely aware that Sharron was not as naive as her age would suggest, so did not push his luck too much too soon, especially when Sharron informed him that she had three older brothers, two in the Navy and one a structural engineer, and all keen rugby and cricket players.
The meeting of minds developed and a deep friendship formed, the meeting of bodies was not to be long in following, despite the eight year gap in age, leading to a year long courtship. Sharron's family were at first surprised and concerned, then delighted when Paul had impressed them with his feelings for their daughter and his desire to see her fulfil her potential in whatever Sharron had set her mind to do. Paul, unlike most men in the early nineteen sixties, did not feel threatened by successful women and had been proud and humbled by Sharron's achievements so far.
Then one day while resting near a shady bush under a willow tree, after an hysterical attempt on Paul's part in piloting a punt on the River Cam and nearly falling in to the water, he had proposed to her.
"You're what?" Sharron asked, somewhat incredulous, "you want to get married?"
Paul looked away, afraid that she was going to turn him down, and why not, she had her whole life ahead of her.
"I want us to get married, I mean, will you marry me?" He looked in to her deep blue-green eyes, hoping and dreading at the same time.
Sharron had looked away for a moment, inside her heart leaping with joy that Paul had asked, but her serious side would not allow for impulsiveness. She was still very young and Paul had confided to her that some of his freelance work with the Geneva agency could be dicey. Although he was working primarily out of Cambridge, he had to return to Geneva from time to time and could be sent goodness knows where in the world. The risks of his work...
"Yes, yes, I will marry you Paul," Sharon whispered. At that point he literally pounced on her, but Sharron pulled back a little, "on the promise you take care ok, and always be honest with me."
He answered her with a deep kiss.
Other boaters coasting past that part of the embankment noted the sudden flight of some ducks across the water that had been settled on the grass near a bush a minute or so beforehand, but did not hear from behind that bush the giggles, eventually evolving into the moans and sighs of a couple in love.
The cold seeped in to her again, and Sharron was forced to stand on wobbly legs. She had meant to reflect on her current situation, not have her mind drift back to, to...
'Never mind, get a grip Macready!' she silently chided to herself. She had to get back to the assessment because like it or not, Sharron realised that if she were to get help, she needed to be clear about what had happened.
This time she did not drift, but carefully replayed recent events as accurately as her somewhat concussed mind could summon, which had lead to her to being incarcerated, naked and awaiting for something - very likely unpleasant - to happen. Hopefully Craig and Richard would pick up on her distress and come get her. As much as Sharron disliked calling for help because she did not want to be the 'helpless female in trouble', she knew this time she was in over her head. So despite the cold, she stood still and put everything she could in to concentrating her mind.
Sharron had been sent to investigate the increase in stolen drugs from several organisations dealing with international aid. Her medical background meant she could infiltrate but also legitimately work in clinical areas, while investigating the thefts. The regular authorities were at a loss on what was happening, and as the thefts were being committed in various European countries, Nemesis was asked to investigate, given the international agreements and waivers the organisation had, an operative would be more free to follow the various leads and hopefully stop the thefts, now numbering in the hundreds of thousands of francs.
Her task was not that complicated. Sharron was required to gather initial intelligence and set up a more in depth operation. She had been a week in to the investigation and had started to pass on information back to the field office at H.Q. It would have taken another twenty four hours and then she would have been out. But a last minute request from one of the pharmacists at the clinic she had been working in had asked for her help, and then he had quite calmly punched Sharron hard enough in the face to render her unconscious. Right now, she was not far from Geneva, or so she thought, but could not be sure.
'...Listen...I need help...'
That was possibly between four to six hours ago by her rough estimation. Her face was still aching, but at least she could move her jaw and her neck was more mobile as well. She then sat back down on the cold hard floor and hoped to God that Richard, who seemed to be the one to pick up any distress from her more quickly than Craig, would be awake and heading towards Tremayne's office.
With her mind drifting in to her thoughts again, Sharron pondered on how her life had changed so much over the last five years, of being sent to Lucknow in India on her first field assignment with two of Nemesis' more experienced full time operatives, Craig Stirling a 30 year old ex-U.S.A.F pilot and Richard Barrett, nearly a year older than Stirling, a former U.N. Cipher expert and ex-Royal Naval Lieutenant.
When she met up with the two, she had been initially intimidated by the men but soon came to trust them as they undertook their assignment to infiltrate a laboratory in China and bring back larvae samples of a flying insect being developed to carry a more virulent strain of malaria. Sharron had recently completed a graduate programme specialising in microbiology and bacteriology thereby increasing her expertise, her interest being more than she had let on to Richard at that time because talking about her past was still too damn painful. Paul had only been dead for eighteen months...
'No!' she chided again, but the memories continued to flow.
Sharron had graduated early with a first class honours degree in biology, then a doctoral degree in general medicine, completing the task in under four years, including some post registration work, and had set about looking towards a speciality. Post graduate work around Cambridge was easy to find and her academic achievements meant she could pick and choose.
She had considered working back at Papworth more permanently as a part time junior house officer to start with, certainly she would need it to enhance her clinical experience and pay for the somewhat steep fees for the General Medical Council registration. She had married Paul the month before, and both were looking for their first home, living for a time in digs in the centre of Cambridge.
Paul had been commuting back and forth to Geneva and had told Sharron he was giving up that part of his life, planning on resigning after this last trip, so he could settle down, earn some really good cash and make mad passionate love to his adoring, gorgeous, so much more intelligent wife.
Those had been his last words to her at Terminal One at Heathrow. She had somewhat tearfully kissed him goodbye, anticipating his return. But it would be the last time she would see him alive.
Within two months after that, Sharron became a widow, but it was to be another month before she would finally be told, and then there was the other matter...
"NO!" Sharron shouted aloud.
She was not going to go there. She had to concentrate on the here and now. But that was rudely interrupted by the door swinging open and she immediately recognised the face of the pharmacist, Reil Dukov, accompanied by two other men. They stopped momentarily to stare at her, then wordlessly lunged at Sharron dragging her up off the floor, delivering a couple of swift hard punches to her abdomen when she had started to fight them off, with a strength that had completely taken them unawares.
The cold rain pouring down outside the window did little to improve the mood of the woman stood in front of it. It echoed the despair that had been building inside of her, to the point where not even her two closest friends could reach in and help. Sharron had shut them out because she could not face sharing her pain with them. She could barely acknowledge it herself.
Dukov had turned out to be more than just a pharmacist on the make. He had set up his own 'international supply service' of illegally acquired drugs to anyone who could make the price and who would not be worried too much about the source. He was also once a doctor, a gynaecologist to be precise, and had started to torture Sharron to extract information.
After dragging her from her cell and having his men beat the living tar out of her during her already weakened state, Dukov then had Sharron tied down to a medical examination table and her legs strapped to delivery stirrups. What followed next was not so much the pain of being roughly penetrated with a vaginal speculum and other instruments, but what Dukov had discovered about his prisoner's medical history. Still, throughout the ordeal Sharron remained silent. Eventually she was hauled back to her cell. The bucket was still there and she had then spent what seemed forever throwing up in to it.
Craig and Richard had indeed picked up on her distress and managed to find the location where Sharron had been held captive. It was on the outskirts of Geneva, in a disused building previously used to store goods for export. Richard was the first to feel the pain of her being punched, then beaten and had later described how he had nearly thrown up over Tremayne, the head of Nemesis, while demaning that he allow both he and Craig to search for Sharron, while refusing to say why. Tremayne knew better than to argue and had let Richard and Craig fly out of his office to go and get her.
She still marvelled at the powers she had, to be able to call for Richard and Craig telepathically. How all three of them had survived that air crash in the Himalayas while fleeing from Chinese controlled Tibet with the larvae. Of being found and 'healed' for want of a better word by an unknown people, then making their way home having become physically so much stronger and more powerful, with the telepathic abilities shared between them, also given by those who had found them.
Richard had managed to fill in some of the details, but still there was going to be an awful lot to discover and to develop if they were to be able to live with the gifts that had been given to them, put them to good use and remain sane with the unbreakable bond that had formed between them.
One of many difficulties at the start was the somewhat erractic nature of their bond, and trying to be more precise with communicating with each other. Sometimes they were totally in tune, being able to call or project over vast distances, even if unintentionally at times. Yet on other occasions they couldn't communicate even if only one room apart. But eventually over the next four years, their abilities grew and Tremayne, for all his suspicions, finally gave in and just trusted his three top agents to do their job.
They had made a pact not to reveal what had actually happened after the crash, even to the point of allowing one of their own, Craig, to be interrogated by a Nemesis agent specialising in that area, when suspicions were raised over Craig's reports from a case. Craig had endured days of being drugged, baked, nearly frozen and questioned only to escape and find he was being held at the Nemesis H.Q. all along. Although Craig had logically understood that Richard and Sharron could not just go rushing in to help him, he was deeply wounded by the experience and the reality that even at Nemesis H.Q. what was tanamount to torture would not be spared if the organisation considered itself under threat.
That had nearly ripped them apart as friends, but eventually Craig and Richard had made their peace, with a tearful Sharron in tow. They had even taken to sharing an apartment suite, living quite independently of each other, but bound together at the same time in terms that ran beyond friendship and camaraderie.
Another difficulty was privacy and physical function. It could be problematical. Sharron managed a tiny smile at the memory of how Craig and Richard had been totally embarrassed at her explanation of why every so often, they would feel discomfort in their lower abdomens, while also feeling somewhat 'emotional'. Both men had sisters in their families, but neither had even remotely considered that what they were experiencing were echoes of Sharron's menstrual cycle and periods. The looks on their faces when Sharron had correctly deduced what was happening and had gently told them was priceless to say the least. But that seemed to be an age ago when she could function without having to remember...
The boys had broken their way in to the building, smashing anything and anyone who stood in their way and had located the room where Sharron was being held. They had a small amount of plastique explosive with them and had blown the door – four inches of solid steel – and got her out. Richard had been first through the door and had stopped in his tracks when he saw the naked and battered Sharron cowering in a corner.
She had shied away from him initially, and he didn't say one word, merely removing his jacket and placing it about her shoulders, for all that it was not quite adequate to cover her. He then picked her up, brooking no argument, and carried her out. Craig had found the blanket Sharron had used earlier to cover her and they got her out past the police that had arrived, and in to Craig's green Mercedes.
"You've got to let someone take a look at you Love," Richard was trying to talk her in to getting medical help. But the thought of being touched anywhere was repulsive to Sharron at that point, and drew back from him when he had tried to comfort her, "no? Are you sure you just want to get home?"
Sharron remembered seeing Craig's eyes looking momentarily at her in the rear view mirror, expressionless, which usually meant he was white hot with anger inside. But she had started blocking them out at that point so did not pick up on his real feelings. Eventually, she found her voice, hoarse from holding back screams when Dukov had been 'examining' her.
"I'll, I'll be fine. No permanent damage and I'm healing." She had said to Richard then looked away, "I wasn't raped, just..." Sharron couldn't vocalise the rest to her colleagues and friends, and remained silent for the rest of the journey home.
The next two weeks were worse torture than her captivity. She went through debriefing, putting on a brave face while closing the case. Her physical wounds healed quickly but emotionally she was raw with pain. As a result she lost her appetite and could not hold a meal down. She could not sleep but could block herself to Craig and Richard. They knew it and were concerned, but respected her privacy enough not to challenge her too often. But it was beginning to be noticed that her concentration was not up to working and things came to ahead when she passed out during a meeting at H.Q.
That was earlier in the day and she had been sent home after being ordered to attend sickbay. Now, she stood watching the grey cast of rain blurring the lights of Geneva before her. She wished she could cry, but she couldn't, not now because if she did...
Her thoughts were interrupted at the sound of the door to the apartment suite being opened, and Sharron instinctively withdrew back against a wall. Richard's rain soaked head appeared around the door. He had picked up on Sharron's momentary rush of fear.
Cautiously, Richard approached Sharron and he spoke softly to her.
"I heard you fainted at work today Love, and that you refused to let Claudia examine you. Sharron, we're worried sick, Craig and I..." He reached out a hand but quickly drew it back, horrified to see Sharron visibly recoil from him.
"What the hell *did* they do to you Sharron?"
She managed to look up at his face, concern and worry as visible as his bright blue eyes.
"Nothing, nothing. Look please Richard, don't fuss! I'll be ok, just need some time."
At that point Craig entered in, shaking the rain off his coat, smiling brightly, too brightly as if he was trying to lighten the feeling of deep sadness that was beginning to leak out from Sharron, that he was picking up for the first time since her return. It had settled on him heavier than the clouds and rain outside.
"Geez, it's cold and wet out there! C'mon Richard, get the kettle on!" He teased, but stopped smiling at Richard's scowl, then registering Sharron's hunched form.
"I'll do it." Sharron said, moving past Richard towards the kitchen area.
She reached out to pick up a cup but it slipped from her hand and smashed to pieces on the floor. She bent down to pick up the pieces and in the process, cut her hand. Richard and Craig were by her side in a flash, both trying to help her up.
"For God's sake you two, will you just STOP it! I'm alright dammit! I'm not fatally wounded!"
But Richard was having none of it. Grabbing a tea towel he began to wrap it around Sharron's hand, noting how badly it was shaking. It was now or never. Craig looked up at him and nodded his silent agreement.
"Sharron, you are not alright! You are ill and had been blocking us now for a week or more. You're pale, you're not sleeping and I bet you haven't eaten properly for ages."
Sharron drew back and stood quickly, and let rip, her anger coming out at both of them with terrible ferocity.
"I am all right! I have a bit of a bother and then all of a sudden, poor girly Sharron can't cope! The poor helpless female eh! Is that what you both want me to be, helpless! The lady in peril tied to the rail tracks so that the heroes can get her free in time, is that it!" She was visibly shaking, her anger intensifying.
Richard firmly grabbed Sharron by her arms. "This has nothing to do with your gender, or you being 'weak'! Out of all of us, you're the strongest believe it or not! Good God woman, if Craig and I have even so much of a scratch or the slightest problem, you're on us like a shot! You have healed both of us when we have needed it, whether we've liked it or not!"
Sharron had started to push Richard away, but he held firm, his voice steady and strong.
"I am worried sick about you. Craig is worried sick about you! You're closed off, losing weight, getting paler by the day and neither of us need to be telepathically bonded to you to guess that whatever happened back there hasn't severely hurt you in some way. Look, no one wants to intrude, but you're not alright, you're in pain and all we want to do is to help you if we can! Please Sharron! Let us help you!" Richard pleaded.
At that point, Sharron could no longer keep up her shield. She began to shake and her knees felt week. Her memories of Paul and what happened after came flooding back in full horrible Technicolor force, memories she had kept stuffed down so deep for so long. Her resolve crumbling, she began to sag in Richard's arms.
"Alright, alright, alright," she said, her voice barely a whisper. "You want to know, then I'll tell you both, no one else. But it will only be the once, you both understand?"
At that point her legs finally gave way. Craig and Richard grabbed her and helped her to a sofa. Both men sat either side of her, as Sharron began to rock back and forth, her hands pulling at the tie of her dressing gown. She felt so small and lost and not for the first time that day had to will herself speak. Her head hung low.
"Richard, do you remember just before we crashed, the discussion we had about my file? I told you then I couldn't talk about Paul's death, because it was just too painful. But there is another reason why, something not mentioned in that file."
She raised her head up and both men were shocked to see tears pouring from her dark rimmed eyes.
"What Dukov did to me was not pleasant, but it was bearable. No, it's what he found out about me, something in my past that's hurting so much, something I've buried so deep.."
Sharron's voice began to falter. She paused momentarily while Craig fetched a drink, accepting it with a silent gratitude.
Giving a deep sigh, she continued. "Paul and I had only been married a month or so when he left for his final mission. He was set to leave Nemesis after that, but as we all know he didn't return. Not long after he had left, I found... I found I was pregnant. I hadn't heard from him in ages and no one could tell me what was happening, so I had to just sit and wait."
Richard and Craig shot each other a look, "Go on Love." Richard quietly prompted.
Sharron waved one of her hands momentarily as if she were trying to clear something from the air.
"I didn't tell anyone at the time, because I wanted Paul to be the first to know when he came home. I wanted, so much for him to know."
At this point Sharron began to cry softly.
"I was at my parents place when the news came through later, that not only had Paul been killed, but that he had been dead for some time. Mum and Dad were with me, so were my brothers. Then I had gone to bed and awoke during the night..."
Sharron paused for a moment, then took a deep breath, her eyes glassy, focused elsewhere in a memory that no longer could be buried.
"I awoke to find that I was bleeding. I called out to my parents and an ambulance was called, but it was too late...the baby. I lost my baby, I had a miscarriage there and then. Oh God, I lost my baby, all I had left of Paul, right there. We, we would have had a son. I was just over four months pregnant..."
At that point Sharron could no longer continue and dissolved into deep breath catching sobs.
Richard put his arms around her and held her tightly, quietly rocking with her. Craig drew a deep sigh and sat back, speechless. His own mind reeling at what he had just heard. Sharon had only just turned twenty one when they all had first met, and she had been through all of that at such a young age. He reached out and grabbed her hand, trying to project his care and concern.
Richard had felt his own heart break. His memory of what he had said to her on that flight coming back to haunt him. He had tried to be reassuring by saying she would marry again, that Paul Macready had been dead for a long time. He should have known better, as he had suffered his own devastating losses just after being recruited to work at Nemesis, and two years was no time at all in terms of grief.
Eventually, Sharron calmed down enough to continue talking.
"What set this all off, was when Dukov assaulted me. He had enough medical experience to know I had been pregnant at some point. He had great fun at my expense with his goons, telling them that because there were no children noted in my file - oh yes, he managed to get information about me - he said I must have had an abortion or something. That I must have wanted the baby dead...but I didn't want my baby dead, I didn't, I didn't! I wanted my son and my husband home with me, safe, not dead, ever!"
Richard found his sight blurred with his own tears, as Sharron's raw agony flamed across their bond. He looked momentarily at Craig, whose face was ashen as he too felt the intensity of her emotional pain. For a long while, all they could do was hold on to and try to project comfort to Sharron while she wept for the loss of her husband and son, for the memories she had buried so deep to the point where she had not allowed herself to grieve because she was afraid that if she did, she would go mad. And now for the shame she was feeling for denying that grief for so long.
"Shhhhh, s'ok Sharron, you'll be ok, You're safe with us. We won't tell anyone, promise." Richard whispered quietly, holding her and rocking with her.
Craig finally found his own voice, cracked but it was there, "Don't ever think yourself weak kiddo. You've got more guts, to have gone through all of that and yet still have the courage to... No, Sharron, you're not weak, never have been, never will be."
Eventually, the sobs subsided and Sharron looked up at both her friends and bond mates. The love and concern radiating out from the two men with her was almost overwhelming, and yet so very comforting. With that Sharron finally allowed herself to grieve and mourn for the loss of her darling husband Paul, and her unborn son.
Cambridge, United Kingdom, Six Months later.
'It's a beautiful Autumn day,' Sharron thought, as she quietly made her way along the path to Paul's final resting place. Although she had returned to work soon after her incident, She eventually had to take temporary medical leave from her duties due to stress. She still had to give time for her healing, time to set her life in order and to move forward.
Her grieving would last forever it would seem, but already Sharron was learning to live with that fact. She thought that Paul would be most surprised to find that his young, more intelligent, gorgeous Widow had actually completed the mission he had set out to do eighteen months before hand. What Sharron had asked not be revealed to Craig and Richard before the mission, was that she had begged Tremayne to officially 'ask' her to come on this assignment, so that she could finish the work Paul had set out to do.
Ironically, Paul had never made it to China, having been murdered by enemy agents who had picked up on the proposed infiltration before he had chance to depart from India. His body had been hidden until found a month later, and was only identified by remnants of his clothing and dental records.
After her devastating losses, Sharron had thrown herself in to every and any course to do with microbiology, bacteriology, entomology, tropical diseases and anything else she could squeeze in, qualifying and quickly gaining theoretical expertise in those areas. Tremayne had been reluctant to take on not only a very young woman, but also the widow of one of the freelance scientists occasionally used by Nemesis as experts. But she had proven herself with her knowledge, determination and zeal for research. When the time came for a second attempt at the mission, Dr. Sharron Macready had not held back in fighting to be trained up and allowed to assist with the operation.
Sharron had chosen to keep Paul's surname but asked be referred to as 'Miss' rather than 'Mrs' or 'Doctor'. At the time, it was to hide her marital status from those who did not know and who would ask too many questions. Now at least, whatever her civil status, she would still have something of Paul, even if only his surname.
Soon, she found herself in front of a large gravestone. She knelt down and placed a small posy of flowers at the foot of the monument.
"Hi Paul, sorry it's been so long my love," she said, "but I have had some hard lessons to learn, and in the process nearly lost you forever."
Pausing momentarily, she continued.
"It's been rough, very rough without you here but I think I am finally growing up. I have managed to finish what you started out to do, and have made some wonderful friends on the way. And oh what an adventure it's been! But somehow, it'll never replace you or what might have been for us. But I have to move on now because I can't honour your memory by being stuck in one place. I love you and always will."
She stood up and turned to leave, but paused momentarily, looking back, "And if you happen to meet up with a little boy over there, I've named him Robbie, will you tell him that I love him and miss him too? He's our son but I guess you already know that."
Gently blowing another kiss at her husband's grave, Sharron finally turned away and walked back towards the exit road of the cemetery where Richard was waiting.
"You ok Macready?" Richard asked, as he opened the door of the Alfa for her.
He had kept a respectful distance while Sharron was paying her respects to her husband. She had asked if he and Craig would come over to England with her while she set about doing what she needed to do. Craig had to attend another assignment, but Richard was happy to oblige.
He had his own fences to mend with losses incurred, but that was another issue all together. For now, he was to be friend and comforter to the most beautiful woman he had ever met, and one he would always feel privileged to be around. He had his own unfinished business with his own past, but now was not the time.
Sharron looked at him and smiled, radiating a gratitude that could not be expressed in mere words. She had finally closed the case for Doctor Paul Macready, and in the process had opened so many doors for herself.