DISCLAIMER: These characters and situations do not belong to me in any way, shape, or form. I have borrowed them as part of my sanity maintenance.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Wanted to try something different, not sure I've succeeded.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To deb123em[at]gmail.com

By Debbie


Sara Sidle was lying wide awake, sleep never came easy and tonight was no exception. Every time she closed her eyes big wet brown eyes invaded her space and a tiny whimper cut through her soul.

"His name is Maverick. He lives on Martingale Street in Henderson."

"That's not that far from here."

"Guess I'll go call animal control."


"Come on, boy. Let's get you home."

Only she hadn't been able to take him home; his owner was dead, callously rammed into the path of an oncoming express by a pig-headed oaf of a man. Maverick was now at the dog pound, alone.

She looked around her apartment at the sparse furniture. She still wasn't convinced Vegas was the place to live her life, hadn't unpacked her boxes, still hadn't made any friends, alone.

She and Maverick both.

She looked around her apartment again. A dog was a good place to start.

"What d'ya mean I'm too late?"

"Um, a lady and her daughter were camped on the doorstep as we opened. Pretty insistent that Maverick was the dog for them. He was such a cutie who was I to argue."

"So, you just let him go, without any checks?"

"Um, no, they checked out."

"You have an address?"

"No Ma'am, we can't just give addresses out like that."

Sara sighed. She never used her job in the wrong manner. It was a matter of professional pride with her, hell she *was* an investigator

Glancing over her shoulder at the large sack of dog food and the dog miscellany that was of no use now. Sara shrugged her shoulders, maybe this was a portent. Vegas wasn't the place for her.

A decision made she turned the car around and headed out.

East Flamingo, a long road by anybodies standards. Passing cookie-cutter houses, side-by-side, overflowing with children and neighbourly concern, she finally allowed herself to admit that a dog deserved a family to love it and a home to live in.

It was something she couldn't offer; food and toys, yes: a home, no.

Number 1216, Sara parked on the drive behind a car that almost appeared familiar. She immediately heard the excited yapping of a dog alongside the laughter and chatter of a young child. She smiled for the first time since the dog-pound.

She knocked on the door and a voice called out.

"Come round the back, gate's open."

Sara complied.


"Sara? What the hell are you doing here?"


Sara never, in her wildest dreams, dreamt that Catherine Willows could be a dog lover.

Now, watching Lindsey cavort with the small dog, sipping the lemonade that Catherine had insisted she stay for, sharing an uncomfortable silence with her co-worker, Sara knew that to be untrue.

Watching the scene playing out in front of her, she remembered another family situation; pain, hurt, neglect, all too familiar to the young Sara, no love and certainly no dogs.

Behind her eyes, always there, ingrained, her past; her home, her family, her life.

Before her eyes, her future; a home, a family, a life.

The dichotomy burned into her.

Maybe this was a portent. Vegas wasn't the place for her.

"I've gotta go."

"What? Sara, what's wrong?"

"Nothing. Later. Bye Lindsey"

"Bye Sara."

The End

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