DISCLAIMER: The characters in this story belong to Shed Productions. I am borrowing them for entertainment purposes only and not for financial gain.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the authors.

Duty of Care
By Nico

Part 26

Helen waited until they had eaten and were sat in the living room again before contemplating what she was going to say. Nikki had picked the diary up and was looking through it, ordinarily she would never have handled evidence without wearing gloves but she knew this guy was too smart to leave fingerprints or anything else that would connect him to the diary.

Helen took a deep breath and leant back on the couch, her heart began to beat faster and she felt more nervous than she had ever done in her entire life. She supposed that telling somebody you had feelings for them was easier if you had an idea that they had feelings for you, this was the first time Helen had ever attempted to tell anybody something like this. In the past the men always did the chasing and she went along with it, even with Marcus, she had never told him how she felt. He had just assumed she was in love with him and she had never told him any differently, even when she realised she wasn't.

Nikki could sense there was something still troubling Helen, she thought they had managed to sort things out between them but something was still wrong. She figured it was time for them to have a good chat, to get everything out in the open, after all if they were going to be friends then they would have to learn to communicate with each other properly.



"Talk to me, what's on your mind?"

"It's just all this business at the hospital and the diary." despite being given a chance to say something, Helen still couldn't bring herself to do it and wondered just how much longer she would keep putting it off.

"There's more to it than that, there is something you aren't telling me."

"It's nothing that can't wait."

"You can't get out of it that easily, come on what is it?"

"I er need to tell you something. The thing is I……" Helen was interrupted when the phone rang, "oh for god sake!"

She picked the phone up, there was silence at the other end, she spoke in to the phone several times and then heard the dialing tone. Whoever was on the other end didn't want to speak, and because of the conversation she was trying to have with Nikki, she didn't attach any importance to it.

"Sorry about that, where was I? Oh yeah, I wanted to tell you something."

"Tell me what?"

"That night outside the club when we kissed, I lost my temper and I shouldn't have, I need to explain why."

"We already both said we were sorry. I hope that we can get past all that and be friends again, that is if you still want to?" Nikki wondered if Helen was ever going to let the subject drop because she seemed to be repeating herself.

"No that's not what I want."

"Oh." Nikki said softly and she felt queasy, she really was going to lose Helen as a friend after all.

"You don't understand what I'm trying to say do you?" Helen's eyes were twinkling, this didn't seem to be as hard as she had imagined.

"You don't want to be friends with me, how hard is that to understand?" Nikki was about to stand up but Helen placed her hand on her knee, causing an electric shock that reverberated through her body.

"I don't want you as a friend Nikki, I want so much more than that."

"Eh?" Nikki's mouth was hanging open and she wasn't sure if she had heard Helen correctly.

"I want you, as a lover, partner, girlfriend or whatever you want to call it."

"Dear god!" Nikki exclaimed and went pale.

"I've never felt this way about anybody before. It felt so right when we kissed and I was terrified, my whole life seemed to turn upside down. I talked to Lisa and Jill about it and they made me realise that I was pushing you away because I was scared of getting close to you and scared of what my father would think."

"It's ok, I understand. I've been there myself and I know how hard it is." Nikki looked straight at Helen, she was finding it all so incredible that Helen actually wanted her and it was a lot to take in.

"I'm not saying things will be easy, because this is me we're talking about and things never are where I'm concerned!" Helen joked, "But I want to see where this takes us, I want to be with you, if you don't want me then I will understand."

"Oh darling of course I want you, I want to be with you too. We can take things slowly while you get used to the idea."

"Thank you for understanding Nikki."

"That's what I'm here for sweetheart."

"I could get used to that." Helen said softly.

"Used to what?"

"You calling me sweetheart." Helen smiled over at Nikki and tentatively pulled her into a hug, she clung on and she finally felt like she had done something right. Her whole body felt warm and protected in Nikki's arms, this felt so right and she wondered now what she had been so afraid of, she pulled back slightly to look at Nikki.

"Can I kiss you now?"

"If you feel that you want to yes, you don't need to ask."

"I just wanted it clarified so neither of us can get bitchy about it later on." Helen giggled.

"Good idea." Nikki chuckled.

They both leant in and their lips met, the kiss started slowly but became more passionate and Helen felt like she was floating. The sensations she was experiencing caused a sensory overload and she didn't know what day it was. Nikki was reacting to the kiss similarly; never before had she kissed anybody and felt quite like this. They broke apart several minutes later and grinned stupidly at one another.

"Just wait till I tell Lisa and Jill about this." Helen said smiling.

"No need to, they've been gawping through the window at us for the last five minutes." Nikki giggled as Helen whirled round and blushed.

"Just you wait!" she shouted through the window at them both and went to let them in.

Jill and Lisa fell about giggling in the kitchen as Helen glared at them.

"You two should be locked up," she said as she flipped the kettle on for the umpteenth time that day.

"Oh come on sis, we only wanted to find out how you two were getting on." Lisa collapsed on to a kitchen chair and held her side while giggling.

"Helen's right, I think you two have chronic voyeuristic tendencies and should seek therapy immediately." Nikki was laughing as she stood beside Helen.

"Sorry you two, we didn't mean to intrude on a private moment only Lisa couldn't wait so she dragged me round here."

"Can't you wait for a phone call like any normal person Lisa Stewart?" Helen chuckled.

"I really wanted to know whether you two had sorted it all out, you know me I can't hold my own water." Lisa flashed a cheesy grin at Helen.

"Yeah you've always been the same. You will be happy to know, we sorted things out." Helen reached over and gave Nikki a lingering kiss, both Jill and Lisa wolf whistled.

"Getting bold in your old age aren't you Len?"

"You two spend hours slobbering over each other, it's my turn now." Helen smiled as she poured water in to the mugs.

They sat down and started chatting away, Nikki felt like her heart was going to burst because she was so happy. Helen was feeling the same way, this was the first time ever in her life that she had been in love with somebody, only Nikki wasn't aware of this yet and Helen wasn't going to broach the subject until she felt it was time to do so. They sat there holding hands, both needing the close contact afraid that it was all a dream. The phone rang again and Nikki jumped up to answer it for Helen.



"Hello?" Nikki said again, she could hear noise in the background but couldn't figure out what it was.

The phone went dead and she heard the dialing tone sound in her ear. She put the phone down puzzled and went back in the kitchen.

"Who was it?"

"I don't know, there was silence and they hung up. Does this happen often?"

"Come to think of it, it's happened a few times lately."

"I don't like the sound of this." Nikki picked up her mobile, "hello, this is DS Wade, can you put me through to DC Willis please? Debs, hi it's Nikki. Can you do me a favour? Yeah I need you to trace all numbers that have called these two numbers for me." Nikki gave her the numbers, "thanks Debs, yeah ok give me a call when you get the info. I owe you one, bye."

"What was that all about?" Helen took a sip of her coffee.

"I just want to check that those hang ups are nothing to worry about, they probably aren't but it doesn't hurt to check."

"So what are you two up to tonight or is that a stupid question?" Lisa grinned wickedly.

"Lisa!" Helen blushed furiously; her sister could be such a pain sometimes.

"I'm saving myself for marriage." Nikki giggled.

"Yeah but Helen might want to test the goods before she buys." Lisa giggled and received a sharp dig in the ribs from Jill, who could see that Helen was still blushing.

"Exactly how much sex can we have with you sitting there all day?" Helen quipped; she appeared to have gotten over her embarrassment.

"Say no more! Jill drink up and shift your arse, these people need to be left in peace." Lisa drank back the rest of her coffee and stood up.

"I was only joking you daft bugger!" Helen smiled up at Lisa.

"I know you were! Still, you two lovebirds need time alone." she blew them both a kiss and then dragged Jill out the front door.

"She definitely needs therapy." Helen said shaking her head in amusement.

"She's not the only one." Nikki remarked.

"Oh aye? What's that supposed to mean?" Helen's eyes twinkled.

"You are sisters after all." Nikki grinned mischievously.

"One more crack like that Wade and I'll....."

"You'll what?"

"Ruin your whole life and propose to you." Helen started to giggle.

"Oh god no! Anything but that." Nikki winked at her.

"Looks like I'm going to have to convince you otherwise." Helen leaned over and captured Nikki's lips, giving her a long smouldering kiss that left Nikki quite breathless.

"If you're going to carry on kissing me like that then you can marry me any day of the week."

"You want to be careful what you say; I might just take you up on the offer."

"You wouldn't hear me complaining." Nikki entwined her fingers around Helen's.

"Come here and give me another kiss, I'm starting to get addicted."

"My pleasure." Nikki reached over and pulled her on to her knee, she kissed her so passionately that Helen forgot the outside world existed and concentrated totally on the woman in front of her.

Part 27

Nikki and Helen spent the rest of the afternoon going through the diary, it detailed all the assaults and then in greater more horrific detail, the murders. It didn't go unnoticed by either of them that the killer had started off being unsure of hurting women but in the end had come to enjoy it. He described how he attacked his victims in lurid detail and both Helen and Nikki felt sickened by it.

Helen had to translate and when it got to the entry on the day of her assault, her voice became shaky. Nikki stretched out on the sofa and had Helen move to sit between her legs, and then she wrapped her arms around her. Helen leant back against Nikki and continued to read.

"I know it's hard love, just take your time." Nikki said soothingly and placed a kiss on Helen's cheek.

"Right here we go.......I attacked her today, I had only been there a minute or so when she came in and stopped me. I ran off and managed to escape, which is just as well because I would have been arrested and it would have put a stop to my plans. She doesn't know that I know she is a police woman, but I do, I hear and see everything."

"I'm here sweetheart." Nikki said as Helen paused for breath.

"I would have killed her like the others, I don't know what happened, I never originally intended to hurt her but the voices in my head were screaming. If I had gone too far then my special one would have been lost to me." Helen let out a sigh and closed her eyes, reading that the killer could have murdered her was chilling her to the bone.

"Is it just me or do I seem to be the one he's obsessed with?" Helen didn't even want to contemplate the thought but it did seem to be pointing in that direction.

"It looks that way but it's possible we are misreading what he's saying because he doesn't mention names. He does seem to be talking about you though. Jesus, I'm going to nail this bastard to the wall when I catch him."

"I know this is hard but you have to stay professional about this, you can't let your feelings cloud your judgment." Helen rested her forehead against the side of Nikki's neck and held on to her.

"It was already personal when he attacked you the first time; he's going to be one sorry psycho when I've finished with him. What else is in there?"

They were almost coming to the end of the diary; most of it was just about screaming voices.

"They almost caught me today, I say almost because that's what they thought but I know differently. They discovered the clothes I killed in but it doesn't matter, I was very careful not to leave evidence behind. I left them a little note giving them a clue as to who I am; wonder if they have worked it out yet? I really enjoyed the little chase they gave, not to mention my enjoyment when that rat showed up, they had no idea I was watching them."

"I felt sick when I first read that, the bastard was watching us the whole time." Helen shivered and Nikki wrapped her arms around her tighter.

"I saw her with my special one today, sometimes they talk and sometimes they fight. I don't like the way she hurts my special one and if I ever get the chance, I'm going to pay her back for it. The look in my special one's eyes after they fought was heartbreaking, and I just wanted to hold her and tell her it was all going to be ok. But I couldn't, I was hiding at the time and I didn't want them to see me, one day though, one day. She's often hanging around my special one and I don't like it, she belongs to me and she always will."

"Does that still sound like he's talking about me?"

"Yes it does sound like he is talking about the both of us. We often used to fight at work, I think that's what he's referring to. First thing tomorrow we should get this in to the station, I need to show my boss all this. In the meantime, either I should stay here or you should stay with me, there is no way I'm leaving you on your own after reading this."

They continued to read through the diary and then they came to the last page, it stopped after he said he was planning on killing more women, who hadn't yet been chosen. Nikki looked closely at the diary that rested in Helen's hands.



"Is that two pages stuck together?"

Helen frowned and looked closer, they were indeed stuck together and she hadn't noticed before. There was some sort of glue like substance holding the pages together, which Helen carefully prised apart with her thumbnail. There was writing on the page but this time it was in English.

I was right, you are clever girls!
Now that you managed to find this page,
You will know that this diary was for
Your viewing pleasure. Surprised? Didn't think
I was just going to leave it lying around
Did you? I'm not that stupid!

Fingerprinting will be useless too, because I
wore gloves the whole time. Doctor Stewart picked
it up with her bare hands so the only prints on
it will be those belonging to the good Doctor!
I was watching, I'm always watching. Don't worry
though, I'll be back soon, I was just taking a
little break but I'll be back for my special one
soon because we cant live without each other.

Want a little clue about where to find me?
I'm sensing that you do so here you go!

First you went up, then with a frown
You were unable to find me
So try going down

Hurry up girls come find me!

"He's underneath the hospital somewhere." Helen said straight off, there were plenty of places down there to hide.

"Looks like it, this time though I want back up, because I don't want either of us down there alone with him."

"I don't fancy it either after last time. He's playing with us, we will get down there and I know he won't be there. He is reeling us all in and getting his sick little kicks at the same time."

"That's what these bastards do; they just love playing their little games. Don't worry sweetheart I'll catch him."

"I hope so." Helen put the diary down and snuggled into Nikki's arms.

"If he knows we are both after him then it can't be me he is obsessed with can it?"

"If it is you, he wants you to know he wants you. It could be all part of his twisted games but it does imply it's you he is talking about."

"I don't like the sound of that at all." the thought made Helen feel sick.

"Neither do I but you have no need to worry, I'll make sure you're safe sweetheart I promise."

A couple of hours later, they were both feeling dog tired and were in desperate need of some sleep. Nikki could sense that Helen was apprehensive about her spending the night; it was understandable because this was all so new to her, Nikki wasn't going to force anything and she would let Helen take things as they came.

"You look knackered; I think you should get some sleep."

"Yeah I'm tired, you don't look too hot either." Helen smiled.

"Nope, right come on then show me to your spare room m'lady!" Nikki stood up and pulled Helen up with her, they turned the lights out and made sure everywhere was locked up before climbing the stairs. Helen was glad that Nikki had suggested the spare room, she wasn't sure if she was ready to share the same bed just now and she was most definitely sure she wasn't ready to make love with Nikki yet.

"There you go, it's not much but the bed is nice and comfy. I can lend you something to sleep in, I'll be right back." Helen disappeared off and came back a few moments later with a t-shirt and shorts.

"Thanks, can I use your shower?"

"Course you can, you should find a new toothbrush in there as well."

"Thanks Helen, so see you in the morning?"

"You will, night." Helen hugged Nikki and gave her a kiss before retiring to her own bedroom to use the en-suite shower.

Fifteen minutes later they were both showered and Helen remembered she had left her mobile downstairs; she always kept it on the bedside table in case she was needed in the middle of the night at work. She was supposed to be off sick but old habits die hard. She came out on to the landing as Nikki emerged from the bathroom.

"God you scared me!" Nikki said as she bumped in to Helen.

"Sorry, I forgot my mobile; I need it in case anybody calls me."

"Stay here, I'll get it for you." Nikki bounded down the stairs and was back a few seconds later with the phone.

"Thank you."

"Just one question before you go. Do you buy clothes in the same shop as Jimmy Krankie?"

Helen looked at Nikki and saw that her clothes were too small for her and she burst out laughing.

"Sorry, I can't help being small."

"My girlfriend's a bloody midget!" Nikki giggled.

"Oi less of the midget, great things come in small packages."

"Oh I know you're living proof." Nikki winked at her.

"Listen to us! Lisa would be sticking her fingers down her throat right about now." Helen smiled and kissed Nikki on the lips, "Night then."

"Night sweetheart."

Part 28

Nikki climbed in to bed and snuggled down, the night before she had been alone but tonight her whole world had been shaken about and now she had Helen. All she had to do was find this maniac and make sure Helen was safe. She would defend Helen until she drew her last breath if she had to, she would make damn sure that he would never hurt her again. She turned over in bed and hugged the spare pillow, hoping that at some point in the future she would be holding Helen all night instead.

Helen lay in the darkness thinking about the events of the day, Lisa had been right in telling her to talk to Nikki. Now everything was sorted and they were together, she realised that subconsciously she had wanted Nikki since the first moment she set eyes on her. Being apart from her physically hurt, her heart had ached since the day Nikki had left the hospital and it had only just stopped that morning when she turned up on the doorstep. She had never been this happy before, she was feeling a dull ache in the pit of her stomach, she had had the feeling before and she knew it was because she needed to be closer to Nikki and feel her warmth.

"Fuck it." she thought, "NIKKI." she shouted through to the spare room.

"YEAH?" Nikki replied, and sat up in bed.

"GET IN HERE, I WANT A CUDDLE." Helen shouted back and waited for Nikki to arrive.

Nikki jumped up with a grin on her face, she would get to hold Helen all night and in her opinion there was nothing nicer than cuddling up to somebody at bedtime. She opened the bedroom door and then climbed in to the bed next to Helen. She lay down and Helen shuffled towards her.

"Mmmmm that's better." Helen almost purred, as she lay against Nikki.

"You wanted a cuddle? My arse! You dragged me in here because your feet are bloody freezing." Nikki could feel Helen's feet rubbing up against her own.

"That was the other reason." Helen laughed softly in the darkness.

"Is that all I am to you? A foot warmer?" Nikki chuckled and kissed Helen on the forehead.

"Nope, you warm loads of other parts of me up as well. Better than Heineken, you reach parts beer can't reach." Helen burst out laughing.

"Now there's a revelation!"

"I set the alarm for 8."

"That's fine. Try and get some sleep, I'm here if you need me."

"Night Nikki." Helen kissed Nikki and then snuggled up against her again, they both drifted off soon after.

The alarm sounded shrilly and woke them both from a peaceful sleep. Helen dragged the covers over her head and chose to ignore it, leaving Nikki to beat the clock in to submission. Nikki burrowed under the duvet next to Helen.

"Are you always like this in the mornings?"

"Yeah, I've had plenty of practice getting up early but it doesn't mean I like it." Helen grumbled.

Nikki whipped the covers off Helen and she looked up at her evilly.

"If that becomes a regular habit then you and I will have to have words." even just thinking about having Nikki sleep in the same bed as her regularly made Helen's heart skip.

"What again?" Nikki laughed and was rewarded with a pillow in the face.

"I'm not at my best in the mornings, get used to it." Helen sat up, rubbed her face and them smiled.

"Don't think I will thanks, not if you look like that every morning when you wake up." Nikki eyes were twinkling with amusement.

"Cheeky bitch, look like what anyway?"

"Anne Widdecombe's uglier grumpier twin."

"Right that's it, I don't think I love you anymore." Helen grinned and then the grin faded when she realised what she had said. She hadn't planned on letting that slip just yet, she had wanted to wait.

"I love you too." Nikki smiled, she hadn't realised Helen loved her; she obviously wasn't planning on telling her yet because of the look on her face.

"You love me?"

"Yes I'm totally in love with you. I didn't tell you because I didn't want to scare you."

"Oh Nikki!" Helen's face crumpled and the tears started, Nikki panicked.

"What's the matter babe?" she cradled Helen in her arms.

"I'm happy." Helen said through the sobs.

"Oh thank god, you had me worried there in case I said the wrong thing."

"No you said the right thing. I'm in love with you too, didn't want to say in case you didn't feel the same sweetheart." Helen sniffled.

"Come here." Nikki took Helen in her arms again and kissed her tears away, "I love you."

"I love you too."

They sat there like that for a while and then when they noticed the time they jumped up to get ready. By 9:30am they were sitting outside the police station.

"Ready?" Nikki asked.

"I'm ready." Helen replied as they both got out the car and walked in to the station.

Nikki took Helen upstairs to the incident room where she worked and exchanged greetings with a few friends. This would be the first time that Helen had seen Nikki in her working environment, even though she had been here once before. Nikki tapped on DCI Jones's office door and heard a gruff voice telling her to enter.

"Oh back so soon Wade? Holiday not all it was cracked up to be?" he said sarcastically, and then saw Helen, "ah Doctor Stewart, what brings you here?" he couldn't care less anyway; these two women weren't exactly his favourite people at the moment.

"Sir, we need to talk. Dr Stewart has discovered something which I think you will be very interested in."

"Sit down." he gestured to the chairs in front of his desk and they sat.

"Take a look at this." Nikki handed the diary over to him, and he wordlessly flipped through the pages.

"And this is?" he said looking confused.

"It's the killer's diary sir, it's all written in Latin but fortunately Doctor Stewart understands it so we were able to have a look through, it contains all his crimes in very sick detail I might add."

"How can you be sure?"

"DCI Jones, I read the diary and I know it belongs to him, he detailed my assault in there and it was spot on. Only two people on this planet could possibly know all the tiny details. I couldn't have attacked myself and I'm damn sure I'm not the one murdering these women, so who the hell does that leave?" Helen said heatedly, the man was a pain in the arse.

"Alright I believe you. When did you find this diary?" he asked, Helen was about to speak but Nikki cut her off.

"Yesterday sir." Nikki didn't want Helen to get in to trouble for keeping the diary for so long, although to be fair she didn't know what it was at first.

Helen kept her mouth shut; she knew that Nikki wanted to protect her. And she didn't want to get Nikki in to any further trouble.

"And you've read it the entire way through?"

"Yes sir, read the back page, it's important."

He flipped to the back and read the contents of the page, his face remained expressionless. When he was finished he looked up, and studied them both for a minute.

"Don't tell me that you've already gone looking for his hiding place."

"No we haven't, this time we came straight to you." Nikki shifted in her chair slightly and looked straight back at him.

"Good because frankly I don't appreciate you two running round like the keystone kops. I will send this diary to be translated, forensics is a waste of time because you two haven't handled the bloody evidence correctly but I'll send it to be tested anyway." he was interrupted.

"Ordinarily sir I would have worn gloves but there was no point in this case because he never leaves forensic evidence behind, and you can't blame Doctor Stewart either because she was unaware of what it was to begin with. Besides you read the back and he already told us the bloody thing was clean." Nikki was beginning to get pissed off with him trying to imply she had handled it unprofessionally.

"You just better hope that it doesn't come up in court otherwise the whole case could be fucked. When the diary has been translated I will read the transcript and then see where we go from there." he indicated that the conversation was finished.

"Hang on a minute; aren't you even going to search the hospital?" Nikki was incredulous.

"We'll get around to it when we can, we do have other cases. Now if you don't mind I'm busy."

"Get around to it? You're moaning I haven't handled evidence correctly and yet here you are with a big bloody clue as to where he may be hiding and you choose to ignore it till you can get around to it?" Nikki was fuming.

"May I remind you that I'm the one in charge here DS Wade, not you!" he stood up and glared at her.

"What if by that time he has buggered off? What will you do then?" Helen couldn't stay silent; the man was irritating her with his insouciant manner.

"Let me remind you that this investigation does not concern you doctor."

"Actually that's where you're wrong, it does concern me. I told you once before what would happen if you didn't start investigating this case properly, and it still stands. It was serious enough before with the assaults but now he's moved on to murder and if you don't go looking for him now then I will have no choice but to take it higher." Helen spoke in a calm controlled authoritative tone.

"Look here...." he started to say.

"She's right sir, either you start searching for him now or Doctor Stewart won't be the only one taking this higher.

Nikki and Helen left the station ten minutes later followed by a group of detectives; DCI Jones had bowed to pressure and sent a team to the hospital to investigate. When they all piled in to the hospital, the staff were giving them funny looks. They wondered what the police were doing here and why Doctor Stewart was with them, not to mention Nikki who had already moved on to another hospital or so they had been told. Paul watched them from his position over by the reception desk, he saw Helen and his mouth went dry and his palms began to sweat. He really would have to resolve the situation and soon because it was all getting out of hand.

They all trooped down in to the bowels of the hospital and broke up in to groups to search the place; so far they were having no luck. One of the last places to be searched was a small room in which the electrical switch panel for the hospital was located. What they saw when they got in there made their blood run cold. The walls were covered in pictures of the victims, taken before and after they had died. There were even pictures of the assault victims recovering in their beds on the ward, obviously unaware that they had been photographed. All the photographs had big x marks scrawled across them in red marker pen. Even more chilling were several photographs of Helen, as she went about her daily business which were marked by a big red question mark, it sent shivers down Helen's spine as well as Nikki's.

A detective discovered a note taped to the wall which read,

Too late! You already missed me!
What does that say about you Doctor Stewart?
Latin a little rusty is it? Never mind,
There will be plenty of other chances for
us to catch up. Hope you miss me, I know
I miss you!

Gone again
I'm far too quick
At least I'm at home
And not in the nick!

Goodbye for now
Be back in a while
When I come back
I'll do it in style!

Oh by the way, you can comb this place
as much as you like but you won't find
anything, I'm too clever for that!

The note was mocking them again, and Helen didn't much like the reference to herself, it was bad enough that it appeared the killer was obsessed with her without him leaving notes to her. Nikki had seen enough and decided to take Helen home, neither of them wanted to be there a moment longer than they had to and seeing as how Nikki still considered herself on leave, she left the rest of the group to get on with it.

Part 29

Several weeks later there was still no sign of the killer and they were beginning to wonder if he would ever show up again. Helen had taken a few days more off after the discovery of the killer's second hideout and had spent the time alone at home with Nikki getting to know her better. She and Nikki had sat and talked one night about Helen's life, she explained why she was so reluctant to talk about herself.

Helen had started off with her mother's death, when she was five and Lisa was two. After her mother's death, her father had become distant with them both and stopped taking an interest in them. He fed and clothed them and made sure they were looked after but the emotional side of things were non-existent and both Helen and Lisa had suffered. Helen had suffered more because she was older than Lisa and was able to understand things. She doted upon Lisa as they grew up, having to raise Lisa herself because their father was no use, and she shielded her sister from the worst of it, showering her with affection.

Lisa at least had Jill and Helen, but Helen had nobody and was forced to deal with things on her own. As they got older both Lisa and Jill had been there for Helen but she found it hard to open up to them and didn't want to burden them with her troubles. All her life it felt like her father had rejected her, and whenever she tried to talk to him about it, he refused to discuss it. Ever since then she had tried her best to make him proud, tried her best to make him love her again and nothing had worked. He disowned her for wanting to go to medical school saying that she should marry and settle down instead, that a woman's place was in the home taking care of her family, she had resisted his old fashioned attitude and had gone to medical school.

Helen explained to Nikki that was why she tried not to get too close to anybody, because she was afraid of loving somebody and being abandoned all over again. That was why she had behaved the way she did, being unfriendly to people so that they wouldn't get too close, she had thrown the barriers up and had kept the world out. Nikki promised her faithfully that she didn't have to worry about being abandoned, that she loved Helen and would never leave her. Helen felt some of the weight being lifted from her shoulders, a weight that she had carried around since childhood and it felt so good to be rid of some of it.

Since then she had made progress in coming to terms with her childhood, with a lot of help from Nikki and now felt better than she ever had. She trusted Nikki and knew that she loved her, the feelings were returned, and Helen loved her more than she could put in to words. They were living together now, at first it had been because Nikki didn't want Helen to be alone, but they had since talked about it and realised they both enjoyed it so much that they wanted it to be permanent. Helen had put her place on the market and moved in to Nikki's apartment, she felt just as at home there as she had in her own place.

One evening, Helen was home from the hospital early, she generally was these days because she had someone to go home to and being apart from Nikki for more than a few hours was torture. She had a call from Nikki telling her she was running late, so she decided to make a start on dinner. She had not long placed the casserole in the oven when she heard Nikki's key in the lock and her heart leapt as it always did when she knew she was home.

"Mmm something smells nice, hey sweetheart." Nikki walked over to Helen and pulled her in to a hug.

"Hey yourself." Helen replied as she always did, "thought you were going to be late?"

"I managed to get away early, I missed you today."

"I missed you too. I'm glad you're home."

"Me too, give me a kiss, I really need one." Nikki closed her eyes as Helen's lips touched hers.

They sat down to dinner and talked about their day, Helen had something special planned for tonight and although she was looking forward to it, she felt incredibly nervous. Nikki noticed something was on Helen's mind and took hold of her hand across the table.

"What's on your mind?"

"Nothing." Helen smiled.

"Tell me, what's going on in that gorgeous head of yours?" Nikki stood up and knelt down beside Helen.

"I keep forgetting you seem to be able to read me like a book these days." Helen gently kissed Nikki on the forehead, "I'm a bit nervous really, I know it's daft."

"Nervous about what?" Nikki frowned; she tried to think of a reason that Helen would be nervous.

"Well, I think tonight's the night." Helen smiled at Nikki seductively. Nikki had promised Helen that she could take things in her own time and that they would make love when she felt the time was right.

"For what?" Nikki looked puzzled.

"Here's me thinking you were a good detective." Helen pouted playfully.

"Oh!" Nikki said as it dawned on her what Helen was talking about, "right, the night!" Nikki grinned.

"Yes! I'm ready but I'm nervous."

"Don't worry sweetheart, we will take it slowly and I will be gentle I promise." Nikki kissed Helen's hand and rubbed her thumb over her palm.

"I know you will be. Take me to bed Nikki, I don't think I can wait much longer." Helen stood up and Nikki led her off to the bedroom.

Helen sat down on the bed and took hold of Nikki's hand pulling her down to sit beside her. Nikki took Helen in her arms and kissed her passionately and then pulled away to look at her.

"What's wrong Nikki? You're shaking." Helen said concerned as she felt Nikki tremble beside her.

"I'm really nervous, this is your first time and I want it to be special for you."

"Oh sweetheart! It will be special because it's with you, I thought I was bad but you're worse than I am." Helen smiled as she ran her hand down the side of Nikki's face lovingly.

They slowly undressed each other and then lay back on the bed in each others arms. They gazed at each other, words were not necessary because their looks spoke a thousand words. This was the moment Helen had been waiting for her whole adult life, to make love with somebody whom she loved more than life itself. Helen had come to realise that true love did in fact exist and she had been lucky enough to find it with Nikki, it was all she had ever dreamed that it would be and she could only imagine how much more complete it would all feel when they made love. It was one of the reasons she had never committed to anybody. They couldn't give her what she was looking for, couldn't give her what Nikki gave her and Helen knew now that all the pieces of the puzzle were firmly in place. Nikki was the person she had waited for her whole life.

She let Nikki take control, she felt safe with her and she trusted her completely. She knew Nikki would never hurt her and for once in her life it felt good to be able to relinquish control to somebody she knew would never abuse it. The feeling of Nikki's hands on her body was sending shivers right through her and she had never experienced anything like it, the feeling of Nikki's tongue dancing across her own was sheer heaven.

Nikki felt a feeling of deep desire coursing through her veins, never before had she loved or wanted somebody so much. The feeling of Helen's soft naked skin beneath her was pure bliss; it sent tiny electric shockwaves through her nerve endings whenever Helen brushed against her. She nibbled and kissed Helen's body gently; tasting her skin slowly and erotically and she knew it was driving Helen wild. She could hear her moaning softly and it spurred her on in her actions knowing that she was hitting the right spots.

"I love you." Nikki whispered as she nibbled on Helen's earlobe.

"I love you too." Helen whispered back breathlessly.

Nikki caressed and stroked Helen into a frenzy and when she could stand it no longer, she brought her lover crashing over the edge, whilst moaning her name. Helen flopped back on the bed feeling as if all her limbs were made of rubber, her legs took on a mind of their own and twitched around on the bed. She came back down to earth slowly as Nikki held her; they shared kisses and murmured softly to each other.

"Are you ok sweetheart?"

"I'm fine, god I can't believe what just happened. I was off the planet!" Helen exclaimed as she brushed her hair back from her forehead that was slick with perspiration.

"I noticed, no need to ask if you enjoyed it because I know you did and so do the neighbours." Nikki laughed softly.

"It was so good I just had to shout about it." Helen joked back.

Nikki sat up and swung her legs over the edge of the bed, Helen wondered where she was going.

"Where are you off to?"

"Bathroom, I really need to pee, I think I had too much wine at dinner."

"Don't be long, I need to return the favour and I need to return it now." Helen growled seductively making the hair on the back of Nikki's neck stand up.

"Be two ticks!" Nikki shot off to the bathroom and was back less than a minute later.

"That was quick."

"I have this gorgeous woman waiting in my bed to take me to heights of passion that I've never known, I wasn't going to take all night about it!" Nikki jumped on to the bed.

Helen made love to Nikki hesitantly at first, afraid that she wouldn't be able to please her properly, but she gained in confidence when she realised it was all coming naturally to her. She seemed to be enjoying it and Helen relaxed, she knew that Nikki would gently steer her in the direction she wanted her to go if she was getting it wrong. Nikki had no need to though, Helen was managing perfectly well on her own and it wasn't long before her orgasm came crashing down over her and she was crying Helen's name out as she held on to her.

Afterwards they both lay in each others arms and held on tightly. It felt like they were even closer now than they were before and they were fully aware now of the difference between sex and making love. It had been well worth waiting for and they were glad that they had because now there was a depth of feeling between them that only came from knowing each other so well. They made love several times afterwards and then collapsed back on the bed exhausted.

"I'm knackered, I do believe you have worn me out Doctor Stewart." Nikki smiled in the dark.

"Funnily enough I'm tired too, wonder if it has anything to with the insatiable woman lying next to me?"

"I'd say so! Thank god tomorrow is Saturday, I don't think I'm going to move until lunchtime."

"Mmmmm good idea, a nice long lie in with you, sounds wonderful."

"G'night Len, love you!" Nikki quipped, knowing it would wind her up.

"Nikki! You know I hate being called Len, both you and my bloody sister need to pack it in before I slap you both." Helen said amused.

"Sorry, I only said it cos I know it would get you going. Seriously though I really do love you."

"I know, I love you too sweetheart, night."

"Night babe." Nikki replied and snuggled down further in to the bed, with her arms tightly wrapped around Helen. It wasn't long until they both drifted off in to dreamland.

Part 30

The phone rang jolting Nikki in to consciousness; she disentangled herself from Helen's arms and legs and leaned over to answer the phone. Helen snuggled close to her again and wrapped her arms around her, as Nikki absentmindedly stroked her hair.

"Nikki Wade."

"Nikki, it's Tony. You better get down to the station, there has been an incident."

"What sort of incident?"

"Don't have time to explain now, just hurry up and get here."

"Ok, I'll be there as soon as I can." Nikki put the phone down and looked at the clock, it was 3am and Helen stirred beside her.

"Who was that?" Helen asked sleepily.

"One of the lads from work, something has happened and they need me to go in."

"What's happened?"

"I don't know, he didn't say. I'm going to have go sweetheart."

"Ohhh not fair." Helen complained as she semi-sat up.

"I know I wish I didn't have to go but I have no choice. Snuggle back down sweetheart, I'll be back to give you a kiss before I go." Nikki got out of bed and hurried in to the shower, she was back out ten minutes later and she dressed quickly. She didn't want to go to the station; she wished she could stay cuddled up next to Helen in bed where it was warm instead of having to go to work in the freezing cold.

"Helen, I'm off now. I've got my phone, so if you need me then just call ok?"

"Ok babe, be careful. See you later, I love you."

"I love you too, sweet dreams." Nikki kissed Helen and then pulled the covers up higher over her, before leaving the flat and making her way down to the car. She figured Helen would be safe enough because the building had good security, which is why they decided it would be best for her to move in, in the first place.

Nikki flipped the radio on and drove to work, she was fully awake after her shower now and for some reason, she had a sense of foreboding wash over her. The feeling in the pit of her stomach told her that something awful had just happened and at that point, she would have bet her last fiver that the killer was back. She raced inside the station and up to incident room.

"About time you got here Wade; have difficulty getting out of bed did ya?" Tony laughed.

"You would too if your girlfriend was as gorgeous as mine." Nikki shot back and Tony shut up.

DCI Jones entered the room not looking in the least bit happy, and stood with his hands in his pockets as he spoke.

"Alright you lot, shut it. It now looks like the killer is back and we have a major investigation on our hands. There has been a double murder at the hospital tonight, two nurses and as yet the identities are unknown. Wade, you will be required to go back to the hospital, it is now detrimental that we catch this killer."

"It was detrimental before sir and I did warn you that it would happen again but you couldn't be bothered to listen. What cover story should I use when I go back?"

"That's up to you, it's not my problem. Start back on Monday morning. Right you lot I want you at the hospital, you stay here." he pointed to Nikki and went to walk away.

"But sir! I should be at the hospital; I should help out with the investigation."

"You don't want to blow your cover. Why don't you stay here and work on getting your story straight." he smirked and left the office, with a large group of officers following behind.

Nikki surveyed the office and save for a lone WPC who was filing, it was empty. She wasn't about to sit round like an idiot and made her way to the canteen, she ordered some food and a cup of coffee and then sat down and lit a cigarette. She thought about Helen who would be at home snuggled up in bed and dreaming away, she really wished she was with her instead of sitting in the station like a lemon. She picked up her breakfast when it was ready and was half way through eating it when a woman sat down in front of her.

"Nikki, just the person I'm looking for."

"Hey Debs, what's up?"

"Those numbers that you asked me to trace, I've finally got them. They are upstairs in my desk, sorry about the delay the phone company were slow in getting back to me, so if you have time later just drop by."

"Not a problem, thanks a lot, I owe you one."

"My pleasure, see you later."

"Yeah see you later." Nikki smiled at Debs and then turned her attention back to her breakfast.

Over at the hospital things were looking grim, two bodies lay close to each other on the floor of the toilets and the place was awash with blood, the two women had been very savagely beaten to death. By the looks of it they hadn't been killed all that long ago, and within minutes of each other as the blood was only slightly congealed. The forensic team and the pathologist got to work and DCI Jones stood nearby and watched. He knew deep down that he should never have pulled Nikki off the case but he had been forced to bow to pressure that came from the higher ups. He knew she would have gotten a result sooner or later and maybe then these women would not have had to die.

When the scene had been thoroughly examined and the bodies had been removed, the team went back to the station for a briefing. Nikki looked bored, she had been sat at her desk for over 3 hours with nothing to do, she looked up when they all trooped in.

"Right lets get this briefing done and then you can all bugger off home, I want you all back here at 2 o'clock this afternoon understood?" he looked around the room and they all nodded, "Except you Wade, I need to speak to you before you go."

"Of course sir." Nikki answered respectfully.

"Right the victims have been identified, Sarah Smith aged 35, and Jennifer Gibson aged 27. The faces were beaten beyond recognition but their id badges positively confirmed their identity. One of the victims was blonde which fits in with the killers other victims but the second one, Miss Gibson was a brunette, what are your thoughts Wade?"

"Since we know the killer has a penchant for blonde women because they resemble the woman he is obsessed with to some extent, I don't think it's unreasonable to assume that the second victim surprised him. He may have been about to leave when Miss Gibson entered the toilets and startled him, he panicked and killed her too." Nikki thought that was the most likely explanation, "unless of course he isn't killing for a specific reason now."

"Thank you, anybody else got any questions?" DCI Jones looked around the room.

"I have sir." Tony raised his hand, "we've all seen transcripts of the diary, and are we any clearer on who it is that he is obsessed with?"

"Nikki?" DCI Jones looked towards her once again.

"Yes, I have an idea who it is. I'm pretty sure it's Doctor Helen Stewart, the consultant who runs the A & E department. There were several indications in the diary that led me to believe it may be her."

"If she is the one he is obsessed with then is Doctor Stewart adequately protected?" one of the female officers at the back of the room asked.

"Yes she is." Nikki blushed slightly at the question.

"Oh yeah? You taking extra special care of her then Nik? No wonder you couldn't get out of bed this morning, Doctor Stewart is one gorgeous woman." Tony smirked.

"She's safe, that's all you need to know, it's none of your bloody business anyway Tony." Nikki glared at him.

"Alright you lot I think that's about it for tonight. Johnson, Williams, I want you both here at 11am tomorrow to attend the post mortem, the rest of you back at 2. Off you go. Wade, my office please."

He walked off and Nikki followed him, she entered his office and closed the door behind her. Taking a seat, she made herself comfortable and waited for her boss to get started.

"As you know you are required to be back at the hospital on Monday morning, I don't need to tell you that it's crucial that we find this bastard."

"No sir you don't and if you hadn't dragged me off the case I might have found him before now." Nikki wasn't sure if she would have but she wanted to get a dig in anyway.

"Yes well about that. I'm afraid I must apologise, had it been my decision I would have kept you there no matter how long it took but I was being pressured from above, I'm sorry." he did genuinely look sorry, but Nikki knew he could have forced the issue if he had wanted to.

"Apology accepted sir but I need to find the killer and no matter how long it takes, I have to be there to see it through. You can't just keep pulling me off the case."

"I know that, and I intend to make sure that you will remain there for as long as need be. Right that's all I wanted to say really, you know the score, just keep me informed."

"I will sir, see you at 2." Nikki stood up and went to leave the office.

"Don't bother coming in, you were due the weekend off anyway, so take it and relax before Monday. Have fun with Doctor Stewart!" he grinned.

"Don't you start! Bye sir." Nikki left the office and closed the door quietly behind her as DCI Jones rested his head on the desk, he really wished they would catch the killer soon. Nikki made a quick stop to pick up the information about the numbers that Debs had gathered and then left the station.

Nikki sat inside her car at the traffic lights, and contemplated going back to the hospital on Monday morning. She wasn't looking forward to it because she would have to face Kerry, she really didn't want another confrontation with her. She would also have to search far and wide for the killer and it was like trying to find a needle in a haystack, but the one good thing about it would be that Helen would be there. At least they would be together for most of the day.

She soon parked outside her apartment and made her way up in the lift, a smile curled around the edges of her mouth as she thought of Helen who would still be snuggled up in bed and she couldn't wait to join her.

Part 31

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