(Sand, Sun and Art)
Amy Bradshaw rolled over and grunted. She opened her eyes and squinted.
"Gosh the sun is bright," she mumbled, throwing an arm across her eyes to shade them.
"This IS the beach after all," replied the girl stretched out on the other side of the colorfully striped huge beach blanket that she shared with Amy. Unlike the blonde the dark-haired girl only cracked one eye slight open to peek. "It's also high summer so you should sort of expect bright."
"I wasn't complaining. I was just commenting."
"Uh-huh. While you were commenting and rolling over and being dazzled by the Mediterranean Sun I hope you remembered you had unfastened your top and didn't give the nearby people a show. After all, this isn't France it's Spain."
"I remembered exactly where we are and what I did with my top. And yours too for that matter. Although I was pretty darn deft if I do say so myself."
Lucy rolled over, being careful to grab the top of her own suit as she did. "Yes," she grinned, "you've come a long way since that first time when you snapped my bra when you tried to undo it."
"Much more practice since then."
"All that practice better has been with ME," Lucy mocked growled. "Just because I'm reformed now doesn't mean I don't remember what it's like to be an evil mastermind. The things I could do!"
"The things you DO indeed," Amy smiled. Not caring who might be watching she leaned over and kissed her beloved.
A soft beeping sound interrupted them. Lucy fished her phone out from the picnic hamper and looked at it. She smiled and flipped it open.
"Hey you." she paused. "Pardon me, hey you two." She looked at Amy. "It's Scud and Janet."
"Great!" Amy sat all the way up; making a frantic grab for her suit again as it nearly fell off. Blushing, she grabbed a terrycloth top and hastily pulled it on. "When are they coming to visit?" she asked, trying to act nonchalant about her second near exposure.
Lucy grinned. "They'll be here Friday." She listened a bit more, pulled up and app and made a note. "Okay, got it. See you then." She closed the phone. "I have the flight number and so forth and the names that they'll be using."
"Will they have to go through customs here? Since Janet jumped ship so to speak after Iceland the Debs will be looking for her as well and they've never given up looking for us."
"No they're coming in by boat to the Canary Islands and then flying from there. Don't worry," the former criminal mastermind reassured her girlfriend, "Scud and I did this all the time."
"And not always under the radar," pointed out the ex-Deb. "or we wouldn't have know to watch you at Les Deux Amours."
"Good thing you did though," smiled Lucy with a wink. "Seriously I thought that no one was looking for me after all that time. It was pretty careless of me. But the precautions that were taken this time around were a lot more thorough."
"I hope so."
"The only person I can think of who knows about your desire to come here and go to art school, besides Janet of course, is Max. As long as she doesn't tell I think we're safe. We have new identities and the papers to prove it." She returned her phone to her handbag, pausing to check the time as she did. "Now if you will somehow arrange yourself so no clothing falls off it's about time we headed for home."
"Is it that late?" Amy asked plaintively.
"It is if we're going to eat supper and go to bed at a decent hour. Your classes start tomorrow and there is a cruise ship docking tomorrow for two days so I need to open the shop early."
Amy sighed. The pair of girls gathered up their stuff and trudged through the sand back to the beach highway where they caught a bus back to their apartment building. From force of habit Lucy checked the area before they headed for the elevator that took them to the third floor. Satisfied that everything looked normal she led the way up. Amy unlocked the door and carefully locked it behind them. The pair quickly swept through the apartment, checking their "tells", the inconspicuous markers they set to be disturbed and let them know if anyone had invaded their place. Nothing had been disturbed.
As Lucy put things away Amy wandered through the spacious luxury apartment, marveling as she did each time that it belonged to them. Lucy promised, "cross my heart Amy really", that the money that purchased and furnished this place, allowed her to register for Art school and allowed Lucy to start her sailboat rental business was not stolen but was the result of various legitimate enterprises that Lucy's father had set up. Yes, those business had probably been originally created to launder money but the money they were making now WAS legal and enough to take care of them and Scud and Janet as well.
"Dad got the idea from watching 'The Godfather' actually. The third one I think, or maybe the second, where Michael tries to take the family business legit." Lucy looked embarrassed for a moment. "He always hoped I'd stay on the straight and narrow but until I met you I just had too much fun being bad."
Amy threw open the French doors that led out onto the balcony and stepped out to let the sea breeze blow over her. Her blonde hair streamed back and she laughed as the swirling curtains fluttered against her. Her eyes followed the sea that was so close below her she could almost reach out and touch it and she thought again how lucky she was to be here after all that had happened.
The bolt hole from the lair underneath the Reykjav k Hilton had brought her and Scud out some half mile away from the hotel, into an old abandoned building of some kind. Rolling doors were already open and vehicles of all kinds were leaving in all different directions, carrying the medical staff and the rest of Scud's mercenaries. One nondescript van is sitting with the side and driver's doors open. Lucy pokes her head out of the side door and whistles.
"Oh hey if you two don't have anything better to do you might want to get in and get us out of here."
Amy had grinned. She had to. It was nice to see Lucy back taking charge of things. She had climbed in beside her and Scud had hopped in the driver's seat. With Karen the nurse riding shotgun the doors banged shut and Scud smoothly accelerated out of the building. Amy noticed he drove neither too fast nor too slow, blending in with the traffic and staying at the same speed as the surrounding traffic.
She had to shaker her head in amazement when they arrived at their destination, the very same out-of-the-way airport where she and the Debs had arrived. It seemed like that was a completely different life now. But she was glad. Her quest had succeeded.
A private jet was waiting. As soon as the foursome had boarded the plane lifted off, bound for Great Britain. Scud explained that to avoid suspicion the flight plan had been filed several days and the jet had developed the routine of transporting passengers once a week or so to the point it was an expected and common occurrence rather than a sudden flight that might be transporting fugitives.
Once they arrived in Britain Amy was in for another surprise. Since they officially were only stopping for fuel and no one was getting off they didn't go through customs. Rather they were directed to a lounge area for through traffic passengers and crew only. They relaxed and stretched for several hours before the two man crew came out of the flight planning area and headed back for the plane.
Amy started to rise only to have Lucy lay a hand on her forearm. When the blonde looked at her girlfriend in surprise Lucy gave an almost imperceptible shake of her head. She didn't know what was going on but noticed neither Karen nor Scud had moved either. What happened next would have made her jaw drop once upon a time but apparently she was getting used to the sneaky things that happened around Lucy.
Another brown haired woman wearing a nurse's outfit pushed a dark-haired, olive skinned woman in a wheelchair. They were accompanied by a tall blonde and a non-descript guy. While none of them were twins of their group they all looked enough like Lucy, Karen and Scud and herself to pass a cursory glance. Amy watched them board the plane they had arrived in and take off.
It was another two hours before Lucy indicated with a nod that it was time for them to follow another pilot and copilot. Karen moved smoothly to Lucy's side and took her right arm. Following subtle gestures Amy took Lucy's left arm and helped her to her feet. There was a click. Two clicks in facts. Amy pressed the side of her leg against Lucy's and felt rigid tubing under the loose fitting slacks she had donned on the airplane. At some time Karen must have put on the metal braces. Then? No, it had to have been when she took Lucy to the bathroom.
It wasn't easy. It wasn't fast. But with just a little support from the other two girls Lucy walked to the airplane. It became a bit easier when Amy had a thought and whispered to the other two. All three staggered a bit and laughed a bit too loudly. Words were slurred. In short it appeared as though the trio was drunk. Scud quickly caught on and played the wearily irritated male friend or possibly big brother to perfection as he helped all three girls to the boarding ramp and on the plane.
Once inside Lucy all but collapsed on to a fold out couch. Worried, Amy knelt beside her.
"It's alright," the other girl reassured her. "I'm healed; I'm just out of shape from having laid around for weeks and weeks. I need to start working out. I'll be back to my old self before long," she promised. "You'll see."
Any shot a look at Karen, who nodded her confirmation. "Just don't let her over do things at first."
"A little laying on the beach and soaking up some sun won't hurt things either," drawled Scud.
"And where will we all doing that?" asked Amy.
"Actually 'We' won't," Scud tossed a folder to Amy and one to Lucy. "But Amanda Bradley and Lois Robins will be while I make sure Karen gets the acceptance to medical school she's been trying for, and deserving, for several years now. Oh and there's a full scholarship waiting for you once we do get you accepted Karen. Don't sweat it, consider it a done deal. I just need to finalize the details."
Karen sat there with her mouth open. "How did you know?" she finally sputtered.
"Oh please, I'm the right hand man to one of the world's greatest master criminals. You think I can't find out your dream?"
"FORMER master criminal," corrected Lucy.
"Okay former," Scud nodded agreeably.
"So what are these?" Amy asked, holding up her folder.
"Your new passports under your new names. You old ones are in the hands of the very capable foursome I sent on our previous airplane. They're on their way to Moscow where Amy Bradshaw and Lucy Diamond, a.k.a. Lucy Reynolds, will pass through customs and disappear. Good luck to anyone trying to find them."
"Scud," Lucy was almost tentative, "are we parting ways?"
"Not for good!" He seemed surprised she would even ask. "Your dad told me to take care of you. He never put a time limit on that. I need to get Karen back to the States and get her settled. Then there's a lot to do to complete what you directed me to do the night you went back to see Amy."
"Which was?" asked Amy.
Lucy looked embarrassed. "I told Scud to return all the money we've stolen over the years. Well the money and everything else, even the diamonds. I was hoping that if you knew how determined I was to go straight you'd give me another chance."
"Me give YOU a second chance?" Amy teared. "It should have been the other way around. Why you continued to try after I ran away that night is more than I can believe."
Scud rolled his eyes. "Because she loves you. And you love her too thank goodness I am happy to accept now. So we're on our way to Italy, where you two will get off. Transportation is set up to take you eventually to Barcelona, Where there's an apartment waiting, along with a car, an acceptance and scholarship to a certain art school and a thriving boat rental business just waiting for its new owner."
"The paper trail for your new identities is as flawless as I can make it. Anyone investigating either of you will be able to trace you all the way back to your births. So relax, take it easy, get to know each other again and damn it enjoy each other. There's plenty of time before school starts Amy and your business is working just fine until you get there and make it your own Lucy."
Standing on the balcony Amy smiled as she remembered. Scud had been true to his word and more. After they had been deposited in Rome there had been a first class train compartment waiting for them, which whisked them away to the cruise ship where they would spend the next two weeks. Those two weeks had seen Lucy grow stronger and stronger, returning to the vibrant young woman who had captured Amy's heart.
Along with her strength had come her determination and her insistence on having things her way. One afternoon after laying out by the pool followed by lap after lap in the cool water Amy had flung her suit to a corner of the bathroom and leaped into the shower. Just as she was rinsing her hair a cool breeze washed over her as Lucy stepped in the shower compartment with her.
"Lucy, are you sure? Karen said not to push things too far too fast... mumphhhhhh!" Lucy had stopped her mouth with a kiss.
When she came up for air the former villainess had all but glared at her blonde lover. "I am NOT made of glass. I do not shatter if you squeeze me. Now I appreciate the tenderness you have shown but if you are not willing to make love to me, no matter how much I love you I am going to find someone else!"
Amy, knowing when an argument was not only out of place but silly as hell had pushed Lucy back against the shower wall and kissed her. Before things were over water had spilled out onto the bathroom floor in large quantities and a hastily summoned platoon of housekeeping personnel had come and changed not just the soaking wet sheets and pillows but the also the mattress of the queen size bed.
Amy's musings were interrupted as a pair of arms slipped around her and a familiar chin rested on her shoulder.
"Whatever you re thinking I bet it can wait till tomorrow."
"Well supper is here. I bet you didn't even here the delivery guy. Let's eat and then go to bed."
"I know we have a long day tomorrow sweetheart but isn't it a bit early to go to bed?"
"I didn't say we were going to sleep."
(While I'm sure I'll be back to Lucy and Amy this seems like a nice safe place to leave them for now, right in each other's arms where they belong. Hope you enjoyed the story.)