Minyadagniriel

Dual Wield

Dear readers, this story is told a little differently from my previous chapters. Please enjoy! Also, the music I chose for one scene is a song called 'Swimming' from the Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron soundtrack by Hans Zimmer. Feel free to play it when I mention the song in the chapter, it's so beautiful and on youtube. Also, this chapter is super long.

November 30th.

"Geez Leo, is it really necessary to do exercises this early in the morning? And outside of all places! I'm freezing!" Mikey complained.

"It's necessary for our training. We fight in all seasons," Leo explained.

"Can't I just wait in the battle shell?" Mikey begged and pulled his jacket tightly around himself.

"If we gotta suffer through this bro, you do too," Raph said angrily. He was rubbing his gloved hands together, hoping the friction would do them good.

"But it's so much warmer in there!"

"Shut up Mikey! It's four am…and I ain't in no mood to deal with your bitchin'."

"Please Leo! Donny's hangin' out in there. Just for a few minutes?" Mikey cried to his oldest brother.

"That's because he's wrapping his hand. He'll be right back out. Now attack me again," Leo commanded.

Clearly upset, Mikey did as he was told and flew at his brother, swinging his nun chucks.

Visibility was a bit difficult as they were out near the harbor. A few street lamps were scattered here and there and the water's surface was dim.

Raph stood by the edge of the dock, watching his little brother get his ass kicked and briefly glanced out at the water. He couldn't make it out, but there was an object moving on the water's surface several hundred feet out there. Curiously, he wondered what it was. It was way too early in the morning for anyone to be out there. He watched as the small object slowly moved through the waters and pulled his shell cell out of his coat pocket. He dialed up Donny, who was still in the battle shell.

Inside, Donny had just finished cleaning the cut on his hand and had it all wrapped up in gauze. He got nicked while attacking Raph. The sai sliced up through his middle finger, not deep enough to require stitches thank goodness. Don hated having to stitch himself up and his brothers didn't have steady enough hands to do it for him in the past. He had just barely finished taping the gauze when his cell rang.

Don sighed, "Figures…" and he yanked out his cell, looking at the id and flipping it open, "Raph you know I'm only a few feet away from-"

"Can you shine a light out on the water?" Raph interrupted.

"Huh?"

"Just do it, I wanna see somethin'."

"O-kay…" Don stated and he wandered to the front of the vehicle to flip a switch which allowed an overhead light to rise from the roof.

Outside Raph waited for the light to shine out on the water. He paid no attention to his two other brothers who were calling out to him.

"Raph, you gonna give me a hand? I'm trying to defeat Leo here," Mikey complained.

Raph ignored him.

"Raph? What are you looking at?" Leo asked, stopping his attack on Mikey and sheathed his swords.

"I don't know what it is, but somethin's out there," Raph said and pointed towards the harbor.

The battle shell light scanned over the waves and eventually stopped on the object, which was now stationary.

Leo squinted, trying to get a better look. He then saw movement from the object, "It's a boat, looks like there's someone in it."

"This early in the morning?" Mikey asked.

"That's weird," Leo stated.

The guys could see a figure moving around in the tiny dinghy. It looked to be standing up and moving to the bow, and then a set of arms spread out…

"What is he doing?" Mikey asked, confused.

The figure then paused for a moment and then…fell into the frigid waters.

"Oh my god!" Leo cried and he rushed for the water, "Raph tell Donny to get the med kit out! Mikey, help Don!"

Raph, still holding his shell cell, quickly redialed Don while Leo dove into the icy harbor. The water was so cold; it attacked Leo's body like a million knives stabbing him all at once. He ignored the agonizing pain and swam out as fast as he could but the person had already sunk beneath the surface. He would have to dive down. Leo inhaled, filling his lungs to capacity and disappeared beneath the surface. It was so dark…

He swam down deeper and reached his arms out, feeling around for a body. Minutes passed by and Leo had to resurface once before going back down. He had to find them soon or he would be forced to go back to shore before hypothermia struck him. The person would be lost to the harbor. In a last ditch effort, he swam down a little more and eventually touched something that felt like fabric. He grabbed a handful and made for the surface, feeling the weight of a human slowing down his ascent. When he made it all the way up, he struggled to get a grip on the human, due to their waterlogged clothes. He had to get their coat off before it dragged them both back down. Leo removed one of his swords and sliced down the front and back of the person's coat and he tore it off. It turned out that victim was a female. The swim to shore was much easier now that she wasn't overloaded.

Raph and Mikey were waiting at the dock and they assisted Leo with getting the unconscious woman out. Raph took the human, carrying her bridal style and ran towards the battle shell where Don waited with a first aid kit. Raph shoved the girl through the back doors and into Don's waiting arms. He laid her on the floor of the battle shell and pushed her ashy brown hair out of her face and immediately shoved a tube down her throat to clear out excess water. Her lifeless eyes stare up into the ceiling.

"I think we're gonna need somethin' a lot stronger than a first aid kit…" Raph said as he watched his younger brother work.

Mikey stayed behind to help Leo to the vehicle and they were both ripping away at Leo's clothes. He had to take everything off and get warm quick before he too would need medical attention.

Leo was breathing hard and his teeth chattered. Mikey then rummaged through the cabinets lining the floor for blankets, tossing one to the shivering turtle.

Don was feeling the girl's neck for a pulse…nothing, "Shit…" He quickly got up and tore through an upper cabinet, "Get everything off of her! Mikey get a blanket on her and start drying!"

Leo was already wrapped up himself, "D…Donny…will…s-she be…o-kay?" he struggled to say through his extreme chills.

"Hard to say, she was under a very long time," Donny replied hastily and he pulled down a large kit from the cabinet.

Raph had used a sai to carefully slice down the girl's front, cutting away all of her clothes. He ripped off the shredded material until she was nude. Mikey then draped a blanket on her tiny body and tried to dry her off.

The large kit contained a defibrillator and Don quickly put the mechanism together and squeezed a gel onto the paddles, "Pull the blanket down, it has to go on bare skin!"

Mikey tugged on the blanket, exposing the girl's bare chest so Don could place the paddles correctly, one at center chest above her right breast and the other to the left of her ribcage, just under the other breast. Don then watched the heart rate monitor on the machine and waited for it to signal him. The machine beeped, "Clear!" he shouted.

Mikey and Raph backed away, Leo watched from a chair in the back of the vehicle.

The girl's chest convulsed with the electric shock and Don glanced at the monitor…the heart rate line was still flat. He dropped the paddles and then placed both hands on her chest and started compressions. After thirty of them, he tilted her head back, pinched her nose, and covered her mouth with his…giving her two puffs of air. He repeated this for another minute before checking her neck again…still nothing. Once again he tried shocking her.

Mikey was now up and pacing around, a worried look on his face. He hated it when things like this happened. He's seen people die before and wished there was a way he could have saved them all. Now there was another life on the line…

Another round of compressions and breaths of air passed…Don was beginning to lose hope. "She's not responding…" He tried another minute of CPR and checked for a pulse…nothing.

Raph slowly backed away, a bit of dread now passing over him. He glanced up at Mikey, who had his eyes closed in sadness.

Don stopped working…and peered down at the poor soul. She looked so young, maybe around twenty. He then carefully pulled up the blanket; covering her chest and then sliding it further up to cover her face.

Leo's anger was boiling up and he threw off his blanket and rushed to the floor by the girl's side, "We can't give up yet!" he said angrily and pulled the blanket back down.

"Leo," Raph said, exasperated, "She's gone!"

"No! Don, shock her again!" Leo commanded.

"Leo…" Don began, trying to bring his brother to reason.

"Do it!"

Don shook his head, but did as he was told and replaced the paddles on her chest. He waited for the beep, "Clear!"

Leo backed off and waited.

She convulsed again and Leo immediately started chest compressions, "C'mon breathe!" he shouted at her. After another minute of CPR, "Again Donny!"

Don repeated shocking her, this time twice, "Leo…" he sighed.

Another breath of air was given to her by Leo and he was becoming furious, "God damn you, breathe!" He then grabbed the girl by the shoulders and started to shake her, "Fight dammit!" None of his brothers had ever seen him act like this. He then smacked the girl across the face and suddenly her eyelids closed.

All four turtles stopped their movements to focus on her. Her lids were twitching.

Still holding her by the shoulders, Leo started talking gently to her, "C'mon back…you can do this. Breathe in…c'mon…"

The girl's head started lolling side to side.

"C'mon…" Raph said.

"You can do it…" Mike then said eagerly.

The girl's eyes squeezed tightly and then blinked several times. Then she started to strain…and finally coughed really hard. She'd caught her breathe but it rushed into her lungs so fast that she panicked. Leo had to hold her arms down so she wouldn't hurt herself.

Mikey started to cheer and he patted Leo on the shell.

Don smiled and started to assist the girl. He pulled a mask and air bag out of the first aid kit and covered her nose and mouth, helping her to breathe.

Her eyes were darting back and forth at them until they fell on Leo. He was talking gently to her. "You did it," he said.

Leo reached across her to Don and squeezed his brother's shoulder with contentment, "Good job bro."

Don continued squeezing the bag, "Hey…you did your part, we almost gave up…"

Leo smiled.

The girl then found herself exhausted and fell asleep right on the floor. The guys gave her a few extra blankets and a pillow, making a makeshift bed. She would need additional help that the turtles couldn't provide for hypothermia.

Raph took charge of the battle shell and drove to the nearest hospital where Don bundled himself up. Everything was hidden except for his eyes. It was still very early morning so the hospital was a bit quieter. He carried the sleeping girl into the emergency waiting room and laid her across a couple of chairs. She would be alright now. He then snuck back outside and into the car.

The morning light would be coming in a while so the guys returned to their home for the day, with feelings of triumph.

Several hours later, the turtles were lazing about the lair. Mikey was online…again. Raph snacked away at a bag of chips and watched a rerun of Fear Factor on the tube. Leo was pacing around behind the couch, deep in thought. His mind focused on that girl they saved. Why in the world would she have jumped out of a boat and into New York's harbor in the beginning of winter? Was it suicide? That had to be it…

Donny had then entered the lair carrying a pile of shredded clothing, "Looks like these aren't salvageable…thanks to Raph's skills.

Raph only raised a hand in the air and waved at Don, "Your welcome."

Leo shook his head, "Those are the girl's?"

Don nodded, "Yeah I was seeing if there was anything left in the battle shell that belonged to her besides her clothes. All I found was a soaked letter in her jeans pocket." Don handed the envelope to Leo, "Maybe you can get it open without destroying it."

"Isn't it illegal to open another person's mail?" Leo asked.

"Yes, but if you want to return it, the letter inside might have an address on it. It could be important."

Leo shrugged and he removed one of his katana and carefully slipped the tip of the blade across the top of the envelope and opened it. He slid out the folded letter and gently peeled the paper apart until he saw handwriting. As suspected, there was an address at the top along with a name, Lydia Vaughn. Sheer curiosity told him to read the rest of the letter. The further down he got, the sadder the expression on his face.

"What is it?" Donny asked. He dropped his armful of sopping clothes on the floor in a heap.

"It's an eviction notice, poor girl…no wonder she tried to kill herself." Leo then laid the paper down on the coffee table to dry out. "She probably felt that she had no option."

"True," Don agreed, "Whenever we lost a home, we only had to find a new sewer or this abandoned water station and we don't pay rent. It really sucks to be human."

Raph then interrupted, "Hey guys check it out! There's a story about the girl we brought back to life this mornin'."

Leo and Don joined their brother on the couch while Mikey turned around in his chair. All eyes were glued to the TV. A picture of the girl was flashed on the screen.

"In other news, a young woman who was found in a hospital waiting room is currently being treated for hypothermia and is said to be doing well. The interesting thing about her is that she has no idea how she got to the hospital to begin with. Nor does she remember anything about her ordeal before being found. Police are trying to get in touch with any family members or anyone that may know her. If you have any information, please call this line…"

"It's probably for the best that she doesn't remember anything," Don said. He crossed his arms and relaxed into the couch cushions.

Internally Leo agreed but he still wanted to return the paperwork they dug out of the girl's clothes.

A week later…

Leo spent a few hours meditating and training by himself. It was almost night time and he would be going to the address listed on the letter. He already told Don he would be going alone and left his brother in charge.

According to the letter, this girl lived on the other side of Manhattan. Leo leapt from rooftop to rooftop, using extreme stealth. The night air was cold and the sky was cloudy, providing him with extra cover and keeping most humans indoors. His pulled the collar of his coat tighter against his neck and readjusted his hat.

It was snowing again…so beautiful.

The girl lived in a small one bedroom apartment on the ground floor. Leo felt it would be the easiest just to act like a regular human and knock. Hopefully she would be home from the hospital and awake by now. He made sure his collar hid most of his face and rewrapped his scarf to cover his muzzle. It was unusual for him to take this approach…his father would never approve, however sneaking in such a tiny place would mean his chances of being caught were high and he didn't want to frighten the poor girl.

It was nine thirty pm. He was about to knock until he heard a sound coming from the other side of the door. Is that piano music? He didn't want to interrupt if she was listening to something. At home it drove him crazy when one of his brothers did it to him. He waited patiently for several minutes until the song stopped and then tapped his knuckles on the door. There was a brief moment of shuffling behind the door and finally, it cracked open…there she was.

"Can I help you?" she asked, almost innocently.

"Yes, I'm delivering this to…"

She then cut into his sentence, "I've already gotten my eviction notice, and can't you guys from the office just leave me alone? I've got enough to stress about trying to find a new job! I mean, do you even know what time it is?"

She said that as if trying to bite his head off but he knew that they weren't meant for him, "Oh I'm not from the office. You dropped this and I wanted to return it." He held out the envelope.

She took it from him, "I've got plenty of those things, you should have just destroyed it," she said, annoyed. She looked over the letter, "Did you open this?"

Leo felt a little sheepish, "Only to find the address," he lied. He really didn't need her wrath if she were to know he read the entire letter. He watched her study the envelope and a twinge of dread overcame him.

"Hang on a sec; this is the letter I was carrying a week ago before my accident. How did you get this?"

Oh shit were the first words that came to his mind, did she remember him somehow? He remembered her briefly looking at him the day he rescued her and she passed out shortly after being revived. He hoped that she'd have forgotten by now. "Well, I just-"

She then did something completely unexpected and ripped his hat off, "I knew it, you are real! At first I thought I was dreaming and then I just thought it was hallucinations. You're the one I saw when I woke up!" She looked over his features, "Are you an alien? Because if you are, I could really use an abduction right now. Or at least my apartment manager does."

A small smile appeared on Leo's face, "No, I'm not an alien, sorry. I'm just an honest turtle who wanted to bring something of yours back. Now that I have, I'd better be going."

"Wait, wait…" she said, touching his shoulder before he could turn around to leave, "Before you go, can I ask you a few things first? You can come in, I'll make hot chocolate," she said, hoping that would entice him.

Hot cocoa did sound good and he was starting to get a little chill. It wouldn't hurt to at least humor the girl, "Alright, but not for too long."

She stepped aside and opened the door fully to allow him entrance.

"Thank you for your generosity," Leo said kindly and he followed her inside and removed his snow boots. "My name is Leonardo and you are?" he asked, though he already knew her name.

"Call me Lydia."

The apartment was filled with boxes, most of them packed and placed in corners of the living room. There were some empty ones still in need of building and packing. Packing peanuts littered the carpets and there were scissors lying on the coffee table.

"Sorry about the mess, I don't really have time to clean up for guests these days," she explained. She led Leo into the kitchen and offered him a chair, "Why don't you take all that stuff off, you must be getting hot."

"Um…" Leo fidgeted, feeling slightly uncomfortable.

"C'mon, I won't laugh or scream if that's what you're thinking. I already saw you once…though I thought I was dreaming. Plus this is New York, nothing surprises me."

"I can agree with that. Just please keep my presence a secret." He then removed his scarf and draped it over the back of the chair and followed suit with the rest of his clothes.

She retrieved two mugs from a cupboard and took a box of unsweetened Hershey's chocolate out of the pantry. "I make all my cocoa from scratch, hope you don't mind." She pulled a bag of sugar down from the top shelf.

"No I don't mind." Leo had finished undressing.

As she boiled some milk, she sized him up. He was about the same height she was and he had the prettiest emerald skin. His carapace had a brownish hue and a nice swirl pattern down the back. There was also a chunk of his shell missing right behind his left shoulder which appeared to give him a little more character. She wondered how he got that, "What happened to your shell? There's a huge piece missing."

Leo looked over his left shoulder, remembering the battle which he sustained the injury, "It was a result from a fight between me and an old enemy. I was stabbed and the sword managed to crack right through the shell."

"Oh…a battle? I'm sorry to hear that."

"Don't worry about it. So, you said you had questions for me?" Leo asked.

Lydia brought two hot mugs of cocoa over to the table and sat down across from him, sliding one of the drinks his way, "Careful it's hot."

"Thanks," he said and graciously brought the mug to his lips, sipping the chocolaty delight. It was delicious, "This is really good." He took another sip.

Lydia looked into her half empty mug, staring at the foam sticking to the sides and she finally asked, "Why did you save me?"

He nearly spit out his drink. Was she serious? He choked a little, getting the cocoa down the rest of the way before managing to say, "Because…*cough*…I value all life, including yours. Why were you trying to kill yourself?"

She hesitated and then got up from her chair. She placed her mug in the sink, "Don't worry about it."

"I think I'm entitled to some answers for saving you," Leo stated.

"I'm not ready to divulge that information to you."

She attempted to leave the kitchen, however a hand wrapped around her right wrist, stopping her. "Please let go of me." She tried tugging her hand out of his grasp.

"Not until you answer my question. I'll answer anything you have for me, but you need to humor me too," Leo said, still not releasing her. "Why did you try to…"

"Please don't make me answer that," she replied, tears now threatening to fall down her cheeks.

"It's nothing to be ashamed of." Leo then gently squeezed her wrist, trying to show he meant to help her but she ended up flinching. "That was odd," Leo thought, "I didn't squeeze that hard." He let go of her, "Sorry I didn't mean to hurt you," he said. When he brought his hands up to show he didn't mean any harm, he noticed a small trickle of red fluid sliding down his wrist. "What the?" It was blood and definitely not his, "Are you bleeding?"

"It's getting late," she said, trying to change the subject.

"Wait, wait a minute…you're hurt," he replied, "Let me help you."

"No it's alright, really I promise." She then tried to leave the kitchen, but a certain turtle used his skills to leap in front of her, blocking the doorway. He placed a hand on her shoulder.

"I just want to help you," he said.

"I don't need any help," she claimed and tears spilled down her cheeks.

"I think you do, I can see the turmoil in your eyes." Leo's hand traveled down to her wrist and he flipped her arm over. He then tugged up her long sleeve, revealing a red stained bandage wrapped all the way up to her elbow. She was cutting herself. "Why do you do this to yourself?" he questioned, a serious look of concern now embraced his features, "Why do you yearn for death?" He then removed one of his swords and carefully slit apart her bandages. When the sliced material fell away, he saw the huge gash marks running long ways up and down her arms. It was serious, "You need a doctor. This is really bad."

"I'm not going. I've had enough of doctors."

"Please, you have to go. I don't want you to bleed to death," Leo said sternly.

"No. I haven't cut myself deep enough to kill yet."

"Yet? Lydia…"

She tried to pull her arm away but Leo held on, "Fine, then I'm going to have someone come to us," he said.

"No, why do you have to go butting into my life? If I want to off myself, I'm gonna do it! You can't control me!"

"Can you at least tell me why?" Leo asked again.

"It's none of your business!" she shouted and then struggled to free her arm.

Leo was done playing and he needed to get her some sort of help. He then locked her arm behind her back and used one of his feet to buckle her knees. She was now face-down on the floor, crying out while Leo squatted. He placed a knee into her back, careful not to hurt her and held her there. With his free hand he yanked his cell out of his belt and dialed for Donny. It rang twice before his brother answered.

"Hey Leo, what's up?"

"Donny, can you make a trip over to this girl's apartment and bring medical supplies to treat lacerations?"

"Sure, did something happen?"

"I'll tell you when you get here. Here's the address…oh and bring sedatives…"

Thirty minutes passed by before Don arrived. He found it really weird seeing Leo sitting on top of a screaming girl to which he commented, "I don't wanna know."

She was struggling so much that Donny had to put her out first in order to even look at her. The medicine he gave kept her aware but she was almost asleep. Her eyelids were nearly closed and her limbs felt incredibly heavy.

Leo picked her up bridal style and carried her into the master bedroom so Don could assess her. He placed her on the queen-sized bed and pulled the blankets up to her waist. Her arm was a mess and needed cleaning. Don had Leo fetch a few washcloths and the two of them worked to wash away all the dried blood and cover the arm with antiseptic.

"This arm is a mess. She's gonna need stitches, a lot of them," Donny commented. He then proceeded to giving Lydia a pain killer and then retrieved a sterilized needle and medical thread from his med-kit. "She didn't cut up her other arm did she? Can you check?"

Leo did as his brother asked and yanked up Lydia's other sleeve. "Looks like it." Leo sighed as he once again cut off her bandages. Her left arm wasn't as bad as her right.

"Go ahead and clean up that arm," Don said as he started threading the poor girl's right arm. Her skin was very swollen and red around the lacerations, but he managed to stitch it back together. "She must have done this today…the wounds are very fresh." He then wrapped a thick bandage around the injury and started working on the other arm with Leo. "Did she tell you why she did this? Maybe we can help."

"No, she won't tell me. I'm also not comfortable leaving her alone in case she tries something else."

"We can't stay up here Leo."

"I know that," Leo said thoughtfully, "But perhaps she could come with us, just for a couple weeks until the eviction is over with and she heals. We can help get her back on her feet."

"Master Splinter may not like this…"

"True but you know how he is; he'll want to do everything he can to help save a life."

Don nodded in agreement. He had just finished with Lydia's other arm and laid it down on the bed. "There, it's gonna be at least ten days before I can remove he stitches and I do think we should bring her with us. I'll call ahead to let the guys know. We're gonna need help moving her things."

Several hours later…

Master Splinter was very welcoming to the young, still half unconscious woman. When Don had called, he was a little skeptical about letting his sons bring home another human but the situation was dire.

Raph and Mikey assisted Leo with moving all of Lydia's things into storage. There was plenty of room around the battle shell. She didn't have much to begin with…boxes of dishes, two suitcases of clothing, a grand piano, a table with two chairs, and her bed with matching dresser. Leo felt it necessary to at least keep the piano in the lair itself so it would avoid being damaged.

Lydia was given her own space in Donatello's lab where he could watch her and treat her wounds easily. He of course gave her a cot and placed curtains around it for her privacy. They stacked her suitcases underneath the cot where she could get them. Still under heavy sedation, most likely asleep now, Don carried the girl into the lab and placed her on the cot, tugging up a blanket to her chest.

It was nearly morning…the guys had been up all night helping this girl and they decided to crash for the night. Don planned to sleep in the lab where he could periodically check her. He wound up falling asleep at his computer desk, head buried under a pile of papers.

When he finally awoke around noon he jolted upright, completely forgetting he had a guest in the lab with him until he glanced at the white curtains. Still tired, Don didn't get his footing right away and fell out of his chair, landing on his backside. Rubbing his behind, he pulled himself to his feet and stumbled over to the curtains. He didn't want to surprise the girl so he called gently, "Miss, are you awake?"

There was no answer.

"Miss?" he asked again.

Nothing. Don then slowly peeked into the curtains. She was gone. What the hell? Don panicked and smacked himself in the forehead. He hadn't watched her close enough! He then rushed out of the lab in search of her. He sped through the living room and into the kitchen. He briefly glanced in his brother's rooms…still nothing. Only the guys were present, save for Leo. There was one place left…Master Splinter's room. Don tiptoed up to the sliding shoji screens and placed his ear up against one of them. Sure enough, there were whispers coming from inside but Don couldn't really hear anything.

Twenty minutes had passed before the doors slid open and Leo stepped out first, followed by Lydia. She looked dazed, thanks to the sedatives. Relieved she hadn't caused herself any further damage, Don walked backwards ahead of them, scanning her arms as she held them outstretched. She wobbled a bit as she walked and Leo helped to support her until they reached the kitchen. Don pulled a chair out for her and she took a seat, folding both arms on the table and putting her head down.

Leo then took to getting something for her to eat. He fetched some bread out of the fridge and tossed two pieces in the toaster.

Lydia didn't say a word as Don sat down next to her, still assessing her condition. Her skin color was not so pale anymore and he noticed that she didn't bleed through her bandages, a good sign that he stitched her up correctly.

The toast popped and Leo pulled a few items out of their cupboards, peanut butter, apple butter, and raspberry preserves. He brought the toast and potential toppings to the table for her. "I don't know what you like so help yourself," he said calmly.

Lydia found the strength to lift her head and she reached for the apple butter. Leo provided her with a knife and she slowly began scooping the delicious spread on one slice.

The three of them sat at the table in an awkward silence, until Mikey finally appeared. He was listening to music on his headphones and bobbing his head to the beat, a huge grin to match his stride.

"Your certainly in a good mood this morning," Don commented.

However, Mikey didn't hear him and strut his stuff all the way to the fridge. He opened it and pulled out a carton of milk, quickly taking a swig from it.

"Mikey! We have a guest you know! Can't you use a glass like the rest of us?" Leo stated, slightly embarrassed in front of Lydia.

"It's okay…"

Leo turned his head, surprised to hear Lydia's voice once again.

"Oh so she can talk," Don teased, "I was getting concerned."

"Easy Don," Leo said, "How are you feeling?" he asked the exhausted Lydia.

"Like I fell off the back of a truck. I can't see straight…" Her hand flew up to her temple.

"That's a result of the meds. You're going to feel like this for a few days, at least until you're healed. I'm sorry Lydia, but we're going to make sure you stay relaxed as long as possible…which includes the use of sedatives," Don said.

She bit her now slightly cold toast, struggling to stay alert. It was a chore to swallow and she only made it through one piece before giving up.

Mikey then sat down at the table with an armful of breakfast cereals, the carton of milk, and a bowl. He proceeded to pouring three different cereals together and adding milk. Lydia watched as the turtle began munching his way through fruit loops, cocoa puffs, and cinnamon toast crunch. She cringed.

Don smiled at her confused look, "You'll get used to it," referring to his goofy younger brother.

After Mikey finished, he briefly glanced at the girl, "Hi there!"

"Hi," she replied softly.

"So what happened to your arms?" Mikey asked stupidly.

"Oh um…" she stuttered.

"Mikey!" Leo shouted and whacked his brother on the head, "Be polite!"

"Ow!" Mikey cried, "I was just curious!" He rubbed the sore spot at the base of his skull.

"It's all right…I'll tell him later," she said, "For now, I just want to rest." She slowly got out of her chair, with Leo's assistance and the two of them made their way into the living room where she claimed a spot on the couch. She leaned into the armrest and Leo sat down in the middle and flipped on the television.

While he was watching the news, Lydia sat there, deep in thought of her situation. She peered down at her arms and how well taken care of they were. Don certainly was handy.

December 24th …

Leo had woken up to the sound of a piano playing softly. He rubbed the sleep from his eyes and rolled out of bed, heading towards the music. Over the past week, the guys had decorated the lair and were in joyful moods, even Raphael…which was rare. He wandered down into the living room and spotted Lydia sitting at her piano and playing a gentle tune that seemed to match the spirit of the holiday.

She didn't notice Leo come down, and that was fine with him. He was impressed with her skill on the instrument and wondered why someone with so much musical talent would want to harm herself. However in the last few weeks she's been with them, she has improved in her health, physically and mentally from what he could see and Don trusted her enough to stop giving her sedatives. Now it was up to her to reclaim her life. A few times Leo allowed her to go to the surface alone to get fresh air. Don kept a tracer on her in case she ran or tried to hurt herself again. The tracer tracked her breathing patterns and pulse.

After she finished playing, Leo asked, "What song was that?"

Lydia spun around in surprise, "Oh you heard that huh?" she said shyly.

Leo nodded, "I've never heard it before."

"Oh it was 'In the Bleak Midwinter'…it's not one of the mainstream Christmas songs you hear everywhere."

"It's beautiful," he complimented.

"Thanks," she said, a small smile forming across her lips.

Leo smiled back, "That's the first smile you've given me. It's rather nice."

She flushed, "I suppose…" She then turned back to the piano and started playing something more familiar to him, 'Oh Holy Night'. Her cheeks were a shade of pink knowing that Leo was watching her. She was beginning to think of her life as she continued and what Leo had said to her the night he visited to return her mail. He actually stated that he cared about her life and at that time she was debating on how to end it. Could she be regretting her actions? She continued playing…

Leo was now wandering over to the piano and he took a seat on the bench next to her. He watched her fingers as they made keystrokes… enjoying how the melody and harmony blended.

She finished the piece and let her hands fall to her lap. Her shyness was rising to the surface, "I haven't played in front of anyone in years."

"Why?" he asked, "You play so wonderfully."

"It's just, I haven't really wanted to after…my family left."

"They left?"

"Yeah. My mom and I didn't get along very well and my father, he never spoke to me much after the two of them divorced. When I turned sixteen, I had a huge fight with mom and she threw me out in the streets. My dad wouldn't take me, said it was too much trouble. He'd already found a girlfriend and last I knew she was having a baby. So I gave up and remained alone, looking for a place to stay. Eventually I was booked by the police for stealing food from a supermarket and they placed me on probation and settled me into a woman's shelter so I could have my basic needs taken care of. There was a counselor there, Teresa, who played the piano and she taught me to read music. Eventually she became my legal guardian and I lived with her until I turned eighteen. I loved playing her grand piano," she said and patted the large black piano in front of her, "I got myself a job working as a paralegal aide, just helping lawyers prepare paperwork for court. It paid okay and I was able to move out and get my own apartment. Then last year, Teresa passed away. She was probably in her sixties. It was lung cancer…she smoked for years. I took it pretty hard."

"That's terrible," Leo said, a feeling of sadness washed over him.

"So…I kept her grand piano. It was so I could remember her. After that, everything else fell apart. I was laid off from my job about three months ago and desperate for work. I couldn't find a job and my rent fell behind and I couldn't keep up with anything else. I tried calling my parents…but neither would have me. I gave up, thinking nobody wanted me. Then I decided it would be a lot easier if I didn't have to struggle. So I left my apartment one night, with only my eviction notice on me…and I jumped into the harbor. I believe you know the rest."

Leo let out a breath of air, "I find it so difficult to believe that people would just…well, not want you in their lives. You're sweet and talented."

Lydia blushed at his kind words and she returned her hands to the keys, starting another song, 'Carol of the Bells'.

"Oh I love this one," Leo said, "Ever hear the cover by the Tran Siberian orchestra?"

"Oh yes, I love that one!" she said happily.

During mid-conversation, they were interrupted by another turtle just waking up as well.

"Who's playin' the tunes? Is that girly?"

Leo and Lydia both looked up on the balcony to see a stretching Raphael. The sleepy turtle jumped over the railing and landed gracefully on his feet.

"Hey Leo, up for some holiday sparring? How's it goin' girly?"

"Holiday sparring?" Leo asked, confused.

"Hi," Lydia greeted.

Raph approached the piano and leaned on it, "Yeah, I'm sayin' you and I practice bro, and girly here can play a couple of tunes that suit the fightin' mood."

Lydia looked and Leo and shrugged.

"Sure Raph, I'll take you on. But I'm not cleaning the tree up again if you knock it over like yesterday," Leo joked.

Christmas Eve…late at night…

Lydia had wandered around the lair, mostly looking at the beautiful tree the guys had decorated a week ago…and then again after Raph knocked it over for the third time. The last three weeks, Leo treated her like a family member and talked to her without brushing her off like her parents once did. He was so gentle and giving…

After looking at the tree one last time, she went around to the staircase towards Don's lab to go to bed. Before she reached the door…

"Lydia."

She turned around, there was Leo, standing just a few feet behind her, "Yes?"

"Could you follow me please?" he asked.

"Sure," she replied and followed him back towards the other end of the lair. He brought her to his room. She'd never seen it before. She respected the turtle's privacy and avoided wandering into their personal spaces. His room was very clean and kempt. He had a nightstand with an incense burner and small lit lamp placed upon it. Nearby was his full size bed with tan sheets and a burgundy comforter. Across the room he had a bookshelf filled with texts, scrolls and small boxes. He had a stick of cinnamon incense burning, which filled the room with a spicy scent. It was very pleasant to the senses and perfect for the holiday.

Leo stopped just before his nightstand and motioned for her to wait.

She stayed put and looked around the room as he went over to the bookshelf and retrieved something. He came back with a small package. It was neatly wrapped with silver paper and he held it out to her.

"A present for me?"

Leo nodded, "Yes."

"Oh I couldn't…" she started.

"Yes you can," he reassured her and placed the small box in her hands.

She couldn't help but feel happy and she backed away to sit on the mattress. She then started taking the paper off until white cardboard showed through. The little box had no pictures or lettering on it, so she was left in the dark, at least until she popped open the lid. She removed the Styrofoam and found a small ceramic hummingbird attached to a round base. "Oh my…" Lydia carefully removed the little object so she could examine it. It was a music box. The little bird resting on the lid was a lovely green and pink; its wings extended in an everlasting flutter. It was surrounded by tiny white roses and emerald green petals. When she opened the box, a lovely tune could be heard.

"The music playing is called 'Swimming' by Hans Zimmer," Leo said, "And there's one more thing, lift up the velvet inside."

Lydia did as he asked and picked up the soft material, revealing a bracelet made with small jade beads and a silver band. There was a larger bead shaped into a flower. "Oh my god…it's so beautiful…" she said breathlessly, "Thank you so much…" Her eyes were starting to fill up with tears, but she kept them from falling.

"May I?" Leo asked, referring to the bracelet.

"Oh yes," she said and held out the music box towards him.

He took the box and removed the bracelet, "I thought you might like this. My father has had this bracelet in his possession since leaving Japan. It belonged to his former master's beloved Tang Shen." He then placed the music box on the nightstand and sat down next to her.

She held her left wrist up and Leo placed the bracelet. It wasn't loose or snug. Lydia didn't know what to say…the gift was so wonderful and she couldn't wait to give him his tomorrow. "Why did you give this to me so early if you don't mind me asking?"

"I don't really know," he answered honestly, "But when you wear it, I want you to remember that there are still people in the world who do care about you."

The little music box carried on playing…

Lydia couldn't hold back the tears anymore and they trickled down her cheeks. She was about to wipe them away when one of his hands touched her face. He caressed her temple, pushing away a strand of her brown hair. She then brought up her hand to cover his. Unable to keep her sadness hidden, she thrust herself forward and into his arms, burying her face into his shoulder to cry freely.

Leo held her…as long as she needed…

His fingers ran through her long hair and she slowly started to calm herself. Her arms meandered their way up to his neck and she embraced him. She lifted her head.

He was now able to see her tear stained face. Her eyes were slightly red and puffy. Leo wanted so badly to take away her pain…and he did something completely unexpected of himself. He pressed his lips to her forehead in a tender kiss and just as quickly ended it. Inside, he couldn't figure out why he did it but it seemed to be the right thing to do…and Lydia didn't reject him.

She allowed his advance, taking comfort in the fact that someone truly cared for her like her guardian Teresa did, possibly more. Lydia then looked into his grey eyes and saw sincerity. The warmth of his embrace was fulfilling. She then leaned in to him and returned the kiss, feeling his soft lips against her own.

Leo could see her sadness begin to fade as she now focused on him and he wanted to make sure she forgot about her attempts of self-harm. He then deepened the kiss, slightly opening his mouth to encourage her to do the same, which she did.

Her eyes were partially open, but were growing weak from his advances and she closed them as she enjoyed the feel of his tongue tracing her mouth.

He was inexperienced in matters of love but he would never let her know that. The last thing he wanted was for her to think of him as naïve. His hands traveled up to her shoulders and then along her arms.

She wore an oversized t-shirt and the sleeves easily bunched up, exposing her long scars. They were a permanent reminder of her actions.

Leo broke their kiss and brought her left wrist to his lips, "I want to take away your anguish…your fears…" he said as he began leaving kisses along the distorted flesh. In the back of his mind, he had to push away thoughts of claiming this girl as his own. They were conflicted with his code of honor…of bushido, but his body was telling him otherwise. He had a duty to respect that code and this woman, so he released her arm and stopped all caresses between them. After a long pause, he got up off the bed and slowly headed for the doorway, "You should get some rest. I'll escort you to the lab." He didn't turn around as he said this, so to avoid looking at her.

When he approached the door, he was stopped by two hands grasping onto his carapace along the edges. If it were an enemy he would have flipped them or something…but this was Lydia and she wasn't about to let him go.

"I want to stay here with you. Can I?" she asked, her voice just barely a whisper.

Leo sighed, "Lydia…we can't…"

She slipped around to his front and wrapped her arms as far around his waist as they would go, before hitting his shell, "Please?"

Leo's chin rested against her forehead and he closed his eyes before saying, "Okay…" and he closed his bedroom door.

The two of them stood silently and she snuggled against his chest, feeling the coolness of his plastron. She ran her fingers along his sides, nails gently grazing the green skin and she brought her face up to his neck and nipped him before letting her lips settle. She kissed along his collarbone and trapezius muscle which connected his shoulder and neck.

It was getting too difficult to resist and he made the mistake of allowing her to stay, a direct result of the lust he struggled with. He wanted to smack himself for letting his loins do the talking instead of his brain. The pressure under his shell grew stronger…it was already too late...and he gave in. Leo wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her close. He dove for her neck, kissing and licking at her soft flesh.

She picked a spot on his neck and began sucking the firm skin. Her tongue slid around him. A few minutes later, she stopped and pulled away to admire the darkened mark she created.

Leo was starting to get anxious. He tried his hardest to hold back and remain respectful but it was so difficult. He didn't even realize that he'd spun the two of them around and he guided her towards the bed.

Lydia was walking backwards, her steps matching his until her calves connected with the mattress.

He then pushed her down onto her back to where her head now lay on a pillow. Before he got in himself, he removed his katana, pads, and belt and neatly put them by the nightstand. He then pulled the comforter and sheets up, sliding them from underneath her and he got in. His stomach was tying itself in knots, not a normal feeling for him. He was the leader amongst his brothers, the solid turtle, and always kept his cool under pressure. Leo did his best to remain stoic as he crawled over and let his body down on top of her.

His weight was upon her, but he rested on his elbows to allow her some comfort. He then captured her mouth with his and caressed her cheek with one hand while the other played with her brown locks. Her hands were wandering aimlessly up and down his shoulders and arms, massaging his muscles. She knew he liked it…his shoulders were relaxed and he gently moaned whenever she got close to his neck. He was pretty tight from training that morning. While she focused on his upper body, one of his hands worked its way down to her stomach and tugged up her shirt. He reached his hand up underneath the fabric, touching her warm belly, and then he hesitated…her breast was only a few inches further. Now wasn't the time to lose his nerve. He forced his hand up and it was met with a soft mound of flesh. She wasn't overly huge, just enough for a handful. He could feel the nipple poking into his palm as he squeezed.

Lydia broke the kiss as Leo fondled her. His reptilian hands were cool to the touch, giving her goose bumps. He adjusted his position a little and was now hoisting up her shirt to reveal her pale skin. The dim lighting of the room did little to cover up her embarrassment.

Technically Leo already saw her entire body when they revived her by the harbor. This time, he was seeing it in a different light.

She turned her head, not wanting to look at him.

Noticing the blush spreading across her cheeks, Leo said, "Don't be afraid to look at me." His voice was calm and collected, filled with desire and passion.

Her heart nearly skipped a beat. Leonardo was behaving like the 'Brad Pitt' of the human world. His stare was intense…his arms full of strength…oh how badly she wanted him…

Leo pulled her shirt up over her head and tossed it aside. He redirected his attention to her chest, dipping his head between her breasts, laying delicate kisses on her while his fingers teased the nipples. He did it with such expertise…

She felt like she was melting into a puddle of water. Her senses were overloading with arousal. His touch was driving her mad and he made matters worse when she felt his tongue loll out of his mouth, run across her right mound, and encircle her nipple before taking it into his mouth. He sucked and nibbled the peaking teat. Her body responded with signals from her brainstem all the way into her toes. Her legs intertwined with his and her hands grasped the back of his head, trying to bring him closer still. He followed up by moving to the other side and torturing her other breast.

Several minutes passed and he turned his attention to her shorts. He scooted down in the bed and touched the waistband of the cotton bottoms. He then hooked his fingers under it and slowly slid them down her legs. Underneath, she had on a lacey red thong.

Anxiety was taking over him now that there was only one thing remaining, but he needed to keep his cool. He lowered his face to her belly and placed several hot kisses along the panty line as his fingers attached themselves to the strings. Every centimeter he pulled them down, a kiss followed until they were completely off.

Now Lydia was succumbing to his erotic charms and she closed her eyes as she felt his hands delve between her thighs and spread them apart. Heat rushed into her cheeks once again. She knew he was examining her every inch of skin. Her breathing was becoming shallow with anticipation.

His initial reaction to seeing a girl this close was amazement. His body was reacting to hers and it got to the point where he released his erection from its confines. He felt a little bit shamed when he reached down to stroke himself, but quickly got over that. She was already soaked down there; fluids dripped out of her body and stained the sheets. With one hand holding her right thigh and the other busy on himself, Leo plunged his face into her center, driving his tongue inside her aching crevice.

She cried out in extreme pleasure and her hands leapt to her chest to toy with her heaving mounds. Her body flexed and shuddered so much that Leo had to let go of his member and hold her other leg still so he could continue inflicting her with everlasting fire. She jolted to the side, "Ah…oh my god!" she shouted. Her teeth clenched and eyes squeezed shut as his tongue danced across her clitoris.

A new sense of pride filled him as she cried out to him, begging him for more…and he gave it to her. He squeezed her thighs tighter, ensuring that she wouldn't be able to move and he worked her into frenzy, nearly getting her to climax. Instead of forcing her to the ends of the earth, he let up, much to her disappointment.

When Leo backed away from her, he found that he had a mouthful of her fluids and did something unexpected…he swallowed. She obviously saw him do it because she shied away, looking at the incense on the nightstand.

Not bothering to remove the drippings from his chin, Leo crawled upwards to see her face-to-face. Her legs remained separated and he now lay between them. His erection pressed into her belly.

She looked up into his eyes; they were brimming with adoration for her.

When he peered back into her hazel eyes, he saw yearning.

Leo broke the silence, "Very terribly do I want to make love to you…will you have me?"

Lydia was overwhelmed with emotions…love…desire…infatuation...and she responded, "Yes."

Without another word, Leo maneuvered himself lower so that his quivering member touched the rim of her core and he eased himself in slowly until he reached a minor setback. She was really, really tight and he had to push just a bit harder to go all the way in…until he felt it…

There was a quick jolt of himself as he finished entering, like he'd met a barrier and broke through it, along with a gasp…which came from her. Thinking he'd injured her, "Are you all right?" he asked with concern.

"…" she couldn't speak. Anguish was written all over her face.

Leo worried and started to slide back out and he looked down. His shaft was laced with blood and at first he panicked but when he looked at her again, she was more relaxed. He then understood, "You're a virgin?"

"I was a virgin…" she said, a slight hint of discomfort remained in her voice.

"Why didn't you tell me?" he asked. Leo felt torn between two thoughts…he was mad at himself for taking something from her that he could not give back and he was flattered that she allowed him to be her first.

"I didn't find it very important," she admitted.

Leo had to agree…he had done the same thing. She was also his first, but too shy to tell her still.

She then wrapped her arms around his neck, "Keep going Leo…" she begged.

It was a lot easier to enter this time. Her cavern was still super tight; its satiny walls were encircling him and squeezing. Her feminine heat licked at him. Leo began thrusting, letting go of his usual temperate self in favor of a more vigorous beast. He grabbed hold of her wrists and pushed them into the bed up by her skull and continued to pound away.

Her breaths were uneven and moans were growing louder.

He felt like he was flying…

Lydia drew back her legs to send him deeper still and she tried to lean up to kiss him but he still pinned her arms.

He leaned forward to plant a heartfelt kiss on her lips and then he trailed down to her cheek and eventually her neck. He was getting close to peaking and slowed down his pace, not wanting to leave her behind.

She was closing in on the finish line and needed a boost for the last stretch of the race so she arched her lower back into his lower plastron, placing friction on her clitoris. This caused her to gasp and moan.

Leo watched her face. She had closed her eyes and had slightly parted lips. Her chest was heaving and her legs tightened around his waist. He could feel her body shaking.

"H..harder…" she squeaked and he complied.

It was getting much too difficult to hold back. Leo pushed into her faster and with more power. Tiny beads of sweat fell from his brow. He let go of her wrists and reared up onto his knees. He grabbed her hips and began pulling her body against his.

She was so close…but her orgasm was being stubborn.

Leo did not want to go without her so he dropped one hand to her ailing pearl and caressed it, setting the tiny organ on fire. He then felt her body shudder one last time and eventually stiffen.

Her climax sent wave after wave of intense pleasure through her and she cried out, "Oh fuck!"

It was not something he thought he'd ever hear her say but still, it was music to his ears. He then gave in to his own relief, gritting his teeth and spilling all his love into her. He fell forward, catching himself on his elbows and once again facing her. He kissed her, sending his tongue into her parted lips and they held each other for several minutes.

It was very late…possibly even early morning.

Lydia was exhausted and curled up next to him as he pulled the comforter over them both. He held her close all night as they slept.

The following morning all of the turtles, their master, and Lydia were seated in the living room surrounded by wrapping paper remnants. The boys were having a paper war and throwing balls of it at each other. Lydia watched as Michelangelo won the battle.

She sat on the couch next to Leo, surrounded with a few gifts the guys had given her. She received a lovely barrette and a jeweled hair band from Mikey, strange that it nearly matched the bracelet Leo gave her. Raph gave her a folding tanto knife which he claimed, 'Every woman should carry one'. Don gave her a music history book and told her he would help her with her resume, along with finding a new job. In her opinion, it was the best gift out of all of them since she was so desperate in her current situation.

Master Splinter had been playing Santa all morning and he held out one of the last few presents. He handed a rectangular box out to Lydia which she graciously took and began opening it. Underneath the wrapping was a wooden box, slim and made of solid oak. She pulled the small latch up on one end and lifted the top. Inside laid a beautiful kimono. The material was a light green with sakura blossoms and hummingbirds printed all over. It was hand crafted and according to Splinter, dyed in the traditional ways of Japan. Everyone insisted that she try it on, which she did and she looked lovely in it. She planned only to wear it on special occasions.

Lydia wished she could have returned their generosity with gifts but they understood. She made a promise to give them something in return when she found a new job.

After all gifts had been given and wrapping paper cleaned up, Don pulled Lydia aside.

"I have some news for you," Don said happily.

"Oh? What is it?" Lydia asked curiously.

"Leo told me you were talented on the piano and I heard you play yesterday so I looked up a couple of things online. There's going to be auditions for the New York symphony orchestra. I think you should go try out and I read the pay and benefits are great if you're selected."

Lydia was speechless, "You looked this up for me? Donny you have been so wonderful to me. When are the auditions?"

"Just after New Years. January 10th at noon. They have a few open seats in the orchestra from retired players."

"I will definitely be there," she said excitedly. Now she could put Teresa's tutoring to the test and make her guardian proud.

Later on during the day, right before their Christmas dinner, Raph was teaching Lydia to use her new knife. "If someone ever grabs ya from behind and ya have your knife handy," he started, and had Mikey assist him with a demonstration by standing behind him and wrapping his arms around his throat, "Ya take this knife and jam it in their upper thigh and then twist …it's really simple but effective as fuck. Then follow it up with a knee the groin or a kick to the shin. Now you try."

She tried a few times at least until they were called for dinner by Leo and Splinter. The dinner was filled with stories and laughter, some of the things Lydia wanted very much in her life.

January 10th…6 p.m…

"I'm getting so anxious!"

"Just wait Mikey, she'll be home soon. Auditions take hours and then there are the callbacks for a secondary audition. If she's been gone this long, then it's probably a good thing," Don said.

Leo was pacing around the lair, wondering how she did.

Raph relaxed on the couch, spinning around one of his sai. It was unusual for him to be so patient, "Don't go to pieces bro, leave the worryin' to Mikey…" he said to Leo.

"I know. I just really want her to get it."

Raph switched on the television and flipped through several stations. Over two hundred channels and nothing was on so flipped on a news station. He almost turned the TV off when a picture caught his eye. He sat upright in his seat, "Is that?"

On the screen was an image of a woman sitting at a bedside. A child was in the bed with her smiling down at him.

"It is…" Raph said quietly. The news story accompanying the image was that of a child who was given a second chance at life when he received a new kidney. Raph smiled. So Mya got what she desperately wanted. There was a new image of her holding her baby for the first time since his surgery…it made a tear form at the corner of his eye. Raph brushed it away before his brothers noticed. Now Mya would be able to move on with her life, after she dealt with the police. He knew she would keep her word. Raph then turned the television off and waited again like the others.

It was another ten minutes before they heard Lydia approaching the lair. Mikey greeted her at the doorway and excitedly started begging her for the result. "Didja get it? How many people were trying out? Did you get through the second audition?" She didn't say anything and wandered over to the couch to sit. She took off her heeled shoes and smoothed out the hem of her black dress as Mikey continued to bombard her with questions.

Raph smacked Mikey, "Give her some space, goofball."

Mikey plopped himself down on the floor.

After she relaxed into the cushions, Don and Leo stood before her and all four turtles waited for her to speak.

She looked at them, smiled, and said, "I got it."

End Part 4

Complete.

This was the longest chapter I've ever written. I hope it meets expectations. I'm sorry it took me a little to post it but I wanted to do something different. Feel free to comment/critique and Happy Reading!