tagRomanceGwen's Journey Ch. 05

Gwen's Journey Ch. 05


Gwen woke slowly, at first aware of the warm body beneath her, and then of the pain she felt. The pain in her poor little pussy was not funny in the least, but it was at least overpowered at the moment by her need to get to the bathroom. She needed to get to the bathroom pretty soon, at least as soon as she could tear herself away from being draped over the masculine and well muscled body of Sergei.

Gwen felt her smile and knew she'd be wearing it for some time, based on the deeply satisfied feeling she had. She felt like Scarlett O'Hara, just wanting to walk away humming lightly to go arrange some flowers. She sighed softly.

Finally unable to resist the call of nature, Gwen started to rise slowly, trying not to wake Sergei, her lover. That thought caused her smile to brighten, and she smoothly lifted her body from his. A soft cry accompanied her capture as Sergei grasped Gwen's wrists and he rolled over to pin her to the bed, his legs on her and holding her very still. His body was tense, and his grip on her enough to make her whine in pain.

"Where were you going?" Sergei said softly, his deep liquid voice filled with enough menace that Gwen froze with fear.

"I have to pee!" she answered quickly.

"I am sorry, my Pet," Sergei whispered, lessening his grip and releasing her. Gwen disentangled herself and climbed out of Sergei's bed, hurrying to the bathroom and taking care of her business. Absently, she remembered it was dark out, and she wondered what time it was.

It didn't matter, she thought suddenly. She had missed her date. Gwen set her elbows on her knees and put her face into her hands and wept. Ten minutes later she was still sniffling when she went quietly back into Sergei's bedroom and searched for her clothes.

"Come back to bed, Pet."

"I need to go home," Gwen whispered, and she pulled on her panties. "Do you know what time it is?"

"It is time for you to do what I tell you and come back into bed," Sergei said darkly. "You whetted my appetite and I will have need of your mouth soon."

Gwen had found her blouse, and she was just pulling up her skirt when she said, "I'm going home, Sergei. I'll talk to you later, okay?"

"No it is not okay!" Sergei roared, and Gwen jumped. She was completely dressed save for her blouse, and she stood in the darkness holding it in her hands, shaking fearfully. "You will come back into bed and you will remain here until I tell you to go."

Gwen ran for the front door, bursting out into the coolness of the night. She scrambled to her own front door and inside her apartment, slamming the door and locking it. Then, her adrenaline pumping, Gwen ran into her bedroom and pulled the tiny curtains on the window.

Staring at the gauzy material, Gwen ripped the comforter from her bed and threw the edge of it up onto the curtain rod. She stepped away and looked at the comforter-covered window for a moment and then went out into her living room and curled up on her little sofa in the darkness.

Feeling very threatened and alone, Gwen remembered that she had left her phone in her jeans after work, and she ran to get it and returned to her seat before checking it. There were three missed calls, and she saw that the time was eleven forty-five.

Her first voice mail was at five thirty when Ronnie had called, wanting Gwen to go with her to the Grotto. The second was at seven, and it was Steve.

"Hi Gwen," Steve's voice on her voice mail said, "It's Steve. I'm sorry I can't make it tonight. Really sorry. Something really bad popped up here at work, and I'll probably be here all night. Give me a call and let me know you're safe."

Gwen clicked her phone closed and curled up in the corner of her sofa and cried again. All of her life it had always been someone else who had screwed up her life. Now she had jumped into the spotlight and done it all by herself.

She had been trying to get both Green Eyes, sorry, Sergei and Steve, and she'd had sex with Ronnie and Frank. Then, she'd pretty much promised herself to Steve, and she'd slept with Sergei. Never mind that Sergei was apparently a psycho, she had fucked up.

Remembering she had another message, Gwen called in for it. It had come in at eleven fifteen, only an hour earlier. It was Steve again.

"Hi Gwen, I'm a little worried about you. Please call me, okay? I'm not stalking you."

Gwen dialed Steve's number and waited for three rings before he answered, sounding like he'd been sleeping. "Hi Steve," she said softly, fighting back a sob, "It's Gwen."

"Gwen! Hey, I'm so sorry I missed our date. I stopped by your house when I got home, but you weren't there."

"Oh Steve," Gwen said, her tiny voice cracking, "I'm so sorry! I need you, please."

"Are you at home?" Steve asked, sounding very concerned.

"Y-yes," Gwen answered, losing control and bursting into tears. He spoke soothingly to her, tying to calm her. He was still talking when she heard the knock on her door and screamed.

"Gwen!" Steve said loudly over the phone, "It's me! It's Steve. Open the door, Honey."

Gwen jumped up and struggled with the locks, still holding her cell phone to her ear. Once unlocked, the door burst inward and Steve came in quickly, his phone still to his ear, and he looked around the darkened apartment. Relaxing, he flipped his phone closed and closed the door, locking it securely.

"Thank you for coming ov-" Gwen took her phone from her ear and looked at the display. She closed it and it dropped to the floor. "Thank you for coming over," she said, and then rushed to him and crushed his middle with a hug, beginning to cry again.

"What happened, Gwen?" he asked, running his hand over her hair. He tried to relax, but the smell of her made his stomach hurt.

"I did something bad, Steve. I did something really stupid and I'm going to lose you."

Steve lead Gwen to one of her dining room chairs and sat her there, turning on the light. He walked around in front of her and stood upright, shoulders back, and he crossed his arms.

Gwen blinked through the tears and looked up at Steve, seeing he wore only white boxer shorts. Without his shirt, and with his shoulders back and standing up straight, he looked almost like a different person. She shuddered and became afraid.

"Tell me everything, Gwen. If this is going to work out, I need to know everything."

"Before I met you I was flirting with my next door neighbor, and I didn't even know his name or anything. I did stupid things, Steve. I was lonely, and he was so handsome and unattainable. I put on a couple of...shows for him. Sexy shows he could see from his bedroom window.

"I thought maybe we'd meet and he'd be wonderful and sweep me off of my feet. But then I met you, and I tried to blow you off, remember? I told you I needed to make some decisions, figure things out, remember? But you were so incredible, and I started to care for you, and I almost completely forgot all about my neighbor."

Steve didn't move and his expression didn't change. Gwen swallowed, wishing she had a drink, but something about the way he stood made her afraid to get anything, or to ask.

"Last weekend I did my friend Ronnie (you remember Ronnie? The blonde girl?), well Ronnie asked me for a favor, and I watched her screw her boyfriend, and Ronnie and I kind of...we had sex."

That did it. Even though it was only a raised eyebrow, something about Steve changed.

"While I was sleeping, her boyfriend touched me and before I knew what was going on I was getting fucked. It had been so long, Steve, and I was sleeping, but I should have said no but I didn't.

"Then this week we got so close, and I didn't want anything more than to be with you. I was getting dressed today for our date, and my neighbor was there in the window, and he waved for me to go over. I was still all intrigued by him, so I went, and he...seduced me.

"I should have said no, should have resisted, but I didn't. Then I woke up and I needed t get out of there, and he scared me and he's not a nice guy."

"No shit," Steve said, shaking his head.

"Oh Steve, please don't hate me. I'm afraid, and I'm alone, and I did this to myself. I fucked up. I promise I won't do it again, Steve. I promise."

"No more lies?" Steve asked, and Gwen sat up straight.

"When have I ever lied to you?" she asked, suddenly defensive.

"Who are you, 'Gwen'?"

Steve was taken aback. He'd gotten to know Gwen, her idiosyncrasies, but he hadn't seen her like this before. She leaned forward slightly in the chair, her upper lip pulling into a sneer.

"What, Steve, you a Fed?" she asked, even her accent slightly different, an edge to her girlish voice.

When Steve nodded, Gwen's head fell forward, her eyes closed. "Go away, Steve. Just let me disappear again and you can go on with your life."

"Goddammit Gwen!" Steve shouted at her, and he dropped to one knee in front of her and grasped her shoulders roughly. "What the fuck is your story? What is the mystery with you?"

Looking up into his eyes through her auburn bangs, Gwen's hazel eyes burned. "What's it to you? Am I fucking up an investigation? If you're investigating me then you're wasting your time."

"I should slap the shit out of you!" Steve growled, his face red and twisted.

"Go ahead, motherfucker. You wouldn't be the first."

"Gwen," Steve said, more softly.

"Leave me alone, Steve. If I broke your heart, I'm sorry. Really. I'm good at that, because I even managed to break my own heart." Gwen started to cry, and she squinted her eyes tightly shut and hissed, "Shit!"

Steve had seen this before. He had taken courses about it. Sometimes an agent would go deep undercover and lose themselves in th assumed identity. This was the first time he'd ever heard of a bad person becoming an innocent angel, but it could happen, he supposed.

"Tell me the truth, Gwen. Please." He stroked the side of her face, and she pressed her cheek against his hand. "I want to know you."

"No more interrogation?" she asked quietly, glancing up and the chandelier.

"Anywhere, anyhow you want," Steve answered, running his thumb across her tear streaked cheek while he cupped her face in his hand.

"I need a shower first," Gwen said, and she got up and walked to her bathroom, her hips swaying a bit more than he was used to, but as he blew out a breath he decided he didn't mind that part too much.

* * * * *

Gabrielle rubbed her eyes. It had been one hell of a day, and she hoped she'd be able to get to sleep soon. She'd spent a lot of time covering for Steve on this one, and it was really starting to cut into her beauty sleep. When she'd mentioned that to Steve the week before, he'd said she was one woman who could afford to lose some, and suckered her into covering him again.

The computer blipped and she put her headphones on and listened to Stetsenko making a phone call on his encrypted sat phone. Gabby sat up straight at the mention of AK's, knowing they were talking about automatic assault weapons, and she paid close attention, picking up something about a truck that would deliver the parts for the weapons to a warehouse in San Diego after coming from Ensenada, Mexico.

The call ended, and Gabby dialed Steve's number, honestly not caring at all that she might be interrupting time with Gwen, or whatever her name really was. When he answered, Gabby told Steve about everything she'd heard and confirmed she had recorded everything.

"Hopefully the mikes are good enough that we can pull more detail from the speaker on the sat phone," Steve said, sounding pleased. "You did great, Gabby. I'll be home soon and you can get some sleep."

She hung up and leaned back in her chair, putting her feet up on the desk. 'Damn,' she thought, rubbing a hand on her smooth, taut belly, 'I could really go for a Zinger.'

* * * * *

Gwen walked back into the dimly lit living room wearing only a towel, her shoulders sagging, just as Steve closed his phone. She looked completely beaten, as though she'd resigned herself to defeat.

Gwen sat in the corner of her sofa, her knees pulled up the her chest, her ankles right up against her bottom, and she hugged her legs tightly. Her chin rested on her knees, and Steve wondered if she was being totally comfortable around him, or attempting to manipulate him by making him try to see between her ankles. He wasn't going to do that, he resolved.

Besides, the lighting was terrible, and he'd get caught right away.

"Was that your boss?" Gwen said quietly, her voice back to "normal".

"No," Steve said, "That was Gabby. We've had a break on the case we're working on and I'm going to need to leave soon." He saw her lips draw up at that, and unless she was the best actress in the world, he was pretty sure that she was terrified of his leaving.

"The Zinger girl," Gwen said. "She's real. Good."

"Yeah," Steve said, sitting down in a chair across from Gwen and trying to stop thinking about Sharon Stone in "Fatal Instinct". "Alright, Gwen, let's have it."

She smiled and said, "My you're direct. Where do you want it?"

"Stop that," Steve said. "Drop the act. You can play all you want, but you've been Gwen Salsbury for several years now, and I know Gwen. You are Gwen. Maybe it's not your original name, but that girl I've been spending time with is the real you. The girl who had some guy slip it to her. The girl who's hiding from her psychotic next-door neighbor. You are that girl, Gwen.

"If you weren't, if that wasn't the real you, you would have reacted to those situations differently. I don't know why you're hiding behind Gwen, but I think you always wanted to be like her. I think you were always her, and that before she existed you only pretended to be hard, meaner, whatever, just to survive."

"I'm cured! Thank you, Steve!" Gwen said, her eyes bright. She rolled her eyes exaggeratedly and sighed. "You're just another guy who wants to slip it to me for a while and ride off into the sunset."

Steve nodded slowly. "Maybe," he said, "But you'll have to ask Gwen what she thinks. She knows the truth, I think."

"Fuck you," Gwen said softly. "I'm not nuts. I'm not two different people."

"That what I said," Steve said, not smiling. "If I fell in love with Gwen, then I'd still be in love with her if she had a different name."

"But not if she had a different history. Not if she wasn't so sweet and pure."

"Tell me the true story, Gwen."

* * * * *

Gwen had been born Margaret "Maggie" Coltrane. Her father, Nathan, had been a grifter and occasional burglar, her mother a slut, who had run off with a biker when Maggie was three.

Maggie lived in a series of motel rooms and sometimes an apartment for a month or two. She'd spent more than a few nights at sleep-overs, her father's euphemism for sleeping in the room or even the bed of other children while her father slept with their mothers.

It was a fact that one of the happiest times in Maggie's young life was a three month period when her father had been in jail, and she'd lived with a woman who thought she was his girlfriend, and her two young daughters.

Maggie loved the woman like she was her real mother, and the girls like real sisters, and when her father had gotten loose he had even moved in too. But Nate was Nate, and in less than a week he'd either stolen from or cheated on the woman, and they were back out on the streets.

Maggie knew her way around the joints, flea traps, pool halls, and bars in the worst parts of town. They had been her playground. She was well known as the sweet, pretty little girl of that asshole Nate.

Once, a thug had been sent to their motel room to put a hurt on Nate for some reason or another, and he'd put Maggie, who was twelve at the time, in the bathroom and told her not to come out.

He'd proceeded to beat the living shit out of Nate, and then he went into the bathroom and explained to her that Nate had done some bad things and needed to be punished. The man said that he was the one who had to punish Nate, but he wasn't really a bad man and Maggie shouldn't be afraid. And then he'd given her a stuffed animal and tousled her hair before leaving her, unharmed.

At fifteen, Maggie became more interesting to her father's friends and associates, but if she had to give Nate credit for anything, it was that he never let anyone hurt his little girl. She knew that she could very easily have been used to pay off a debt, but Nate wouldn't even consider it.

She was seventeen when Nate got popped for possession and assault. He went down hard and fast for it, getting a fifteen year sentence. Not knowing what else to do, and her only offers of assistance being tied to working a street corner, Maggie had come up with a plan.

First, she'd located a man through one of Nate's old contacts. His specialty was creating new identities, which was something Maggie felt she needed very badly. He told her, over the telephone from Boston, that he could provide her with a complete identity with everything she'd need to disappear forever, but it would cost her $50,000.

For two weeks she practiced different ways of disguising herself, from different clothes to changes in hairstyle, and even something as simple as walking differently. She found that with practice she could effectively disappear just by changing her blouse, shoes, and attitude.

When she had everything that she needed except for her new identity, Maggie broke into the home of Kenny Esposito, a local drug facilitator, and stole $75,000 in cash. She'd had to crack his head pretty good with a marble carving of an Oriental dragon, but he'd lived, and she'd disappeared.

She'd wired the money to Boston and waited impatiently for five days for the general delivery at a downtown Post Office. She heard the Esposito had survived, but he was going to tear the town apart to find the girl who had cracked his skull and blinded him in one eye.

Big padded envelope in hand, Maggie sat down on a park bench in an affluent area's playground. She opened it and pulled out a Driver's license, birth certificate, and school immunization record. Inside the envelope she saw pages and pages of documents, little cards, and even a few doctored photos.

On that day, with an envelope of identity and $22,000 in cash, Maggie Coltrane "died", and Gwen Salsbury was born.

* * * * *

"Everything I've ever told you about me was true, Steve."

"Do you want me to call you Maggie?" he asked. She hadn't moved at all in the hours that she told him her story. Her eyes were haunted and she looked like she'd just suffered a horrible accident. The thing that really bothered Steve was that he still only wanted to go over and hold her close, even after what she'd done.

"Who?" Gwen said, looking blankly at him. "If I'd been born with it, I'd probably hate it, but I love Gwendolyn, don't you?"

"Yeah," Steve said, standing up, "I think I might."

"I have to go, Gwen," Steve said. "I have responsibilities, and I'm not going to let people down because I'm personally involved in something I shouldn't be."

"Please," Gwen said, tears threatening to overflow her eyes, "I need you. I really am frightened."

"If anything was going to happen tonight, it would have already. Besides," Steve said as he unlocked the door, "if anything did go down, I'm not packing." To their credit, while they exchanged knowing glances, neither commented or laughed.

"The 'us' thing?" Steve added before closing the door, "It's on hold. We're back to square one, Gwen."

Once he had gone, Gwen jumped up and locked the door before returning to her spot on the sofa. She hugged a pillow to her chest and sat very quietly, listening to the noises in the night.

* * * * *

Steve walked quietly down the stairs to the observation post. He saw Gabrielle leaning back in her chair, her feet up on the table. She appeared to be sleeping, but Steve knew that if he made the slightest noise she would be awake instantly.

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