Rosemary was hanging just outside the doors with Melanie when I arrived the next afternoon. She ran and threw herself into my arms as soon as I stepped out of the truck. I held her in a bear hug and then I ever so happily spun her around with a big grin on my face. You’d think we’d been apart for weeks. We kissed on the lips, then I set her down.
Melanie’s expression seemed to turn solemn, though she tried to hide it.
Rosemary began pulling my things out of the truck as I spoke with Melanie. A few minutes later, Melanie took off and Rosemary and I entered the building chatting animatedly.
“And so I had to wait forever just to get the super to let me in the building,” I was saying.
“Then, when I inspected the apartment I needed to inspect, I find out that the building had been inspected the day before by another detective.”
“Oh no,” said Rosemary. “Does this mean it was a wasted trip?”
“Pretty much,” I said, setting some things down on the table by the door. “So how have you been?”
“I missed you.”
“I missed you, too.”
“Let’s just say it’s been rather strange around here without you, but I know you’ve got to get ready for work soon, so I’ll tell you about it later or tomorrow.”
“Ok. Is everything alright in the meantime?”
“Mel told me about your visitors and that you said you remembered some things.”
“I did,” Rosemary admitted. “When we get the time I’ll ask you the so-called trick questions that’ll probably have me convinced you really are from where you say you’re from.”
“Ok,” I said with a smile. “For now, I hate to run, but I gotta go jump in the shower.”
We kissed, then when we pulled back from each other I said, “Watch out, little lady. I am going to have so much fun with you first chance I get.”
“You’re on, detective,” Rosemary said with a suggestive note.
Just then, there was a knock on the outer door. We turned to glance in that direction.
“Lucille!” Rosemary cried out with shock and delight. “It’s my friend Lucille.”
Rosemary ran to let her friend in. They hugged fiercely before Rosemary introduced her to me. She was a petite girl with a very friendly smile and vibrant eyes. The last few inches of her long brown hair were bright red. Her face was made up expertly and she wore a lot of jewelry that spiced up her casual attire.
“I wanted to surprise you,” Lucille said.
“Well, that you did, girl!” said Rosemary.
“I hate to run out on you ladies, but I have to jump in the shower and get to work. Besides, I assume you two would like to catch up on things together,” I said.
“Actually,” Lucille began, “I’d like to kidnap Rosemary for a while if she’s up to going out.”
“Yeah, that’d be fine,” Rosemary told Lucille. Then to me, she said, “I’ll be back before you get in.”
“Ok,” I said, heading for the shower. Then I stopped, turned and said, “Oh, hey girls, don’t forget to leave a message if you get held up.”
“No prob,” said Rosemary, reaching for her purse just before Lucille literally yanked her by the hand towards the door.
Rosemary returned a few hours before I did. Lucille did not come in with her.
When I arrived, Rosemary told me they had gone out to eat, to browse some shops together, then to see how Zola was adjusting at Rosa and Marilyn’s before flying back down to Florida.
“She doing ok?” I asked.
“From what I could tell. How are you doing?”
“I’m beat. Totally beat. It’s been a long day and night.”
“I fixed you a tuna sandwich if you want it,” said Rosemary.
“Oh thanks, babe, but I think I’d rather just wash up and climb into bed with to you.”
“Now that’s something I’d like. I was lonely without you last night.”
“Me too. Be right back,” I said, heading into the bathroom. I returned a few minutes later to find a naked Rosemary waiting for me. She patted my side of the bed invitingly.
I shucked my clothes and we began to make love. However, I was just too exhausted to hold out for long. “Sorry, hon,” I said, flopping onto my back out of breath. “I just don’t have the energy to follow you in sweet relief tonight, so we’ll have to catch up on it tomorrow.”
“That’s ok,” said Rosemary, who had cum hard. “We don’t have to copycat each other all the time anyway.”
We fell asleep together until some time late in the night when Rosemary awoke with a nightmare.
“Wh-what is it, babe?” I asked groggily, leaning up on my elbow.
Rosemary moaned in fear.
“Hey,” I cooed through the darkness, reaching out to put a comforting hand on her back. “It’s ok. I’m here.”
Rosemary slept fitfully throughout the remainder of the night and into the next morning. I would periodically glance at her with concern from my seat at the computer until she arose.
“Hey sweetie,” I said. “Didn’t sleep well?”
Rosemary shook her head glumly and headed for the bathroom. When she came out she fixed herself a cup of coffee. After she took a few sips, I said, “Come here, Angel Eyes.”
Rosemary came towards me for a hug and kiss.
“Tell me about it, sweetie. You know you can talk to me.”
“Yes, I know,” said Rosemary. She hesitated a moment longer, then said, “You said you were with me at Valleyhead, right?”
“All the time?”
I nodded again.
“The whole time I was there, you were taped to the wall, weren’t you?”
Rosemary took another sip of coffee. “Then you were there for the jump. You were there when I so stupidly jumped out the window and broke my arm, weren’t you?”
“Yes, I was,” I said softly.
“Describe it to me.”
I took a deep breath. “Well,” I began, “you were in a room with just one other roommate. She wasn’t in the room at the time.”
Rosemary started slightly as she watched me speak.
“It was a small room with brown paneled walls and a white tiled ceiling. There was only one window in the room.”
“You can stop now,” Rosemary said. “You don’t need to convince me anymore.”
My eyes watered slightly.
“My God, Katie. It must’ve been as terrifying for you as it was for me.”
“It sure was.” Tears were now threatening to spill over my eyelids. “The only way we knew you were alive was by the sound of your screams when you hit the ground below, and even then we didn’t know if you’d live.”
Tears burst from Rosemary’s eyes. “I’m so sorry, Katie. I’m so sorry I didn’t think of what I was putting you through. I just panicked and lost my mind there. I was oblivious to anything else at that moment.”
“It’s ok,” I said, taking Rosemary into my arms. “We understood. We knew that abuse could drive one to take such desperate measures, and we felt terrible over the fact that we couldn’t do anything to help you, but you’re ok now. Now you’re in a stable, loving environment, even if it is a big old dumpy gym.”
Rosemary smiled slightly.
“No one’s ever going to hurt you again. You’re safe now. I’ll take care of you for the rest of your life.”
Rosemary looked at me with intense love shining through her watery eyes. “Oh, Katie, you’re just too good to me.” She hugged me tightly. “I don’t know what I ever did to deserve to be so blessed with you after I was so cursed for so many years.”
“Well,” I said, “you said life is very compensating, so maybe I’m the compensation for some of the not so nice people you’ve known because while I can never undo the past, I can at least love you in the present and the future.”
“Whatever blessed me with you, I’m just glad to have you in my life.”
“Me too,” I said with a smile which prompted a smile from Rosemary in return.
We kissed and made love before I went off to run some errands, leaving Rosemary behind to take care of incense orders.
We talked quite a bit about the past over the next few days as well as the present and our future together.
After Rosemary’s day in court, the talk went that not only had Asaro not shown up, but there was no record on file pertaining to the case whatsoever.
“Are you sure you didn’t have anything to do with it?” Rosemary asked me.
“No, I didn’t.”
“Nope. Must’ve been your spells at work.”
“Well, good. That’s one less thing to have to deal with and to…” Rosemary’s hands suddenly flew towards her temples.
My brows furrowed in worry. “You ok, sweets?”
Rosemary, still clasping her temples, shook her head. “Something’s not right. I never got headaches like these before and it’s like they’re not even regular headaches. The pain is behind my eyes and it’s a real sharp, cramp-like pain.”
“Well, maybe it’s time to see a doctor.”
Although reluctantly, Rosemary agreed, and an appointment was scheduled for the following week.
Three months after the artificial insemination, I noticed that my human self noticed changes within Rosemary. She seemed to lack her usual energy. Sometimes she was ravenously hungry, other times she had next to nil for an appetite. I could see that I had come to suspect Rosemary might be pregnant, though Rosemary didn’t mention it. Maybe that was because she didn’t think it was possible in the first place.
“Sweetie?” I asked her one afternoon.
“Yeah?” She glanced up from the mystery novel she was reading.
“When was your last period?”
She shrugged. “Don’t know. I don’t really keep track.”
She turned back towards her book. A faint, knowing smile crossed my lips.