Duty of Care
Nikki heard a shuffling noise somewhere off in the distance and she froze. Her eyes darted about the room anxiously, watching and waiting for any sign of the killer, she knew the bastard was up there somewhere and he had Helen. She slowly edged towards the door as the shuffling noise got louder and as the door opened slowly, a familiar head popped in. Nikki noticed who it was and breathed a sigh of relief.
"Helen!" Nikki held her arms open as Helen came running towards her.
"I got this note telling me that the killer had you up here, it was brought to me in the meeting and I panicked. I ran straight up here, thank god you're ok sweetheart." it all came out in a rush. Helen bent double and held on to Nikki as she tried to get her breath back.
"I got a note too; I've never been so frightened in my entire life." Nikki was glad Helen was ok, it dawned on her that they had both been reeled in, "Shit! We've both just been set up; he wanted us up here for a reason."
"We should go before he shows up." The fear in Helen's eyes was clearly visible.
"Not a bad idea, we can call in some backup." Nikki took hold of Helen's hand and they started off towards the door.
They heard a noise and they both stood rooted to the spot, the noise was coming from the corridor. Nikki was ready for whoever it was this time and she retreated further in to the ward, pulling Helen along with her. The door opened and Paul walked in with a strange look on his face. Nikki and Helen saw him at the same time and their worst fear looked as if it had been confirmed. Paul came toward them, Nikki didn't want him getting any closer, her first priority was to protect Helen. She now had a chance to catch him and put him away, she needed to be careful, she didn't want to mess it all up now.
"Stand still Paul."
"Are you both ok? I noticed you running off, I read the note you dropped." He didn't seem to be listening and walked closer to them.
"Back off! Don't come any closer." Nikki tried to sound calm even if she didn't feel that way.
Nikki stepped further back, pushing Helen along with her trying to put some distance between them and Paul.
"I don't understand, what are you talking about?"
"Stay right where you are, I don't want you anywhere near Helen." Nikki pushed Helen further back against the wall.
"I know what you're thinking, you've got it all wrong." He came a few steps closer.
"Do as she says Paul, don't come any closer."
"Helen, surely you don't believe I would hurt either of you?" He looked at her pleadingly.
"I don't know what to believe anymore, you've been acting so strangely lately."
"I know you think I'm the killer but I didn't kill anybody. I'm not here to do you any harm; I came up here because I read the note. We're all in danger; we should get out of here and quickly."
Neither of them trusted him, he sounded sincere but they knew that psychopaths were very easily able to make you believe them. They were masters in the art of deception.
"Were you the one making the silent calls to Helen?"
"Yes I was...." Paul started to speak but Nikki interrupted him.
"For what reason? And why use call boxes?"
"I needed to talk to her and she wouldn't listen, every time I tried to talk to her she said she was busy. I used the call boxes so she wouldn't know it was me but she stopped answering her mobile so I tried the house instead. I didn't have the courage to speak to her so I kept putting the phone down."
"You have to admit it makes you look guilty as hell. Helen found the killer's diary, we know he is obsessed with Helen. Is that why you've been calling her? Are you obsessed with her?"
"I'm not obsessed with Helen!"
"You can tell that to the police Paul, it's time to give yourself up." Helen spoke quietly from Nikki's side.
"You're not bloody listening to me! I won't hurt you Helen. Why on earth would I want to hurt my own sister?"
"What?" Nikki and Helen gasped at the same time.
Before Paul could answer he was thrown to the ground as a figure jumped down from the ceiling and knocked him out with a blow to the head. He slumped unconsciously to the floor and the killer turned around to face them.
"Ah welcome! I thought it was about time we had a little chat, I have a few scores to settle and I thought this was the perfect place. Cosy isn't it?"
As the killer spoke, they were both sure they recognised the voice. The mask was slowly removed and they stood there watching in amazement as it dawned on them who was responsible for the murders.
Jill and Lisa were in town shopping, they were waiting for Nikki and Helen to show up. They had promised to take the afternoon off to shop with them and agreed to meet at 1pm. It was now nearing 2pm and Lisa was starting to get worried, she had a niggling feeling that something wasn't right. She couldn't put her finger on it but she knew deep down something was wrong.
"They should be here already, I'm worried, something doesn't feel right. Helen is always running five minutes late but it's not like her to be this late, she would call me if she couldn't get here."
"They are probably really busy at work, give it a bit longer and try not to worry, it's bad for the baby." Jill took hold of Lisa's hand and gripped it tightly.
"I'll give it another half an hour Jill but if they aren't here by then, I'm going to go to the hospital."
"We'll try calling them first and if that doesn't work then I'll drive you there."
At 2:30pm Lisa was beside herself, they had called both Nikki and Helen's mobiles but didn't get an answer. They called the hospital but nobody had seen Helen and she wasn't in her office. Jill was also worried by now and she drove Lisa to the hospital so that they could go in search of Helen, they rushed in to reception.
"Excuse me; have you seen Doctor Stewart or Nikki Wade?" Jill was out of breath and had trouble speaking.
"And you are miss?"
"I'm Doctor Stewart's sister, have you seen them?" Lisa spoke up.
"No I'm afraid I haven't seen either of them for a while, Doctor Stewart was in a meeting, I do know that much. Nikki went running off a while ago and then Doctor Barrett followed her, come to think of it, I haven't seen him for a while either."
"Did you just say Doctor Barrett, Paul Barrett?" Lisa started to panic.
"Yes why?" the receptionist looked at them both as if they were strange.
"Oh shit, that's the guy they were talking about the other night." Jill's eyes were wide with fear.
"Quick, call the police, tell them Doctor Stewart and DS Wade are in trouble."
"Just do it." Lisa shouted.
"Why what's the matter?" The receptionist looked baffled so Lisa grabbed the phone herself and dialed 999.
"Hello, police please......."
The killer advanced towards them and Helen held on to Nikki with an iron grip, he smiled at them and slid a couple of chairs across the floor to them.
"Have a seat; this is going to take a while."
They slowly sat down, keeping as far away from him as possible; he sat down on a chair opposite them and folded his arms.
"Where to begin? Hmmm let me see, oh just a minute, I forgot something. Don't move now will you?" he smirked and jumped up.
Nikki and Helen knew there was no way of escaping without having to run past him and they knew it was a pretty big risk. He bent over and rifled through a big pile of old hospital linen and pulled out an unconscious woman. They couldn't see who it was until he carried her closer and then gently placed her on the floor.
"Just you lay there, won't be long now." he placed a kiss on Kerry's forehead and then sat back down.
"Right now where we were? Never mind, why don't you start Nikki, I can see you are positively dying to ask me questions." he smirked at his own joke.
"I thought you would have been banged up by now Vince."
"You'd think so wouldn't you? I managed to get away with it, well with a little help from my father anyway. My father is a very well known man; he has lots of friends in high places. Tell me, have you ever heard of Sir Miles Forbes?"
"He's the country's leading cardiothoracic surgeon." Helen recognised the name straightaway.
"Yes that's right, good girl! Let's get down to business, my diary makes good reading doesn't it?" he spoke matter of factly as if he was discussing the weather.
"You sick bastard." Nikki snarled at him.
"Clever sick bastard if you please. You think you're the one I'm referring to when I say my special one don't you?" he directed his question at Helen.
"Yes." the reply was short and to the point, she didn't want to talk to him.
"That's where you'd be wrong, to be fair though that's what I wanted you to think. The woman who I call my special one is in fact Kerry."
"Why pretend it was Helen then? You did after all have your tongue hanging out at her in the pub." Nikki was considering her options while she kept him talking, trying to find a safe way out of there.
"I'll get to that later. The reason I was eyeing Helen up is simple, I was acting. People just see me as the bloke who has an eye for the ladies; they would never suspect I was a killer."
"Yes you did and I have to give you top marks for that DS Wade."
"So go on then, you may as well tell us your sick little story because I can see you're eager to."
"It's all very simple really, I found out you were a police officer that day when I murdered the first woman. So I set myself up with the drugs because you were getting too close, I knew I would have to go through questioning but it was a breeze really, I quite enjoyed it. My father got me off eventually and I came back to the hospital."
"Were you the one stealing the drugs all along?"
"No that was Kerry, that's another reason why I set the whole thing up; I didn't want her to get in to trouble. I knew she was selling them so I bought the last lot from her and then left them in my locker for you to find because you noticed the cuts and the blood on my shirt. It was quite clever really because I was out of the frame and Kerry stopped stealing the drugs for fear of getting caught so that problem was solved too."
"What about the diary?"
"That was for your benefit. I left it outside for Doctor Stewart to find, she was so pre-occupied that she didn't see me place it there. It was all true, just worded cleverly so that you would think it was her I was obsessed with. Surely you must have realised that it wouldn't be her though because I attacked her." Vince was grinning, he was getting off on all of this.
"We did wonder, but then psychopaths often do unexpected things. It still doesn't explain why you wanted us to think you were obsessed with Helen, why was that?" Nikki couldn't make sense of it.
"Did you have fun reading it? I'd hoped you would." he ignored her question.
"It was sick, just like the person who wrote it. If it's not Helen you are obsessed with then why bother trying to convince us that you were?" Nikki asked the question again as she calculated the distance to the door. Could she distract Vince and grab him while Helen escaped?
"I had intended on having fun with you both, I just had to come up with ways to do it. When you saw me coming up here that day, I realised it was the perfect opportunity to put my plan in to action. I wanted you to find the bloody scrubs; I wanted you to read my diary. I wanted you to think I was obsessed with Helen because it was a great way of reeling you both in, you both thought you knew it all, when all along I had you fooled." Vince laughed, he couldn't get over how clever he was. "I had a score to settle with you both and I figured that would be a good way to get you exactly where I wanted you."
"What was with all the notes then? That just another way to boost your ego? I reckon you think too much of yourself Vince, you're not even a good porter never mind a doctor."
"Ah well just goes to show how much you know! I am actually a doctor. The notes were all part of my plan. Fancy hearing my life story?" Vince was eager to tell them, he loved to talk about himself and how clever he was.
"Not like we're going anywhere is it?" Nikki looked uninterested but she wanted to know as much about him as she could so that she could start piecing everything together.
"You're going to be here for a little while longer, you should enjoy it while you can." He smirked.
"Meaning what?" Helen tried to sound normal but the fear bubbling inside her wasn't making it easy.
"Meaning that when I'm done with my story, I'm going to settle things with you at last, I'm going to make you feel everything those women felt when I killed them. My only problem is to decide which one of you I want to get rid of first." A strange look passed fleetingly across his face.
"Don't worry sweetheart, I won't let him anywhere near us." Nikki whispered to Helen out of the corner of her mouth.
"Be careful Nik, he's out of his mind." Helen whispered back.
"Oh isn't that sweet, two lovers whispering away to themselves. Don't look so surprised, I told you I see everything, I know the two of you are together. Sweet really because the both of you are going to die together. Right now where was I? Oh yes my story." Vince paused for breath.
Nikki and Helen had no choice but to sit there and listen, there wasn't anything they could do at the moment. Vince was unaware that behind him, Paul had regained consciousness and was laying there deadly still until he could make his move.
"I was a very gifted child at school and my father was immensely proud of me. I worked my way through school with flying colours and then went to medical school; I was something of a celebrity I can tell you. Two weeks before my final exam, I was out in my car and the weather turned bad. It was raining and I lost control, I slammed in to an articulated lorry and I was in a coma for six weeks. I missed out on my chance to be a doctor all because of a lousy accident, although my test scores predicted that I would pass very easily, and when I couldn't my father wasn't pleased. I was slower because of the head injury but I lost none of my intelligence, only he chose to ignore that and packed me off in to the army where I served for three miserable years until I was discharged for beating up another soldier. Then my father got me a job in this hospital as a porter, I wasn't even good enough to be a porter in the hospital where he works."
"As much as my heart bleeds for you Vince, is there a point to this?" Nikki looked bored but on the inside was amazed; he was just like the book said he would be, he fit the perfect profile of a serial killer.
"The point is that everyone thinks I'm an idiot including my father and including you." he pointed at Nikki and Helen, "I've proved to you that I'm not stupid."
"I never said you were an idiot Vince, I said you were a sick bastard but I didn't mention the word idiot. It still doesn't explain why you pointed us in the direction of you being a doctor."
"I just told you! I am a doctor, I've probably forgotten more about medicine than she will ever know." he pointed at Helen as he exploded.
"I doubt that, I'm a consultant. I've had years of experience, you were a medical student who never passed his final."
"You think you're so clever, well you're not."
"Not exactly true though is it? I mean you led us up the garden path, if you had been more honest with your clues then we might have figured it out but instead you fed us false information."
"Doesn't change the fact I'm still too clever for you." Vince said sulkily, he stood up and started to pace, Nikki could see he was getting agitated.
"I beg to differ; there is a difference between being clever enough not to get caught and feeding the police false information so you don't get picked up. You're a good liar I'll give you that but you aren't really that smart after all." Nikki thought if she could get him wound up then his concentration might wander and it would give her the opportunity to tell Helen to run.
"I'm smarter than you'll ever be, I've wandered around this hospital and nobody even noticed." he seemed to calm down slightly which wasn't what Nikki wanted.
"How have you been traveling around the hospital unnoticed?" Nikki was keen to know.
"Ceiling spaces, maintenance shafts, the things you see when your invisible! Next question." he smirked.
"What's this so called score you have to settle? I also want to know why you attacked Helen."
"That's 2 questions but seeing as how I'm feeling generous, I'll answer them." he waved his hand at them as if he was something special, "I attacked Helen because she was always going on at Kerry, always shouting at her for some reason or another. She's even bollocked me a few times and not privately either, she made sure all the staff could hear. If I could get revenge on her and take her as another victim then I could kill two birds with one stone but it didn't work out because our intrepid investigator here put a stop to that. So I was forced to resort to plan b, fool you both in to getting you where I wanted you and do it this way instead." He smirked as he looked over at them; it made their blood run cold.
"And the reason I pissed you off?"
"You tried to take Kerry away from me, tried to take away the woman I love, plain and simple. Besides Nikki you're a copper, isn't that reason enough?" he grinned maniacally at her.
"So all this is about revenge? You wanted to get Helen because you couldn't make her pay the first time and you want me because I went out with Kerry for a short while. Jesus Vince, how old are you? You're acting like a bloody child." Nikki tried to wind him up a little.
"I wanted revenge for myself and for Kerry because she can't do it herself!" He started to get angry at the suggestion of him behaving like a child.
"She's already tried getting revenge on us both, she isn't as helpless as you think." Helen spoke as she shifted on the chair slightly and gripped Nikki's hand tighter.
"I know I saw it all, pity you didn't believe her Helen, she was telling you the truth, Kerry never lies."
"Oh is that right?" Nikki said sarcastically.
"Yes that's right." he said indignantly.
"Did you know Kerry moonlights as a stripper Vince?" Nikki dropped a bombshell.
"What?" he looked genuinely shocked.
"Oh yeah Kerry here isn't as pure as she makes out, I checked up on her and she works at Roxy's strip club. That's how she subsidises her income, giving her customers little extra's, well that and stealing drugs. You're wasting your time Vince, she isn't interested in you, she's gay."
"She likes men too, I know she does. I told her once before I really liked her and she said she liked me, she always used to flirt with me. One day I asked her out and she said she wouldn't go out with me if I was the last guy on the planet, she started avoiding me. That hurt until I realised she was playing hard to get and ever since then I've been trying to win her over. That was another reason why I was eyeing Helen up, I hoped it would make her jealous. I don't believe your story about Kerry being a stripper, it's not true." he had followed Kerry to the strip club on numerous occasions but he chose to block it out.
"She was playing with you Vince, she flirts with everybody and then when it's no longer fun she moves on to somebody else." Nikki said quietly.
"You're wrong; you don't know her like I do. What else do you want to know? Make it quick because I'm getting impatient." it had the desired effect and Vince was getting worked up again.
"There isn't much else I need to know. We know why you either assaulted or killed those women. It was to try and prove to Kerry that she was the only one you wanted, except it didn't all go to plan because you had to pick whatever victim was hanging about didn't you?"
"Once or twice yes, that was unfortunate because I wanted to wait but they were telling me it needed to be done quickly so that I could bring it full circle, then I could have my special one."
"Didn't work though did it Vince? Kerry still doesn't love you. Those women were hurt and killed for nothing and at the end you still don't have what you wanted most."
"That's not true; she will fall in love with me. When she wakes up and sees me it will be love at first sight. I killed all those women for her to prove how much I care!"
"Grow up Vince, it's not a kid's fairytale, this is real life, she doesn't love you and she never will. Kerry isn't the type of person who will ever love anybody, she is far too selfish and only out for what she can get."
"Don't say that! It's not true! The voices told me it would work." Vince jumped up and started to pace, he was getting more agitated by the minute.
"The voices aren't real, they only exist in your head." it was obvious to Nikki that he was a schizophrenic.
"They are real; I'm not a fucking fruitcake!" Vince screamed.
"You should give yourself up, they can help you. There are drugs they can give you." Nikki pushed him a little further. She thought at this point that his accident had probably caused his schizophrenia; she had read articles about how head injuries could sometimes be linked to a person developing the illness.
"I don't need any help, all I need is Kerry."
Helen's knuckles went white as Vince came rushing towards them, he grabbed Helen and Nikki tried to push him away. The fear rose up in her throat like bile and she had to try to stay calm and not panic.
"You really are a very attractive woman Helen, it's a shame you have to die." he had managed to pull Helen away from Nikki who had been knocked on to the floor. Helen stood there almost paralysed with fear.
"Let her go Vince, this is between you and me now." Nikki stood up and took a step closer to him.
"I can see why you fancy her, maybe I should sample her for myself before I kill her, want to watch?" he grinned evilly at Nikki as he ran his hand down Helen's side. Helen shivered in horror.
"Let her go Vince, it's not really Helen you want if you're honest. I'm the one you want, I'm the one who tried to take Kerry away from you. Kerry is a terrific kisser by the way, she just loves to use her tongue." Nikki deliberately tried to make him come after her.
"Shut up! You're lying, she never kissed you, she wouldn't."
"Oh but she did Vince, we kissed and I could feel her body pressed against mine, it was warm and soft and boy did she feel good. And her breasts, so soft to the touch but then again you wouldn't know because she wouldn't let you near her. I managed to get that close though." Nikki grinned at him.
"Shut up!" Vince screamed and tightened his grip on Helen. He pulled a syringe from his pocket and took the protective covering off the needle with his teeth, which he than spat out on to the floor, "don't come any closer, this syringe is full of potassium chloride. It's enough to kill Helen stone dead as soon I inject it in to her. She will go in to cardiac arrest and die rapidly." Vince had a look of total evil on his face as he moved the syringe closer to Helen's neck. Helen felt her legs go weak and she wanted to pass out.
"Not your style Vince, there is no fun in poisoning somebody, they don't feel pain then." Nikki said quietly, she knew if she could get him worked up enough then he would forget about Helen and come after her.
"Maybe not but I know you would feel pain. Seeing the woman you love have a heart attack and die in front of you wouldn't be pleasant. Poisoning her would be worth it just to see the look on your face." he spoke slowly, emphasising every word. He moved the needle closer to Helen's jugular.
"Funny how things turn out. Your plans are all going to rat shit Vince and I take great pleasure in knowing that I'm partly responsible because this isn't how you envisaged it at all is it? Why don't you show me how clever you really are and come over here? Come on, settle this score with me." Nikki beckoned to him.
Helen knew what Nikki was trying to do and she begged her silently with her eyes not to do it, she didn't want Nikki to get hurt. She would rather die than have Nikki hurt but she would not look at her, she had her eyes trained on Vince.
"Shall I tell you about the time we made love Vince? Kerry was so turned on and I didn't even have to touch her. She ripped her clothes off and jumped on me before I had time to blink." she took a step closer; she would lie through her back teeth if she had to, to get him away from Helen.
"Don't you dare talk about her like that!" Vince screamed. In his rage Vince had forgotten all about holding the syringe to Helen's neck and his hand fell down at his side.
"It's true Vince, did you know she likes to be the one in control?" Nikki was trying to make him lose it.
He lunged at Nikki and Helen was knocked sideways on to the floor. The syringe was dropped and it rolled under a nearby bed. Nikki began to grapple with Vince but he was strong and she was having difficulty in restraining him. Helen tried to pull him off but his strength was too much for her and he knocked her flying again.
"Helen run!" Nikki shouted while she tried to push Vince against the wall.
"No Nikki, there's no way I'm leaving you." Helen sobbed, she just couldn't leave Nikki behind.
Vince had managed to put his hands around Nikki's throat and Helen tried desperately to drag him off but she couldn't move him. Nikki's face was going blue and her eyes were bulging, Vince tightened his grip.
"Helen....go...get police." she managed to gasp before she lost consciousness.
"Do as she says, go and get the police." Paul was struggling to stand up, he still felt woozy and his head thumped. His vision was blurred and he could hardly see.
Helen didn't want to leave Nikki but she knew she had to call the police. Paul had managed to stagger over to Nikki and Helen prayed that he could help her in time. She ran off as fast as she could and came crashing in to the reception, just as DCI Jones ran in the door with backup.
1 week later
It was now only a week before Christmas and snow was falling heavily, while a bitingly cold wind whipped the snowflakes around the graveyard. Helen stood and watched as the coffin was lowered in to the frozen ground and she couldn't hold on to her tears, Lisa gripped her hand tightly. She watched as Helen threw a single red rose on to the coffin.
Helen felt numb; she couldn't believe that this had happened. She wished she could somehow turn the clock back and change everything but it was too late for that. The vicar had finished the service and he moved silently away through the gravestones after giving them a few words of comfort. The mourners began to trail off and Helen stood there weeping by the side of the grave on her own. Lisa had sensed she needed some space and stepped back with Jill.
"I love you; I wish you were here to hear it. You're going to miss out on so much, Lisa and Jill's baby will never know you and the thought breaks my heart." Helen wiped her tears away with her hand but they were immediately replaced by more.
"There was so much more we could have learnt about each other. So much that we never knew, things that we never had chance to tell each other. I love you and I always will, I hope that wherever you are, you know that. I'll see you again one day but until then I'll never ever forget you." Helen was freezing and she supposed it was time she should be going.
"Time for you to go home sweetheart." She heard a gentle voice in her ear that seemed to drift on the wind and felt a soft hand slowly slip in to hers.
"Come on Len, she's right. It's time we were getting home, it's getting colder." Lisa had walked up to stand behind Helen and gently touched her on the shoulder.
Helen turned around and tearfully smiled at Lisa, then up at Nikki. She let go of Nikki's hand and pulled her in to a hug, she could so easily have lost her as well as her father and she was truly thankful that it hadn't happened. She took one last look at the grave and then they started to make their way back to the car and the wake. They got to the house, everybody had paid their last respects and stood talking quietly as they ate and drank. A short while later, the solicitor read the will.
"To my daughters Helen and Lisa, I leave all my worldly goods. The house and the money is to be split equally between them both to do with as they choose." the solicitor finished reading the will and then everybody started to make their way home, "your father gave me this letter to give to you both, he asked me to tell you that he wanted you to read it when everybody has gone and you have the house to yourselves."
"Thank you Mr. McDougall." Helen shook his hand and took the letter from him.
He shook hands with them all then he left. When the rest of the house was at last empty, they sat down together and contemplated reading the letter.
"Nikki would you read the letter to us? I don't think either of us can manage it." Lisa looked to Helen for confirmation.
"Would you Nik?"
"Of course sweetheart." Nikki took the envelope, and opened it. She cleared her throat and began to read.
Dear Helen & Lisa,
If you are reading this letter then that means I am already dead and my funeral is over with. I knew that despite our estranged relationship, you would both come. The purpose of this letter is to say things to you that I never could while I was alive, things I didn't have the courage to tell you.
After your mother died, I was left with two young children to bring up on my own. It was such a shock to lose your mother and the light went out of my life, I couldn't get over missing her and you both reminded me of her so much that it was painful to look at you. Instead of pulling you closer, I pushed you both away, and that was very wrong of me. I have regretted that ever since and I know that no amount of apologising will ever be enough to put it right.
I know you had a miserable childhood Helen; you were all alone with nobody to lean on. That will bother you for the rest of your life and I feel so much guilt at the prospect that it makes my heart ache. I should never have disowned you when you chose to go to medical school, it should have made me proud that my daughter was to become a doctor, instead I tried to stamp all over your dreams and I wouldn't blame you if you hated me for it.
Lisa, your childhood was far better than Helen's, she was there to look after you and always showered you with so much love that it put me to shame. A young girl who was still only a child herself had to bring up her sister because her father wasn't man enough to do it. I hope you are always grateful to your sister Lisa because she has made you the incredible woman you are today. When you told me you were gay, I hit the roof, and I disowned you. That is something else I am ashamed of, instead of shouting at you, I should have helped you through the difficult time of finding out who you were and coping with your sexuality.
I want you both to know that a father could never wish for better daughters than I had, and I'm immensely proud of both of you. I never told you while I was alive because I was too afraid. Too scared to face up to my mistakes and too scared to admit I was wrong. Never a day has gone by where I haven't missed you both, and will always love you very much. I don't expect you to forgive me, I don't deserve it but I wanted to tell you all of this so that it may give you some peace of mind to know that your father did love you and he was proud of you, he was just a stubborn old fool and couldn't bring himself to say it.
Take good care of each other, I know the both of you will always be close, I wish you every happiness in the world. Lisa, you were lucky enough to find Jill and I know she will always be there for you, she is a wonderful woman. Helen, I don't know if you have anybody right now but if you do I hope they will love and cherish you, you deserve it after all you've been through. My lasting wish is that you are both as happy as I was with your mother.
All my love,
Helen and Lisa were sobbing on to each others shoulder, Nikki and Jill were crying too. They both stood up and made their way in to the kitchen so that Lisa and Helen could have some time alone.
"Christ what a bloody week." Nikki rubbed her face and then flipped the kettle on.
"It's been one thing after another lately." Jill agreed.
"I thought after all the shit with Vince was done then we could begin to put everything behind us and then this happens. I wish there was more I could do for Helen, she's been through such a rough time lately."
"Just being there for her and loving her is enough." Jill placed a hand on Nikki's arm and squeezed it gently, "she was distraught when she thought you were dead, she wouldn't believe that you weren't until she saw you for herself."
"I know, the look on her face broke my heart. It was a good job Paul was there otherwise I would have been dead." Nikki thought back to that day, she had come to and opened her eyes to find Paul leaning over her checking her vital signs. She could see Vince on the floor unconscious and then the police burst in. Helen turned up a few seconds later with DCI Jones and was breaking her heart crying, she wouldn't believe Nikki was alive until she stood up and held on to her tightly. It had taken her a while to calm Helen down.
"What's going to happen to Vince now then?"
"We're waiting for the trial to come up, he was interviewed and he admitted everything but as yet I don't know what went on during the interviews, I won't until I go back to work in the new year. He will also be charged with Kerry's murder. He didn't realise at the time that he had gotten his syringes mixed up, he injected the potassium in to Kerry instead of anaesthetic and didn't realise she was dead. Jesus, I was so scared when he had that syringe pointed at Helen's neck."
"It must have been awful for you both. What about Paul? Is he ok?"
"He's fine; the bump on the head didn't seem to do him any harm."
"What's going to happen now then?"
"I don't know, he and Helen had a quick word with each other before we all got interviewed but that was the last time she saw him. She called him when she found out her dad died but he didn't think it was wise to come to the funeral and Helen hasn't mentioned him since."
"Lisa wants to meet him, she was shocked when she found out but now she is keen to see what he's like."
"I think Helen is too but it will take time for the shock to wear off. When all this is over I'll try and talk to her about it."
"Talk to me about what?" Helen was standing in the doorway.
"About you and Lisa getting to know Paul."
"I called him this morning before the funeral, he's coming to see us on Christmas day, I thought it would be a good idea for us all to get to know each other properly. He's keen to meet Lisa."
"That's great, Lisa will be made up." Jill handed a cup of coffee to Helen, "where is she?"
"She's in the garden, she wanted some fresh air."
"Bloody woman, it's freezing out there. I better go and see if she's ok." Jill left the kitchen.
"You ok sweetheart?" Nikki stepped forward and wrapped her arms around Helen. She settled her head on Nikki's shoulder and closed her eyes.
"I'm fine, just been one hell of a day. Scratch that, it's been one hell of a week."
"It certainly has."
"I thought I'd lost you and the feeling was awful, it was like I had a lump of ice in the pit of my stomach. I love you so much Nikki."
"I love you too darling, I promise you won't ever lose me, I'll always be right by your side." Nikki placed a kiss on Helen's forehead.
"Lisa and I were talking, we want to get out of here as soon as possible before we get snowed in. Neither of us fancy having to spend Christmas here, we want to go home." Helen snuggled further in to Nikki's arms.
"That's fine love, we can leave as soon as you're both ready." Nikki wrapped her arms tighter around Helen and quietly comforted her.
An hour later, they packed the car up and started back on their journey southwards. Helen watched the scenery as they drove past, the snow was swirling all around them and the hills were misty shapes in the distance. It had been some time since she had been back to Scotland and she missed the place, she had always wanted to return one day but now her home would be wherever Nikki was. Lisa and Jill had fallen asleep in the back seat and Helen felt herself growing drowsy, she drifted off as the movement of the car rocked her to sleep.
"Are you lot going to sleep all bloody night?" Nikki said loudly.
Helen's eyes shot open as she jumped. The car had stopped; they were sitting outside their apartment.
"We're home?" Helen couldn't believe she had slept all the way from Scotland to London.
"Yep. You lot must have been knackered because I stopped off three times along the way and you never even woke up. God what a laugh that was when I came out after having a pee and spotted a big group of Japanese tourists taking your picture."
"Oh god Nikki I'm sorry, you must be tired having to drive all that way. You should have woken me so I could take over and let you rest. What bloody Japanese tourists?" Helen sat up straight in her seat and looked at Nikki.
"There were loads of them with cameras flashing away, they got a great one of you drooling on the window." Nikki giggled and Helen knew she was taking the piss, "it's ok you obviously needed to sleep." Nikki smiled as Helen looked at her.
"You're a wind up merchant Wade, good job I love you." Helen reached over and kissed her.
"I love you too. Come on, lets get inside." Nikki hauled the bags from the car and carried them in.
Helen phoned for a takeaway while everybody went off to get showered and changed. Then she went in to the bedroom, got undressed and joined Nikki in the shower.
"Hey sweetheart." Nikki turned around and smiled.
"Hey yourself." she wrapped her arms around Nikki from behind and placed gentle kisses on her shoulder blades.
"You wouldn't be getting ideas about dragging me off to bed would you?" Nikki joked, she wanted to try and lift Helen's spirits a little.
"Hmmmm you know me so well." Helen began to kiss the back of Nikki's neck while caressing her stomach with her fingertips.
"As much as I would love to there are several reasons why we can't."
"And they would be." Helen said quickly and continued her travels across Nikki's body.
"One, the food is on its way and I'm starving. Two, Lisa and Jill are here and the walls aren't twelve feet thick, they would hear you. And three I've been driving all day and I'm knackered." Nikki tried to keep her voice steady, she was winding Helen up again.
"Nice try sweetheart, ok I'll give you number one but the other two are definite wind up's." Helen stepped in front of Nikki and kissed her passionately.
"Hey hang on, number two wasn't a wind up, you could scream for Scotland." Nikki smiled and pinched Helen's bum.
"I can't help it if I'm noisy whilst in the throes of passion, doesn't normally bother you." Helen smiled angelically as she trailed a hand up Nikki's thigh.
"It's actually quite a turn on, I love hearing my name being moaned in the most gorgeous accent I've ever heard." Nikki smiled.
"I promise to keep doing it then. Come on, hurry up and shower, the food will be here soon and the quicker we eat the quicker we can get to bed." Helen wiggled her eyebrows and then proceeded to shower alongside Nikki.
By the time they stepped out of the shower, the food had arrived and Lisa and Jill had already dished it out. They sat talking about the days events and it felt good to be able to get it off their chests, it had been a difficult day for both Helen and Lisa and talking about it helped them to come to terms with it. They both wished their father could have told them that he loved them while he was alive but there was nothing that could be done about it now and they had to accept it.
They both finally had some sort of closure on their childhood and knowing that their father had loved them all along made it easier. Helen surprisingly found herself putting it all in the past and felt that she could finally move on at last, something that she had never thought she could do. She knew she couldn't change the past but she now understood why her father had behaved the way he had. She knew from experience that people didn't always act rationally when they were grieving. Having finally had her mind put at rest that it that it wasn't because of something she did, she could pack her childhood away in to a box and relegate it to the past. She had Nikki, Lisa and Jill and now she had Paul as well, looking forward to the future was what mattered most right now.
Nikki climbed in to bed and snuggled down while Helen went to the bathroom; she closed her eyes and pretended to be asleep. She was tired but she would never be too tired to make love to Helen. She felt the bed move as Helen climbed in quietly, obviously thinking Nikki was asleep and not wanting to wake her.
"Night Casanova." Helen whispered and then kissed Nikki on the forehead. Helen squealed when Nikki's arms shot out and grabbed her.
"I thought you were asleep?"
"Nah, we had something to do before we went to sleep remember?"
"Oh really? Can't think what that would be. Let me see, kick the cat out? Put the milk bottles on the step?" Helen giggled.
"We haven't got a cat but I do have to pay attention to something similar." Nikki grinned wickedly.
"You big pervert!" Helen was belly laughing, it was a laugh that Nikki adored.
"That laugh of yours is so sexy. I love you."
"I love you too, come here and show me how much." Helen whispered as she looked deep in to Nikki's eyes. It made Nikki feel like she could see right in to her soul.
Nikki pulled Helen under the covers and set her off laughing again when she said "maybe we should think about getting a pussy." When at last Helen had her giggles under control, Nikki proceeded to show her just how much she loved her.
Helen woke up and stretched lazily, she glanced over at the clock and noticed it was 8am already; she needed to get up and make a start on lunch. Nikki was still sleeping next to her and she lay on her side watching her for a while. Last Christmas had been so different to this one; she had worked on Christmas day and then gone home to spend Christmas night in front of the television on her own. The highlight of her whole holiday had been when Jill and Lisa called to wish her a merry Christmas and tell her how much they missed her.
Nikki stirred and opened her eyes slowly; she caught Helen watching her and smiled as she pulled her in for a kiss. She happily responded and ran her tongue over Nikki's bottom lip causing her to shudder and moan softly. She could feel her desire begin to build and knew Nikki was more than ready to make love to her again but she had things to do and decided to stop before it went too far.
"Come on lazy bones, we need to get up and make a start on lunch, the turkey needs to go in the oven as soon as possible."
"Sod the turkey, I won't mind having a pot noodle if it means I can keep you in bed for a bit longer." Nikki grinned.
"You're insatiable woman, we made love four times last night if you remember, oh no hang on it was five, you woke me up at four o'clock this morning to do it all over again." Helen smiled down at her lover fondly.
"Can't help it if I can't get enough of you. You're totally gorgeous and I can't help myself. I love you, merry Christmas."
"I love you too, merry Christmas sweetheart." Helen gave Nikki a lingering kiss then dragged herself out of bed, "I'll get Lisa and Jill up, they will go mental if I don't."
"Can I persuade you to stay ten more minutes?" Nikki pouted.
"Only if you are really serious about sitting down to a pot noodle for Christmas lunch! Oh by the way, I have something to show you." Helen opened the draw of her bedside cabinet and pulled an envelope out, she passed it to Nikki. Nikki pulled the letter from the envelope and began to read.
"Oh my god! It's your decree absolute, you're finally divorced!" Nikki was over the moon.
"Yes at last. I got it yesterday morning; I wanted to wait until today to show you. I take it you're pleased?" Helen smiled; she knew Nikki would be overjoyed.
"I'm more than pleased. This is fantastic, you're all mine now baby." Nikki took the opportunity to get closer to Helen and try and drag her back to bed.
"I always was sweetheart and I always will be. Keep your hands to yourself; I need to get the turkey in the oven!" Helen slid out of her grasp and winked at her.
Helen went to wake her sister and her partner up while Nikki got dressed. She entered the living room to find the three women almost bouncing with excitement at the sight of presents under the tree. Helen remembered she had to put the turkey in the oven so she ran off to do that and then came back to open her presents.
Half an hour later they cleared the mess away, all beaming with pleasure at the gifts they had received. Nikki went in to the kitchen and made a start on the potatoes while Helen did the vegetables. Once that was done, Helen went for her shower while Nikki tidied the kitchen up. She made herself some coffee and stood watching the snowflakes drifting past the window. This was the best Christmas she had ever had, being with Helen made everything seem so much more special, Helen just kept on making all her dreams come true.
Helen came back from her shower and saw Nikki sitting at the kitchen table chatting to Jill and Lisa. They were giggling away and then looked guilty when Helen sat down.
"What are you lot giggling about?"
"Oh nothing much." Lisa said innocently.
"Why don't I believe you?" Helen said grinning.
"We were just saying that it's a good job there are three of us to keep an eye on lunch, because if you were left to do it then we'd all be eating bacon sarnies." Nikki giggled.
"I'm not that bloody bad! Ok I'm not the world's greatest cook I grant you."
"Remember that meal you cooked for me not long after you moved in? That was a disaster and a half." Nikki dodged Helen's hand, she couldn't stop laughing.
"That's not fair, I was working from a recipe book, and I'd never cooked it before."
"Admit it Len, cooking isn't one of your strong points." Lisa smiled.
"You can talk; Jill does all the cooking at your place because you don't know one end of the kitchen from another."
"I wish it was like that in this house." Nikki was still laughing, "my stomach will never recover." Nikki left the kitchen to take a shower while Helen glared after her.
"You won't be laughing for long Wade." Helen had a glint in her eye as she called after her.
"I know that look Helen, what are you planning?" Jill was amused.
"Oh you'll find out soon enough." Helen smiled and then stood up, she walked over to the sink and waited for a couple of minutes until she was sure Nikki was in the shower. She turned the hot water tap on.
"ARGGGGGGHHHHHH! HELEN!" Nikki screamed from the bathroom, Helen had just blasted her with cold water.
"SERVES YOU RIGHT!" Helen shouted up the hall giggling.
"JUST YOU WAIT!" Nikki left the threat hanging and Helen was giggling uncontrollably.
"You're like a pair of kids." Lisa shook her head at Helen and smiled.
Dinner was cooking nicely and they all sat in the living room waiting for Paul to arrive, he would be there shortly. Both Lisa and Helen were a bag of nerves. Even though Helen had known Paul for a while she was still like a cat on hot bricks and her hands were shaking slightly. Nikki took hold of her hand and pulled her closer, she kissed her on the forehead and told her not to worry that things would be ok. The doorbell went shortly afterwards and Helen jumped up like a rocket, she went to answer the door.
"Hiya Paul, come in." she smiled shyly at him.
"Hi Helen, merry Christmas." Paul looked just as nervous.
"Merry Christmas to you too." Helen surprised him by pulling him in to a hug and he held on to her tightly with tears in his eyes. "Come on through, Lisa is eager to meet you." she smiled at him and led him through to the living room.
He smiled and said hello to Nikki and then his eyes gravitated towards Lisa, he could tell she was Helen's sister in a split second.
"Hi, I'm Paul." he said nervously.
"I'm Lisa." she looked at him and then pulled him in to a hug straightaway, it all got too much for him and he broke down in tears. He reached for Helen who stood to one side and the three of them gripped each other tightly.
Nikki and Jill looked on with a lump in their throats; it was a very touching sight. Nikki disappeared to get drinks for everyone and Jill followed her. Nikki poured some wine while Jill popped open a couple of beers and got an orange juice for Lisa.
"I'm glad they all found one another, they need each other more than ever." Jill remarked as she busied herself with the drinks.
"Now everything is over, they can begin to get to know each other properly. After losing their father, it will give Lisa and Helen something to focus on."
Nikki and Jill took the drinks through, and they all sat down to chat before dinner. Helen and Lisa were eager to know more about Paul, he wanted them to open their presents before they started to talk. He handed a present to everybody, and received his in return. He once again cried when he opened his presents and then when he had gotten himself under control he began.
"My mother died last year, shortly before I went to work at Wealdstone. She told me on her deathbed that I wasn't an only child like I had always thought I was. She told me that she had once been a housekeeper of sorts to a man up north, she didn't specify how far up north. Anyway, she told me that his wife had died a few years previously and they sort of got close. One night they had a little too much to drink and they ended up in bed together, I was the result, she left before he could find out she was pregnant. She told me my father had a daughter who worked at Wealdstone but she didn't say in what capacity. So I went to the hospital hoping to find out who it was but I knew nothing about my father, I didn't even know his name at first. Which made it difficult to find you Helen. When I cleared her house out I found a box of things, letters and photos, but I wasn't brave enough to look at them so I kept them hidden away. When at last I had the courage to look, I found out that they had exchanged the odd letter over the years; I noticed the address was Scotland, and you popped in to my mind Helen. Then I noticed his name, the surname was Stewart and I knew it was you. I checked and there was no doubt in my mind that you were my sister but I didn't know about Lisa because there was no mention of her. I tried to tell you for ages, that was why I was calling, but I lost my nerve. I even stood outside the apartment one night, I planned on telling you but I bottled it." he took a sip of his drink and felt loads better for getting it off his chest.
"At least we know now. I'm sorry that I didn't trust you." Helen felt guilty for thinking he could be a killer.
"Hey don't apologise, it was understandable, I wasn't exactly making myself look innocent. I don't blame either of you." he smiled over at Nikki and Helen and they both instantly felt better.
"Dad never knew about you did he?" Lisa said quietly.
"No mum never told him about me, although I don't know why, she never said."
"It's all coming back to me now, your mum's name was Frances wasn't it?" Helen looked over at Paul.
"Yeah that's right, do you remember her?"
"Yes I do, she was only there for perhaps a year or so, I was seven at the time. She would clean the house and help dad with the cooking and she was always so sweet to Lisa and I."
"I bet I can figure out why she never told him, she probably saw how he treated me and Helen when we were around." Lisa wasn't bitter; she was just stating the facts.
"She's probably right, dad was distant with us after mum died, I think he was heartbroken and shut himself off from everything."
"Evidently not too heartbroken and I'm glad he wasn't." Lisa winked at Paul.
"Oh well, all that's in the past now, what matters is that we found each other. I have a family again." Paul smiled at his sisters; it was the best feeling in the world.
"And it's our pleasure to welcome you to it, isn't it Len?" Lisa smiled and kissed him on the cheek as Helen nodded her agreement as she smiled.
"Come on you lot, dinner should be just about ready, who's hungry?" Nikki stood up and smiled.
"I am." they all chorused and followed her in to the kitchen to eat. Helen pulled Paul to one side at the last minute.
"I just wanted to say that I will never ever be able to thank you enough for saving Nikki's life. I know we already both thanked you but what you did was incredible and I will never forget what you did for us." Helen became emotional and pulled him in to a hug.
"It was my pleasure sis." he smiled as an incredibly warm feeling flooded through his body, everything had worked out at last, he had found his family. They both smiled at each and then walked arm in arm in to the kitchen.
Nikki helped Helen dish up the food and then they all sat down and began to eat. The conversation was lively and they all enjoyed it a great deal. To an outsider looking in, it was the epitome of a warm and touching family scene.
Vince sat in his prison cell and thought about Kerry. He had been heartbroken that he had killed her at first but the voices explained to him it was all for the best and now he didn't care one iota. His thoughts drifted to Helen, now there was a woman he could imagine spending the rest of his life with, why hadn't he realised before? He had wasted so much time on Kerry when he could have better spent it pursuing Helen.
"One of these days sweetheart, one of these days." he smiled as he slid further down on his bunk and placed his hands behind his head as he began to fantasise about Doctor Helen Stewart.
New Years Eve
The music boomed out from the speakers in Nikki and Helen's living room and the house was crammed with people. They had decided to throw their first party and invited everybody they knew, doctors and nurses rubbed shoulders with police officers, everybody was having a great time and they were well on their way to being paralytic. Nikki took the opportunity to find out what had gone on in the interviews with Vince. He had confessed to all the murders and seemed unperturbed by the whole procedure, he was convinced his father would be there any day now to get him released but that was never going to happen. His family had cut all ties with him once they found out he was a murderer. At that very moment he was locked up in his cell in a prison up north awaiting his trial.
Helen was dancing with Paul as his new girlfriend looked on. She seemed like a nice girl, Helen vaguely remembered her as being one of the nurses from ITU. Jill and Lisa were taking a breather on the balcony after having danced practically all night. Nikki walked up to Paul's girlfriend Sam and asked her to dance, she said yes and smiled. They danced next to Helen and Paul and chatted away. The song ended and a slower one came on.
"Do you mind if I cut in for a minute?" Nikki said.
"No not at all." Paul said smiling, he went to hand Helen over to Nikki but she smiled and shook her head.
"It was you I wanted to dance with you wally." Nikki said laughing.
"Oh gee thanks Nikki, I'm not good enough for you so you have to steal my brother?" Helen said laughing.
"Not at all sweetheart, he's had a dance with everybody else and I was feeling left out." Nikki smiled and pulled Paul towards her, he thought it was funny and started laughing.
"Would you like to dance?" Sam said to Helen shyly, she liked her a lot. She found that getting on with Paul's family was easy and she enjoyed their company.
"I'd love to." Helen smiled and began to dance with Sam.
"Don't go getting any ideas Sam, that there's ma woman." Nikki said adopting a fake John Wayne accent as she giggled.
"Don't worry Nikki, Helen's perfectly safe. As gorgeous as she is, her brother is more my type." Sam chuckled as Helen laughed loudly.
Nikki waited until Helen was engaged in conversation with Sam and then she whispered to Paul.
"I need your help later on; I've already had a word with Jill and Lisa."
"Sounds intriguing, what do you need me to do?"
"Try and keep her busy for me after midnight. As soon as midnight is done with then I'm going to slip off for ten minutes. I'm going to ask her to marry me and I need to go off and get the ring."
"Oh Nikki that's fantastic!" Paul was over the moon, "where is the ring anyway?"
"It's downstairs with a neighbour of mine, she kindly took it and kept hold of it for me so that Helen wouldn't come across it."
"Right no problem; I'll keep her talking when you give me the nod."
"Thanks Paul, I appreciate it." Nikki smiled at him and then carried on dancing.
It was a couple of minutes to midnight and everybody found their partners, the music was turned off and the TV was switched on so that they could see Big Ben chime twelve. Nikki and Helen couldn't wait for the New Year to begin; it would mean they could put the events of the past year behind them and look towards the future, which they would now be happily spending together.
Nikki stood there holding on to Helen and they were looking deeply in to each others eyes, they communicated their thoughts and feelings without even needing to speak. Big Ben chimed twelve and the room erupted in to shouts and cheers of 'happy new year' Nikki and Helen hugged each other tightly, as party poppers exploded over their head. They pulled back and kissed each other, a deep smouldering kiss that left them both feeling weak at the knees.
"Happy new year sweetheart." Helen stroked Nikki's hair back, as the stereo went back on and Auld Lang Syne boomed out.
"Happy New Year babe, I love you." Nikki rubbed her thumb over Helen's bottom lip as she smiled at her.
"I love you too." they leaned in for another kiss and then began to make the rounds and wish everybody else happy new year.
Twenty minutes later, she nodded at Lisa, Paul and Jill to keep Helen occupied and she slipped away. She collected the ring and had a quick chat with her neighbour, who had been invited to the party but preferred to sit in on her own while the 'young ones' celebrated. Helen was looking around the room wondering where Nikki had gone as they tried to keep her talking.
"Where's Nikki?" Helen asked as she scanned the room once again.
"Probably in the bathroom, she'll be back soon." Paul said looking over at Lisa.
"Yeah I think that's where she is, she was heading that way when I last saw her." Lisa said quickly.
"Oh ok." Helen smiled and carried on chatting away to them.
Nikki came back in to the apartment, and made her way through the crowd of people who were dancing. She could see Helen deep in conversation with Paul and Lisa and was relieved she hadn't seemed to notice that she had gone. She walked up to her and kissed her on the cheek.
"There you are, thought I would need to send out a search party." Helen smiled.
"I just needed to go and get something." Nikki smiled; Helen had noticed she had disappeared for ten minutes after all.
"Oh yeah?" Helen looked puzzled.
"Yep, you'll find out what it was in a minute." Nikki signaled to one of her friends standing over at the stereo and the music stopped, everybody turned around to see what was going on.
"If I could just have your attention for a moment please." Nikki looked around the room, "I wanted to thank you all for coming tonight and making it such a brilliant party but most of all I want to say thank you to Helen. Sweetheart, you are the love of my life and not a day goes by when I don't thank god that I found you. I love you so much more than I could ever begin to put in to words and I have something to ask you."
"Go on." Helen's breath caught in the back of her throat, Nikki wasn't going to say what she thought she was going to say, was she?
"Helen, will you marry me?" Nikki got down on bended knee and opened up the ring box, she smiled as she saw Helen's shocked expression.
"Oh Nikki, of course I will." Helen burst in to tears as Nikki placed the engagement ring on her finger and the room went wild as everybody clapped and cheered.
Nikki stood up and pulled Helen to her as the music went back on, she steered her outside on to the balcony so they could have five minutes alone. Helen couldn't stop looking at the ring on her finger, she couldn't remember feeling like this the last time somebody placed a ring on her finger. The last time she felt slightly panicked at the thought, this time it felt like the most wonderful feeling in the world and her heart was overflowing with love for the woman standing in front of her.
"I can't believe this is happening it feels like a dream." Helen wrapped her arms around Nikki's shoulders and pulled her close.
"It's a dream come true sweetheart but it's very real I promise you." Nikki placed her lips on Helen's forehead and kissed her gently.
"I never thought this would ever happen to me, I never thought I would find someone I love so much."
"I never thought it would happen either, but I'm so glad it has. I'm going to make you so happy sweetheart." Nikki began to get emotional.
"You already do babe, you already do." Helen's eyes teared up again and they both cried softly as they held each other.
Lisa and Jill watched them through the window smiling.
"At last, I've waited years to see Helen so happy. I'm glad she found somebody who loves her so much." Lisa wiped a tear away.
"Just goes to show, there is someone for everyone and thankfully they both found each other." Jill put her arm around Lisa and rubbed her stomach lovingly; they both smiled at each other and hugged.
"This is totally the opposite of when we first met." Helen smiled and sighed softly as she held on to Nikki, the night air was freezing but she didn't feel it, all she could feel was Nikki's warmth.
"Tell me about it, the first time I met you I thought you were going breathe fire all over me." Nikki chuckled softly.
"I thought you were gorgeous even then."
"Did you?" Nikki was taken aback.
"Oh yes, I saw you standing there and my heart started hammering, I couldn't get over how gorgeous you were. But I got bitchy with you and tried to hide it and the rest is history." Helen smiled and kissed Nikki softly.
"I'm very surprised. It was probably the same for me, I knew how beautiful you were straight off and for a split second I fancied you like mad, then you opened your mouth and shouted at me, it put me off." Nikki chuckled, "but that accent of yours, wow! It did funny things to my stomach."
"Didn't put you off for long though did I?" Helen smiled up at her seductively.
"Nope, once I got to know you then I knew I was falling in love with you. Same as you really, I tried to deny it but it got me and I had to give in."
"Aye, no matter how hard I tried it got the better of me in the end."
"I can't wait till we're married, it's going to be wonderful spending the rest of my life with you." Nikki leaned down and kissed Helen again.
"I can't wait either, I'm so looking forward to being your wife." Helen smiled and Nikki's heart did somersaults, they were both so happy.
"We better get back before somebody comes looking for us but when they are all gone, I have a promise to keep."
"Which promise was that again?" Helen smiled.
"The promise I made to you this morning, I'm going to make love to you all night long."
"Mmmmmm I can't wait sweetheart." they kissed one final time before going back in to join the party, which by the looks of it was in full swing.
Eight months later
Nikki brought her car to a stop and switched off the engine. It was a lovely summer's day in August and she and Helen had come up to Scotland for a weekend break. Things were going great between them and they were looking forward to their wedding that would be taking place in just 2 weeks time. They had decided to spend the weekend in Scotland after Nikki reminded Helen she had promised to bring her up to the highlands when the weather was warmer. Helen had needed no encouragement and agreed straightaway.
She got out of the car and retrieved the picnic basket from the boot while Helen grabbed a blanket. They had at least a twenty minute walk ahead of them and they strolled slowly hand in hand as they enjoyed the sunshine. They were chatting away to each other when Helen's mobile suddenly rang.
"Helen...." Nikki said shaking her head in despair as she smiled at her lover.
"Sorry sweetheart, you know I feel cut off without my phone." Helen fumbled in her pocket for her mobile.
"That bloody thing must be alien technology. Didn't think you would get a signal this far out." Nikki looked around, it was pretty remote. Helen stuck her tongue out at her and answered the phone.
"Hello....oh hi Jill, what's up? Really? Oh my god that's great! Ok call me and let me know, if you don't get an answer don't worry, it means I won't have signal but I'll call you back in any case. Ok take care and give our love to Lisa, bye."
"What was that all about?"
"It's Lisa, she went in to labour twenty minutes ago, Jill has just gotten her to the hospital now. She will ring us when the baby shows up."
"Oh that's great!" Nikki was pleased; they had all been excited about the baby for months.
They carried on walking till they reached the lake and it was a truly beautiful sight, it was exactly as Helen had described it to be and Nikki was in awe of the place. They spread the blanket on the grass and sat down close to each other. The trees swayed slightly in the warm breeze and the sun reflected off the lake. The water was crystal clear and its surface was only ruffled slightly by the breeze. The sky was bright blue and it was so peaceful that they could both imagine spending hours here and not being bored by it all in the slightest. They wrapped their arms around each other as they listened to the distant birdsong that echoed through the trees.
In a hot airless prison van, Vince was being bounced about from side to side as it drove through traffic. He was being transported back down to London for his trial which would be taking place in a few weeks time. He had spent the last six months in prison cursing Nikki and Paul; he hated them both with a passion. He was suddenly and violently bounced from wall to wall as the prison van driver lost control and skidded across the road, the van rolled over and over before it came to a stop.
He regained consciousness several minutes later and could feel a cool wind blowing across him. He looked over to see that the door had crumpled and was now open just enough for him to squeeze through. He crawled through and made his way outside, they were on a slip road and a lorry had jackknifed causing the prison van driver to lose control. He walked over to the cab of the vehicle and looked at the officers, one of them was dead and the other one was bleeding heavily and was close to death. He stole a set of keys and unlocked the cuffs and then ran as fast as he could across a field and away from the scene of the accident. When the police showed up five minutes later, there was no sign of Vince whatsoever.
"It's beautiful here." Nikki said as she stretched out on the blanket next to Helen. They had eaten lunch a while ago and were relaxing in the warm sun.
"I told you it was, now about my promise." she rolled over and ran her finger down Nikki's arm making her shudder.
"I'm all yours sweetheart, do with me as you will." Nikki wiggled her eyebrows and giggled.
"Oh I intend to babe." Helen sat up and straddled Nikki, she removed her t-shirt and then her bra. She took Nikki's hands and placed them on her breasts. She rubbed her thumbs over Helen's nipples and she moaned softly.
Nikki undid Helen's jeans and pushed her on the blanket as she slid them down her legs, which was shortly followed by her underwear. Nikki then undressed and kneeled naked before an equally naked Helen.
"How about we go for a little swim?" Nikki said huskily.
"Mmm why not?" Helen stood up and walked towards the water with Nikki.
The water was welcomingly cool after the warm sun and they floated close to each other on the surface of the lake. After a short while Nikki pulled Helen closer to her and ran her tongue around her lips. She could feel Helen's nipples against her own. Their desire for one another began to build.
"Somebody cooled down quickly, you could cut glass with those." Nikki joked as she ran her thumb over Helen's nipple.
"I could say the same about you." Helen ran her hand over Nikki's breast and then trailed her fingers down her stomach where they came to rest against the soft hair at the apex of Nikki's legs. Nikki moaned softly as Helen trailed her fingers up and down against her.
"I think it's time we got out." Nikki growled sexily and picked Helen up and carried her on to the blanket.
They could feel the warm sun against their cool wet bodies as they began to kiss and caress each other softly. Nikki kissed and licked her way down Helen's body until she reached the spot where Helen needed her the most. She teased her with her tongue, touching her briefly but not with any great pressure. Helen writhed on the blanket, every touch was sending electric shocks through her, she couldn't take much more of Nikki's teasing and urged her on.
"Please sweetheart, touch me, I need you." she moaned and threw her head back. Nikki obliged and began to move her finger in small circles as she rubbed Helen gently.
She alternated the pressure and speed until Helen was practically panting for her release, occasionally cold water from Nikki's hair would drip on to Helen, and as she arched her back it would run down her body which added to her excitement.
"Nikki, I can't wait much longer." Helen gasped.
Nikki began to speed up her movement and Helen could feel the tingling in her toes start, she was going to come any second. As she did she moaned Nikki's name and it echoed across the lake. She took a few minutes to calm down and then threw Nikki on her back.
"That was amazing." she kissed Nikki deeply and passionately and then captured one of her nipples in her mouth. She bit on it gently and rolled her tongue around it causing Nikki to moan loudly.
Helen paid attention to the other breast and moved down to taste her lover. She teased her over and over again, with quick flicks of her tongue that did little more than tickle. Nikki was squirming and Helen enjoyed teasing her, she finally gave in and pushed her fingers deep inside her. She moved up to lay beside Nikki and pumped in and out of her while moving her thumb in circles. Nikki kissed her and she moaned in to Helen's mouth as her orgasm hit. They both lay back in each others arms till their breathing was back under control.
"I have to say that was incredible, it's the first time I've ever had sex outdoors." Nikki looked deep in to Helen's eyes.
"First time for me too, I've been waiting for this day ever since I mentioned it to you in my office."
"This will give me something to think about when I get a spare five minutes at work." Nikki wiggled her eyebrows and smiled.
"Ditto. I can't wait till we go on our honeymoon, moonlit beaches with the sound of the waves crashing on to the shore. You and me making love as the water rushes up around us." Helen was getting dreamy.
"Why do you think I really tried to convince you to pick the Seychelles?" Nikki smiled.
"I knew there was a reason for it." Helen chuckled.
"I wonder how Lisa is getting on?"
"She'll probably be screaming at Jill by now, she never was one for pain. Soon as the baby is born though she will forget the pain and she'll be hooked. I've seen it loads of times."
"That will be us one day, I can't wait to hear you screaming at me through clenched teeth." Nikki lay back and laughed at the thought.
"Who says I'm the one having the baby?"
"Well it won't be me!" Nikki looked horrified.
"Why not? I can see you now, pregnant, barefoot and chained to the kitchen sink." Helen went to roll away as Nikki grabbed her.
"Oh you can laugh but there is no bloody way I'm having it! I just couldn't go through the pain of childbirth, I don't think I'm cut out for it." Nikki pouted playfully.
"Good job for you then that I'm willing to be the one who gets pregnant. It's ok, don't you worry about me, I can deal with getting cravings and having mood swings." Helen pretended to be annoyed.
"Sounds like you've been pregnant for the last twenty years if that's the case sweetheart." Nikki started to giggle again.
"You're a cheeky sod Nikki Wade! Bloody good job I love you so much." Helen wrapped her arms around her and put her head to one side as she looked at her.
"I love you too. I can't believe we are getting married in two weeks, the time has flown by."
"I know, it's been unreal trying to get everything sorted out in time. We had ages at one point and now it's crept up on us."
"I can't wait to see you coming down the aisle; did Paul agree to give you away?"
"Yep, he was overjoyed about it. He started crying when I asked him."
"Aww he's so sweet."
"The suns gone in and I'm freezing, why don't we go back to the hotel and get comfy?"
"I know that look; you're after an early night aren't you? You little sex machine!"
"Can't blame me for wanting your body, have you looked in a mirror lately?" Helen raised her eyebrow and smiled.
"Nope, I prefer to spend all my time looking at you. Come on then, let's get dressed and get going. I'm going to wine and dine you in style and then take advantage of your incredibly sexy body all night long."
"Mmmm I can't wait." they stood up and got dressed before making their way to the car.
They had just arrived at the car when Helen's phone rang and 'Scotland the Brave' echoed around the trees, she dug the phone out of her pocket again and answered it.
"Hi Helen, it's Jill."
"Jill! How are things going?" Helen motioned for Nikki to come over.
"Oh Helen, I can't even begin to describe how I'm feeling." Jill started to cry softly, "Lisa had a little baby girl ten minutes ago, 6 pound eight oz. She looks just like Lisa; we named her Bethany after your mum."
"Oh that's bloody fantastic!" Helen's smile was huge, then she started to cry and passed the phone over to Nikki, she couldn't speak.
Nikki wrapped her arms around Helen and held on to her as she spoke in to the phone.
"Congratulations mum! I take it the sprog put in an appearance." Nikki smiled.
"Just wait till you see her Nikki, she's beautiful." Jill sniffed, "Lisa can't take her eyes off her. Helen will tell you all the details, I need to call Paul and then I better be getting back to Lisa."
"Ok love, I'll pass you back to Helen, she wants to say goodbye. Give my love to Lisa and the baby, I'm so happy for you both." Nikki passed the phone back over to Helen.
"Jill, I'll let you go now but tell Lisa I love her and we will be home to see you all on Sunday night. Take care all of you, I love you Jill." Helen wiped her tears away.
"I love you too Helen, take care see you soon, bye."
"Bye." Helen pressed the end call button and pulled Nikki in to a hug, she was so excited. She told Nikki about the baby and broke down in tears again when she told her who the baby was named after. They stood there for ten minutes as Helen got her tears under control and then they got in to the car.
"Back to the hotel Aunty Helen?" Nikki smiled.
"Yes please Aunty Nikki." she smiled back at Nikki; they were both grinning like idiots.
"Paul should be jumping for joy right about now, he's been so excited." Nikki smiled as she steered the car down a winding lane.
"Oh I know, he couldn't wait to be an uncle, I can just imagine the smile on his face."
"Look at you, you've gone all soppy." Nikki smiled at the look on Helen's face.
"I'm always like that with babies, I love kids."
"How about we get the wedding over with and then we can see about having one of our own?" Nikki knew Helen would be ecstatic.
"You mean it? Really?" Helen's face broke out in a massive grin.
"Of course I do love, we said we were going to have kids, why wait?" Nikki smiled back at Helen.
"Oh sweetheart, I love you, you're amazing." Helen leaned over and kissed Nikki on the cheek.
"I know." Nikki giggled, "So where do you fancy having dinner then?"
"Sod the restaurant, how about we get room service?" Helen asked seductively.
"Sounds good to me." Nikki smiled over at Helen and gave her leg a quick squeeze.
They got back to the hotel shortly after and settled down on the bed in each others arms. The past twelve months had been an amazing emotional roller coaster ride for the both of them. They never expected to be in the position they were now, all those months ago. There had been plenty of fights and angry words but there had also been plenty of love. Neither of them had ever expected to find this sort of happiness and judging by the early days of their relationship, they had never expected to find it with each other. Which just goes to show that love appears in the strangest of places and always when you aren't expecting it.
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