Secrets, Part 2 Chapter 16

Sam quietly reached for the mobile near the bed, not wanting to wake Lexy. She was humbled by the woman's tears and so grateful that Lexy was finally sharing more of herself. In fact, the more they were together, the more Sam found herself wanting to know all she could about the caring doctor.

Lexy had been her lifeline this past week, bringing her back from the pit of despair. She had let Sam lean on her and now it seemed only fair that Sam should return that favor. Sam knew, intuitively, that they were capable of hiding behind their defensive masks: both ever strong yet not daring to risk their deepest longing for connection. Until now.

Sam's trust had been shattered through betrayal and she realized that Lexy's own need for a loving family had been cruelly denied her. She carried the pain well. Now, though, Sam wanted to share that part of her. Lexy was fast becoming an important part of her life.

"DC Sanderson here."

Sam turned slightly and spoke in a low voice. "This is Murray. How are things going? I take it all was quiet through the night."

"Yes, ma'am. However, the owner of the farmhouse was lifting a pint at the local pub and word has it that a family celebration is taking place tonight. Many cars and "cousins" will be arriving. We think they're getting ready to hide the wolf amongst the sheep so to speak and spirit him off. Yet, we cannot be absolutely certain he's there at the moment and best to wait out our suspicions until the activity tonight. Warrants are now in hand for both properties but the rural estate is looking ripe."

"Maybe too ripe, eh?" Something about this didn't feel right. Could the party be a diversionary tactic to misdirect the main force away from the other target?

"I want armed-response teams at both locations tonight. Sanderson, you will be in charge of the larger effort at the farmhouse. I will lead a smaller contingent to the club in the city. Schedule the logistics briefing for both units at 13:00 hours." Sam glanced at the alarm clock on the nightstand. "I plan to be in by then. Page me if anything new should arise."

"Time to play copper again?" A groggy voice came from Sam's lap. Lexy started to lift herself up but Sam grabbed her shoulders and gently forced her back down. She could not resist a quick kiss to her sleepy friend's forehead.

"Not to worry. We have all morning. You don't have shift at hospital, right?"

Lexy was finding Sam's TLC quite endearing. She reached up and lazily stroked the detective's firm jaw with her fingers, letting them come to rest on Sam's lips. Sam smiled and could not resist the temptation to nibble. Both women felt an undeniable current running through them. The slow burn soon gave rise to a more urgent desire. Lexy's eyes darkened as she replied, "I have no place to be … except your bed."

This time, the lovemaking was passionate and intense. Lexy seemed to relish the physical release now that she had begun an emotional release of her family story with Sam.

When the two lovers had settled comfortably into each other's arms again, Sam wondered if they could reclaim the honest conversation they had begun earlier that morning. She dared to push. "What happened after you lost your brother?"

"You really want to know, don't you?"

"I want to know whatever you want to tell me. No secrets, Lexy. I think you've been keeping too many secrets locked inside. I tend to do the same. You once said we're a pair." Sam was suddenly filled with a deep affection. "I am so glad to have you in my life."

The kiss was pure and chaste, the sincere pledge of two friends conveying their respect and devotion. Friends who would not keep secrets.

The morning passed as Lexy told more of her story. She had become quite good at taking care of not only herself but her damaged mum. The woman continued to live in a world of denial and grief, never recovering from the abandonment of her husband and death of her son. She became more and more reclusive, seeking the shelter of alcohol and drugs given for depression.

Lexy's one ray of hope in all this was her continued relationship with Miss Morris. The young schoolteacher became a role model and refused to give up on the girl. Lexy, at first, had managed to bury her own feelings of grief and loss and followed on as she did with Dylan. Besides parenting her mother, she went to school and kept up her grades. Miss Morris began to stop regularly and also seek Lexy out after school. On occasion, she would invite Lexy to her home for a well-cooked meal. She praised Lexy for her high marks and encouraged her to think about university when she was older. Miss Morris had a very close friend, another teacher, who would also come over to share a meal and tell Lexy to keep her grades in order. Lexy was now barely thirteen but she began to notice how the two women would touch each other, offering warm hugs and fond glances. It was so different to see two adults loving each other rather than shouting or hitting. It also was so different to see two women in such a demonstrative relationship. Lexy came to realize that Miss Morris and her friend were much more than friends. She also realized that this kind of friendship carried secrets of its own. Her world crumbled around her again when the two women had to leave the local school district and went to Sydney. Miss Morris promised to write and made Lexy promise to attend her classes, be kind to her mum, find new friends now that she was entering the upper grade levels. Instead, the loneliness descended once again. There really was nothing to look forward to. They were forced to give up the house because of her mum's sporadic earnings and modest welfare allotment, leading to a nomadic existence of rundown flats and various school districts. By the time she was sixteen, Lexy had given up on the idea of a uni education and fallen prey to the temptations of the neighborhood. Alcohol and fast shags in the backseats of cars proved more exciting than staying home with a melancholy parent who barely acknowledged her existence.

And then, her worst nightmare became reality. She became pregnant. The crowd she traveled with all shared partners so she wasn't even sure which boy was the father. Having sex with a guy was just expected even if she didn't particularly enjoy it. In fact, she found herself faking it most of the time, letting her mind wander to some distant land where beautiful young women like Miss Morris held her gently and affectionately. It was then that she knew she was different. She had to get away from the street, find something or someone better. She would not let herself become a victim, like her mother. She knew, in her heart, that she was capable of so much more.

Her first priority was to eliminate the pregnancy. She could not, in good faith, bring a new life into her world. She had nothing to offer and no one to support her. She was torn with this decision but felt it was the right one. Finding someone to provide this service was not hard. A few well placed questions in the school hallways got her a name and location. She took the money she had earned from her occasional after-school jobs and made an appointment. He was younger than she expected. The flat was dark and unwelcoming. There was an odd smell lingering in the air. He led her to a back room and made sure that he had collected his payment before completing the procedure. She left the flat on wobbly legs; her empty womb throbbing with her every step. When she arrived home, she went to her room and lay across her bed, realizing the enormity of what she had done. She thought she would never feel as bereft as she had when losing Dylan. But now she felt as if she had lost her very soul. She cried then. She wept for her brother, her parents, and a shattered life that caused her to make such wrenching decisions. Then she slept.

Sam did not know how much more she could bear to hear. It was as if she were living Lexy's pain. How did this special woman survive such a tragic past?

Arms held her tightly. Lexy gazed at Sam and saw the tears glistening in her eyes. "Oh, Sam. Don't cry for me. I learned how to carry on. This was probably the lowest time of my life but it led me to a place of hope."