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Roman, Nic and Geoff were sitting around the table in their kitchen.  Despite having Roma home he could tell the couple hadn’t had a lot of sleep.  Just like him, although he’d been standing guard waiting for the kidnapper to make the next move.  A nagging thought about contacting the hospital and seeing how Miles was doing was niggling at the back of his brain but right now he knew that he was needed here more.

He sucked down the last of his coffee from his cup and looked at both Nic and Geoff.

“It isn’t over,” he commented.

“We know,” Geoff said quietly.

“There isn’t any evidence against her,” he added.

Nic and Geoff shared a look.

“She has to come after us again doesn’t she?” Nic murmured with a soft moan of distress.

“We know who it is, can’t we just tell Charlie?”

“No evidence.  Do you think Hugo will give a statement? It was more important to me to bring Roma home than send in the police.”

“Dad we’re never going to forget what you’ve done, we can’t ever repay…” Nic’s voice broke emotionally before she shot up at the first sound of Roma stirring upstairs.  She swayed alarmingly at the quick movement.


Geoff stood and reached for a glass of water, pressing that into his wife’s hands   

“I’m fine, honestly,” she promised her husband giving him a small smile of reassurance.

“If you were to ask me then I would say she’ll be here tomorrow. I need to grab a shower and a change of clothes. I’ll be back in a bit,” Roman announced standing up from the table and moving over to the door. “Lock up behind me, I have a key.”

“See you soon,” Geoff was the one to head out with him.  He locked the door behind the other man and with a glance back towards Nic. “We should go up and ….”

“Geoff…” she murmured her hand on her stomach.

“Nic are you okay?” His panicked question came pout high pitched as he ran back to her side seeing her standing slightly bent over one hand on her stomach.

“No, no…”  she gasped again, “Feel?”

She reached for his hand and pressed it on her slight bump.

“Wow,” he said after a moment, “Wow.” He said again.

“The baby is kicking,” she whispered her voice sounding awed, “we’ve got out family here,” she added slowly.

“We do indeed,” he muttered a note of anger in his voice.

She shook her head as she leaned up and kissed him feeling his arms winding her around her as she moved closer to him.  For the moment the thought of a person still being out there who wanted to harm them slipped away as they clung to each other.




Roman walked slowly to his car, he deliberately dropped his keys as he reached it and used picking them up as an excuse to scan the darkness for any sign that someone was watching Nic and Geoff’s home.  A slight rustle in the trees to the left of their house caught his attention and he focused on the noise for a few precious seconds before standing and getting into his car. He waited to see if there was anything else out there and satisfied it was clear he made his way home to shower and regroup. It was going to be a long night and he needed to be at his best, his family were counting on him.



Charlie walked into the station moments ahead of Constable Watson feeling relief that the little girl was home safe but there were still so many unanswered questions that her brain was in danger of exploding. Who’d had the little girl and why had they taken her. A conversation with Rachel, out of earshot of Geoff and Nic, had revealed that there hadn’t been anything salacious about her abduction, not that what she hadn’t been through wasn’t enough to deal with but there were a lot of worse things out there.

“Where are we Sarge?”

“I honestly don’t know,” she admitted, “Check to see if we’ve heard anything from the lab and then come into the office and we’ll go over what we know so far.”  Charlie rubbed at a spot between her eyes and frowned as she thought about all the details of the case.

“I’ll get us some coffees too,” Watson said slowly as she moved away to the desk and began logging on to the computer.

Charlie slipped into her office, assaulted by the memory of Angelo; she closed her eyes for the briefest second and opened them again as those expecting to see her husband sitting at his desk just like this was another normal day. She looked at his empty desk and frowned before lifting the receiver and making a call to the hospital.  In all the commotion today she hadn’t checked in with them to see how Miles was doing.

As she spoke to the nurse from intensive care she spotted a small piece of paper under Angelo’s desk.  As soon as she hung up the phone, the nurse reporting no change in the other man’s condition, she retrieved the paper and looked at the bold handwriting of her husbands.  Hugo was written on it in black marker with three question marks after it.

Early on in the investigation they’d ruled out the other man, the person who was still serving the sentence for attacking Nic but now seeing this she knew she had to double check. What was Angelo working on that got him killed?

“Sarge,” Watson called as she entered the office carrying two mugs of coffee and a sheet of paper under her arm.

“That the lab report?”

“The hair they found at the scene was artificial.”

“Wig hair?”


Charlie moved around her desk and booted up the ancient police computer, she waited impatiently until she could get on the internet and there her google search brought up a page full of images.

“Cruella De’ville,” Charlie muttered.


“We know the suspect is a woman, in her thirties or forties, she represented this villainess and we have proof she was wearing a wig. What if her natural hair colour was showing? What if we’re looking for a blonde?”

“Makes a strange kind of sense Sarge, but where do you get the age thing from?”

“Cruella is generally depicted as an older female in the films and cartoons. That imprinted on Roma,” she murmured feeling a sense of relief that she could finally rule out Ruby as a suspect. Not that she’d really believed her daughter was capable of such an act but couldn’t rule her out especially in light of Angelo’s actions.

“So we have a good basis for the description?”

“Let me have that coffee, I feel like my brain is going to explode, we’ve got a long night ahead of us.”

“It isn’t over is it? Should we post a guard at Nic and Geoff’s house?”

“I think that would scare them off,” Charlie admitted, not liking using the couple and their daughter as bait.  Get an unmarked car to do some drive pasts along with the usual car. Let’s keep an eye on them. Tomorrow we’ll come up with a better solution.”

Watson nodded and moved out of the office to arrange the limited protection they could offer the family. Whatever this was it was personal but for the family not yet deadly and Charlie only hoped they could keep it that way.




Roman eased silently into the house, the hallway light was on but that was the only illumination in the place. He knew from the silence that his daughter and Geoff had turned in for the night.  Moving through to the kitchen he made himself a pot of coffee and drinking the first cup he sat and waited.  He wasn’t disappointed when the door handle turned an hour later. 

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“Can I get you a coffee?” Roman asked quietly as he switched on the light looking straight at the woman who’d entered Nic and Geoff’s house just moments earlier, the women who’d taken Roma an innocent little girl in her quest for revenge. 


“I er.. er … heard about….” The woman blustered as she looked at him.


“I don’t think you know about me,” Roman said quietly, “I used to be SAS.  I’m very capable at sorting out people’s messes. How are we going to sort yours out?”


“There is no mess,” she hissed out raising the gun and pointed it at him.


“Do you think you’d get away with it?”


“I … there is no way that …”


“Give it a rest; we’re done to death with the psychobabble about why you’re doing this Gina, your son raped and tried to kill my daughter. He deserves to be in prison, which is where you’ll be soon.”


“Oh no, I’m not going to prison,” she glared at him, her eyes barely focusing on him.  He definitely would have described her as deranged he though with a half grin as he looked at her.


“Gina, you have more than one child. What about Xavier and Brenden? When you hatched this scheme did you not think about them?”


Roman eased up from his seat, feeling an ache in his lower back from sitting still for so long.


“Get back,” the hand she held the gun in waved alarmingly as she pointed it at him.


He stayed still, his eyes meeting hers before he peered over her shoulder as if to look at someone else, “Do you have enough bullets for all of us?”


“I don’t need….” She began before catching sight of where he was looking and spinning around. 


Roman picked up his half-drunk coffee and launched the cup at her, further throwing her off balance as she lowered the gun to wipe at the liquid covering her face.


He took the chance then to tackle her, the pair of them falling backwards to the hard floor, barely missing the furniture.  He had the advantage, weight and muscle mass not to mention his past training but he knew that only counted for part of the fight.  His first objective was to keep the gun away from him and make sure neither of them got hurt and his second was to subdue her.  Not an easy task despite her small statue.


They rolled around struggling for minutes, her screaming at him as she tried to get control of the gun until a loud bang echoed around the room.  Roman recoiled from the sound before gasping as he felt the wetness of blood spilling out on his t shirt. Pulling away from her prone figure he pulled the gun from her hand as he stood and moved away from her.  Reacting quickly he yanked at a tea towel in the kitchen and moved to press it on the gunshot in her chest pressing down to stem the bleeding.


“Gina?” Geoff gasped out.


“It was Gina? She had our baby?” Nic’s voice joined in with the comments.


“Call an ambulance,” Roman murmured watching Geoff nod as he made the call, ensuring he rang Charlie too.


“Let her bleed,” Nic snapped out to them.


“I should have killed you,” Gina hissed in a low voice.


“Die you horrible woman, die,” Nic hissed before collapsing sobbing in Geoff’s arms.


The next few hours passed in a blur as the police and ambulance arrived simultaneously.  Gina was taken to hospital as Roman gave his statement to Watson.  The gun had been Angelo’s, tying Gina to his killing.  Other evidence was turned up, a red wig found in the car along with one of Roma’s toys.  Later they would be able to match up hairs found on the handle of the shovel with the wig proving she was the one who bashed Miles.


Miles had come out of his coma and although he had a long haul in front of him he was expected to make a full recovery.  A belated birthday party was held for Roma and although she seemed to be clingy for the most part she bounced back. Roman bought his granddaughter two kittens despite objections from her parents. 




The End. 





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