Thursday, December 31, 2020

Emma, Dangerous by Dellani Oakes – Part 55


Emma meets Dr. Abernathy, confiding in her that if anything happened to Sam, she would kill herself.

"Don't you think Sam would want you to keep living without him?"

"I couldn't live without him. He thinks I could, but I can't. He's been a part of me too long. If he died, I'd die too."

"You're very young to have that fatalistic an attitude."

"I was even younger when my father started raping me, Dr. Abernathy. Every time, the only thing that got me through it was knowing I had Sammy. If I lost him, my stability would be gone."

"Is he just your stability?"

"Sam is the air I breathe. He's my nourishment. He's the blood in my veins. He is everything I want to be and can't be yet."

"How do you mean? Why can't you be?"

"I'm not as strong as Sam. I may never be."

"I think you're wrong, Emma. He's endured a lot, that's true. But look at what you've done with your life."

"Aside from the drinking, drugs and dozens of unknown men?"

"I'm not talking about what you did to run away from it. I mean what you did to fight it."

"Nothing. I did nothing to fight it. I gave in! It's my fault!"

"No, honey. It's not your fault. It's your father's fault. You endured, you lived, you didn't back down, but kept speaking up."

"For all the good it did."

"You're not to blame that no one listened."

Emma had never considered that before. Put in that perspective, she had to agree. She had tried to speak out. She'd defied her father's commands to stay silent. No one believed her but Sam.

"He believes me," Emma whispered. "Sam always believes me."

Dr. Abernathy smiled. "Do you know how rare that is? I know grown men who aren't as mature as Sam."

They ended their session soon after. Emma went back to the bathroom only to find that Carlos had finished her job for her. She thanked him with a kiss.

"Least I can do, little sister. You okay?"

"I've been better, but a hell of a lot worse."

"Baby," he took her hands. "You are loved. Not just by Sam, but by all of us. People come and go here, but in the last month, I've made friends for life. I know if I ever need any of you, you'll come running. And I will do the same. That's a very special thing."

"I feel the same way." She sighed, hugging herself. "I don't want to leave here. I feel safe, secure—like I can take on any problem and laugh it off. I'm so scared of being on the outside again."

"You and me both, baby." He put his arms around her, pulling her close.

Emma put her head on his shoulder, hugging him.

"It's gonna be okay, Emma. You have to believe that. I tell myself that every minute of every day. I'm almost to the point where I believe it."

"You're a good man, Carlos. And I love you to bits."

He laughed. "I wish you loved me like you do Sam, but I don't see that happening any time soon. But I'll settle for this."

They walked out of the bathroom together and headed to the broom closet to put their supplies away. Sam was coming down the hall when they came out.

"I'm going to Abernathy's office?" He gestured questioningly.

"I got this," Carlos said. "See you in the kitchen," he told Emma.

She wasn't sure why he wanted to talk to Sam alone, but she nodded. Kissing Sam, she headed to the kitchen. The men went in the opposite direction. Carlos leaned close, his mouth near Sam's ear.

"She suspect anything?" Sam asked.

"No. It's cool," Carlos replied.

"Good. I feel like I have scorpions on my back. This is making me crazy."

"Me too. Here's Dr. Abernathy's office. Come to the kitchen if you get out before lunch."

"Will do. Thanks."

©2020 Dellani Oakes

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Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Emma, Dangerous by Dellani Oakes – Part 54


After an uneasy night, they get a happy announcement. Tim and Shelby say they are getting married.

The girls descended on her in a giggling, hugging wave. The men shook hands with Tim. He grinned proudly.

"Not right away," he added as an after thought. "We want to do it right, plan it carefully. We're gonna make sure you're all invited. You've all given us so much support. I never would have had the balls to ask her if it hadn't been for what I've learned here."

Shelby and Tim kissed. The others joined them, hugging and kissing cheeks. Eventually, Molly got their attention to remind them they had dirty dishes to deal with. They hustled around, loading up the dishwashers quickly before starting the rest of their chores. Emma was cleaning the bathroom when Carlos popped his head inside.

"Dr. Abernathy wants to see you."

"Me? Why?"

"No idea, babe. Don't look so worried. She's nice. I was just talking to her." He put an arm around Emma's neck, leading her to Dr. Abernathy's office. It wasn't far from Dr. Stewart's, but down a different arm of the hallway. He tapped on the doctor's door.

"Yes? One second." She answered a few moments later. She tried to smile, but there was sorrow in her eyes. "You must be Emma. I'm Doctor Abernathy. Please come in. Thank you, Carlos." She squeezed his hand, nodding to him.

When the young Latino left, Dr. Abernathy gestured toward the chairs and couch in her office. "Take a seat anywhere. Door open or closed?"

Emma was a little surprised by the question. "Closed is fine, thank you. No one ever asked me that before." She settled on a soft pouf in the middle of a cluster of chairs. She faced the desk, but Dr. Abernathy took a seat near her, putting her feet on an ottoman. She kicked off her high heeled shoes with a sigh.

"Thank you. I hate wearing these shoes, but I'm tired of being a foot shorter than everyone."

Emma smiled. She was average height, but often felt small among all the very tall men around. "I get it. But they are so cute!"

Dr. Abernathy laughed. "I had a professor who said you could tell a lot about a woman based on the shoes she wore." She glanced down at her red, pointy toed pumps with the small bow on the back and the stiletto heels. "I hate to think what he'd say about me, if he saw them."

Emma held her head to one side. "You're a sexy minx with a side order of masochist." She winked.

Tossing back her head, Dr. Abernathy laughed. "You have no idea how close you are to right. I'm convinced all shoe designers are misogynists. But that's a conversation for another time." She turned serious, her smile fading. "I'm going to be your therapist for a while, if that's okay. Dr. Stewart personally asked me to take you on. We don't think that Dr. McNulty has quite the right approach."

Emma shivered at the other man's name. "He makes me really nervous," she whispered. "Thank you and please tell Dr. Stewart I said thanks."

"Of course. Are you okay? I know the whole incident has been pretty frightening."

Nodding, Emma pulled up her knees, arms wrapped tightly around them. "It was awful. So much blood!"

"You saw? Sam said he—"

"I didn't have to see it to know. Sam turned pale and started shaking. I knew it was bad, so I didn't try to look. Poor Sammy, he does so much to keep me safe. It's my fault we were down there in the first place. I just wanted someplace quiet where we could be alone. It's been too long since we had some alone time."

"You're very fond of him, aren't you."

"He's my rock. I love him more than life. If anything happened to Sammy—"

"What would you do?"

"I'd kill whoever hurt him and then I'd kill myself."

©2020 Dellani Oakes

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Sunday, December 27, 2020

Ring in the New Year! ~ Room 203 – A Marice Houston Mystery by Dellani Oakes


Having just moved in with her fiance, Kris, Marice isn't too happy to be given an out of town job. She has been sent to Daytona Beach, Florida. There's been a huge sting operation, and the local FBI is under scrutiny. The Marshals have been called in to oversee prisoner transfers.

Things get sticky when Marice and her team are ordered to transport the ringleader, China Finetti, from Daytona Beach to a federal prison in Kansas City. Someone sets a car bomb, injuring Marice and Butch—and that's only the tip of the iceberg. Everything seems to point to China Finetti pulling the strings from prison—if so, how do they prove it?

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Emma, Dangerous by Dellani Oakes – Part 53


That night, Sam seems activity outside, and realizes that the facility guards are patrolling the grounds. Are they worried that Hempe will return?

Suddenly craving Emma's warmth and nearness, he crawled back in bed with her, wrapping himself around her protectively. He couldn't stop shivering. He was as afraid as he'd been his first night in juvie, so many years ago. He'd never been so scared as he was that night. The sounds in that place were terrifying. Somehow, the very silence of this made it worse.

Emma moved over to give him room, but snuggled against him as soon as he stopped moving. Her body against his was reassuring. He fell asleep, but his dreams were troubled.

The alarm buzzer sounded. Sam woke slowly to find Emma already up. She scurried across the hall, quietly closing the door to her room before anyone else was out. Once Sam was dressed, he opened his door and waited for her to come back.

"Good morning, handsome!" she greeted him as she did every morning.

"Hey, beautiful."

They shared a chaste kiss and a hug. Carlos was the next out.

"Hello, gorgeous!" He did an air kiss with Emma. "Butch!" He punched Sam in the arm.

"Ouch. What was that for?"

"Uncle Carlos knows all and sees all," he whispered, his mouth close to Sam's ear. "Did someone sleep with someone else?" He raised a disapproving eyebrow.

Emma flounced off, leaving Sam to fend for himself.

"We slept, okay? She was scared of that convict guy. Something strange was going on over there last night." Sam pointed over his shoulder to the lock down wing.

"You noticed that too? They woke me around three. One of the search lights kept swinging its white hot light into my bedroom. If they want to see me naked, all they have to do is ask!" He chuckled. "I finally put my spare blanket over the window and got a little more sleep."

"It really gave me the creeps," Sam admitted as they walked downstairs. "Don't say anything to Emma. She's freaked enough as it is."

"Who's freaked about what?" Cory, whose room was on the same side, asked.

"Emma's a bit freaky about that Hempe guy."

"Well, yeah! I am too. Did you see the show last night?"

"That's what we were talking about. I don't want Emma to know."

"She's gonna find out, sugar. I won't say anything, but Benji's room is right next to mine. He can't keep his mouth shut for nothin'."

"Glenn's next to me," Sam said. "But I doubt he'll mention it."

"I'll talk to him. You grab Benji. He's on the stairs." Cory sped up, calling to Glenn to wait for her.

Benji nearly ran them down, he was so excited. "Did you see it?"

"See what?" Carlos asked, trying to play it cool.

"All the action last night. I wonder if someone else escaped."

"Keep it down, would you?" Sam asked him. "I don't want Emma to hear."

"Oh, man! Why not? This is the coolest thing that's happened here."

"Someone died the other night," Sam explained. "And we may have seen his killer. She's a little freaked. So please, keep it shut or I'll shut it for you."

"Sheesh, lighten up, huh? I won't say anything for her sake. I happen to like her!" He walked quickly toward the dining room.

"He keeps it up," Sam mumbled to Carlos. "I'll kill him myself and swear he died of a fit."

Carlos stifled a laugh, making it sound as if he'd choked on a large frog.

Cory gave them a thumb's up as she sat next to Glenn. Sam nodded, raising an eyebrow at Benji. He didn't know if the hyper young man was going to talk or not. He couldn't make the guy shut up without violence. Emma would never forgive him if he got thrown in jail.

Sam and Carlos were the last to sit down. Molly offered blessing and they started passing food. Most of the talk centered around the baby. As they were finishing, Tim stood up, nervously shifting from foot to foot.

"Shelby and I have an announcement," said excitedly. "Honey?"

Shelby tugged on his hand, bouncing excitedly in her chair. "Tim and I get out next week and we're getting married!" She squeaked happily.

©2020 Dellani Oakes

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Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Emma, Dangerous by Dellani Oakes – Part 52


Molly's home from the hospital. Everyone is still shaken by Dr. Spiner's death, so she orders and impromptu concert.

"I'll take the vocal on this one," Raleigh said. He'd been singing harmony quietly from time to time, but hadn't volunteered to take lead. He cleared his throat, nodding at them to begin. He sang the entire song to Molly, holding her hand as he gazed into her eyes. It wouldn't have mattered if the others were in the room. Molly and Raleigh were in their own little world. When the song ended, he kissed her lightly on the lips.

"Thank you," she murmured, wiping a tear.

"I love you," he replied quietly. "Thank you for my son."

The others, sensing they needed some privacy, quietly took the guitars back to the studio and made their way upstairs. It was almost lights out, so they didn't linger in the hallway.

Emma tapped on Sammy's door. "Suddenly, I'm terrified," she said, her eyes large. "I keep imagining that man—"

"You're safe here, Em."

"I guess you're right. But still.... Can I sleep in here?"

"Molly would have a cow."

"She'll never know. I'll leave before she even sees me. No one will rat us out. I just want to sleep, Sam."

"Yeah, I know," he acted disappointed. "I guess I can live with that. Though how my nuts are gonna feel in the morning—I dunno."

"You can pleasure yourself in the shower." She went back to her room for her pillow.

Sam's barking laugh followed her across the hall. The lights in the bedrooms went out as she came back to his room. The lights in the hall dimmed at night, but remained on. Emma could see a little bit due to the light trickling under the door. She found her way to the bed and slid in beside Sam, lying on her side, facing the door. He cuddled behind her, his arm around her.

"I wouldn't do this for anyone else," he mumbled, already half asleep.

"I know. And no one else makes me feel as safe as you do." Emma kissed his hand. "I love you, Sam. Good night."

"Night, Emmie Lou," he squeezed her breast. "You're killing me."

They settled down for the night and were soon sleeping soundly.

Sam sat up in bed, befuddled and disoriented. Something had woken him, but he couldn't figure out what it was. Emma lay beside him, sound asleep. What had he heard? A noise in the hall? Something outside? He had grown accustomed to the nighttime noises here, but this was out of the ordinary. Not hearing a repeat, he lay back down, but he was too warm with Emma in the bed. He was usually warm when he slept, and she made him too hot. He flipped the blanket off his feet and tried to get comfortable, but the twin bed wasn't made for two, especially when one of them was Sam's size.

He got up and used the bathroom, coming back to find Emma sprawled across the bed. He made a halfhearted effort to wake her, but she was too soundly asleep. Instead, he took an extra blanket and went to the recliner by the window. He couldn't sleep anyway, so he might as well get up for a bit. A glance at the clock told him it was around three in the morning. He settled in the recliner. Suddenly chilly, he tucked the blanket around his legs.

Movement outside caught his attention. Ravenwood was an elongated L shape with their part of the facility making the foot. This was the part of the building that housed the doctor's offices, pool and gymnasium. His room was on the back of the building, overlooking the lock down wing. Something was going on over there. All the lights were on and searchlights swept the grounds. People wandered around in distinct search patterns.

Sam's vision was poor enough that he couldn't see explicit details, but he was pretty sure that the searchers were armed. Intrigued, Sam eased himself out of the chair onto the broad windowsill. He sat there for over an hour, watching the dark figures move around. He realized that they weren't so much looking for something, but guarding.

They're worried that Gerard Hempe will come back. Have they spotted him? Is he on the grounds?

©2020 Dellani Oakes

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Monday, December 21, 2020

Merry Christmas & Happy Reading! ~ Room 103 - A Marice Houston Mystery by Dellani Oakes


Back for her college reunion, Deputy Marshal Marice Houston doesn't expect to hook up with an old boyfriend. Nor, does she expect to be a witness to a deadly assault, which was motivated by a decade old rape case. Orson Roberts is dead, killed by the owner of the motel where she's staying. Was it really self-defense or was it murder? Can Marice discover the truth of what happened that night in Room 103?

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Emma, Dangerous by Dellani Oakes – Part 51


The residents have a pillow fight, started by Emma and Carlos.

"Is this how you behave when I'm gone?" A cheerful Irish brogue queried.

"Molly!" they yelled in chorus.

They all wanted to hug her at once, but as she was holding the baby, they refrained. They all got to see little Chip and noticed that he did, indeed, resemble his father. Amazingly, he was still asleep after their loud greeting. He stirred a slightly, left arm escaping the swaddling blanket. He socked the air firmly, small fist shooting out with amazing strength.

"Look at the left hook on that kid," Sam said. "He'll be a martial artist in no time. Train him up right, you've got yourself an ultimate warrior, Molly."

"Little South Paw," Raleigh commented from behind his wife. "Like his old man."

"He'll be ambidextrous and a surgeon, thank you very much," Molly decreed. "Though with the ability to defend himself," she conceded when Sam and Raleigh's faces fell.

"Every kid should be able to defend himself," Carlos said quietly. "Chip isn't gonna be a victim. Are you, sport?" He brushed one finger on the baby's scalp.

Chip yawned, waving his fist around. His eyes opened and twin blue orbs surveyed the assorted group with great wisdom, though slightly cross eyed. He licked his lips, opened his mouth and let forth one tiny cry of dismay. The group stepped back as Molly cuddled her newborn son.

"Hist, you. Stop that. They're a rowdy bunch, but you'd best get used to them. They're here for a while. And Lord knows, I shan't be rid of them, even after they're supposed to be gone." Grinning, she whisked her baby off to their private quarters.

The rest of the day proceeded relatively normally. No one even mentioned the murder, but it was on their minds. They could read it in one another's expressions and they way they kept an eye on the door and jumped when someone made a loud noise.

Emma was particularly on edge. She was worried that the man she and Sam had seen would come looking for them. Sam tried to reassure her, but he didn't have full confidence that they were safe, himself.

After supper, the group usually hung around the common areas watching TV or playing games. Tonight, no one felt particularly much like being together, nor did they feel like being alone. Molly, seeing their distress, clapped her hands sharply.

"I know I'm off duty," she was technically on maternity leave. "But I have a request. We've a perfectly lovely piano, and some guitars in the studio. I want live music. As I've just given birth, you'll indulge me."

Laughing, Sam and Vera went out to the studio. They took Glenn along—not so much because they needed his muscles for lifting, but they felt better having a third person with them and he was the largest of the bunch. They came back in carrying a variety of acoustic guitars. Benji found a wooden crate, pot lids, buckets and a couple of wooden spoons in the kitchen. He set up an improvised drum set.

Freddie sat at the piano, already playing a few slow chords. Those who played guitars, Glenn, Sam, Vera and Carlos, took them and spent the next few minutes tuning them. Those who didn't play sat across from the knot of musicians, acting as audience. Emma sat next to Molly with Cory on the other side. Donna sat on the floor, while Cory braided her long hair. Tim and Shelby sat together, their arms around each other.

"I've got one," Glenn said as his fingers fluttered over the strings. "Join in when you know it." He played a distinctive series of chords on the guitar.

Smiling, Sam came in with an improvised rhythm and the others joined in as soon as Sam started to sing Into the Mystic by Van Morrison. Benji patted on the box adding a soft drumbeat. Freddie surprised them all with how well he could play the piano. They continued with a variety of songs from the sixties, seventies and eighties. They even threw in a few nineties songs by Nirvana, Stone Temple Pilots and Sound Garden. Benji took up the vocal on Black Hole Sun, wailing like Chris Cornell.

"I want another Irish tune," Molly said after an hour or so of music. "I'll be having I'm Still in Love With You, if you please."

©2020 Dellani Oakes

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Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Emma, Dangerous by Dellani Oakes – Part 50


After a short conversation with Carlos, Sam and Emma talk a little bit about their past.

"Sam?" Her voice came out like a little girl's.


"I'm sorry about our baby. I'm sorry we had to kill it."

"Shh shh. We couldn't have cared for a baby, not like we were."

"I know. But I wanted to say it. I knew he was yours. And I think it was a boy. And I gave him a name—before...."

"You don't have to tell me this, Emma." He pulled her closer.

"But I do, Sam. I have to. Not just because it's part of therapy, but because you have to know that I knew. We made the decision, separately, for our own reasons. I couldn't lose you. I knew when my dad found out, he'd go ape shit and you'd end up killing him."

"I was afraid I'd lose you, too." He kissed the top of her head. "What's his name?"

"Isaiah Samuel."

"That's a wonderful name."

"Isaiah means salvation of the Lord and Samuel means Asked of God."

"And it's the reverse of my name." He chuckled softly.

"Because you're my salvation, Sam. And I asked God to help me, and he sent me you."

Sam kissed her forehead.

"I used to ask God why he didn't stop my dad. I still don't have an answer for that. But I also asked him to save me—and he did. It just took a long time." She snuggled closer. "When we get out of here and find our own place, do you want a family?" Her dark eyes gazed deeply into his.

"I do, but not right away. I want a chance for us to get on our feet. That doesn't mean that if we had an oops moment that I wouldn't be thrilled. I'm a little scared though, Em. I don't want to be like my old man."

"You won't be, Sam. You're too strong. You'd never treat a child the way you were. And I would never do to our child what my father did." She shuddered. "I can't imagine my grandparents doing that to him."

"It might have been someone else in the family—or not in the family at all. Someday, you can ask him. Until then, you aren't allowed to worry. Because he can't get to you here. He can't touch you ever again. I'll make sure of that."

"Have I told you how much I love you?"

Sam chuckled, tickling her. "Not in the last five minutes or so."

Emma giggled, grabbing his side. It was his most ticklish spot. She applied her fingers without mercy. Soon, they were rolling around on the bed, laughing and gasping for air. Sam pinned Emma down, holding her hands above her head and her face changed from laughter to fear. He immediately let go.

"I'm sorry! Emma, I'm so sorry!"

"No, it's okay. You didn't know. Just—don't ever do that."

"Never again." He carefully moved away from her.

They looked up to see they had an audience. Their friends had gathered outside the open door.

"Everything okay in here?" Glenn asked.

"Yeah, fine," Emma said, straightening her clothing.

"Okay, cause I'll bust homeboy in the nuts if you need me to." Glenn gestured at Sam, grinning.

"Not necessary, but I appreciate it. Homeboy's nuts are safe, for now."

"All part of the full service we give here at Ravenwood," Carlos said, flouncing into the room. He flopped on the bed next to Emma. "Nut busting, tickling, cheek tweaking, and bouncing." He started to bounce on the bed.

Emma giggled, swatting him with a pillow.

"Oh, you did not just do that!" He grabbed the pillow, popping her back.

The others rushed to their rooms, grabbing pillows and cushions from their beds. They came back into the room and full scale pillow fight ensued. Everyone was laughing and gasping a few minutes later. A sharp whistle pierced the air.

©2020 Dellani Oakes

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Thursday, December 10, 2020

Emma, Dangerous by Dellani Oakes – Part 49


Carlos and Sam reassure Emma that Hempe can't get to her, and they will protect her, no matter what. Carlos tells them a little about getting beaten up for being gay.

"I have never understood that," Emma said in a matter-of-fact tone. "Why does anyone care who sleeps with who, and what you do in bed? The very same people who make those rules probably break them as soon as they possibly can. I've noticed that men who yell the loudest about gays are closet homosexuals. And the women who yell the most about stopping abortions are the ones least likely to get pregnant."

"Thank you," Carlos said. "Run for president, would you? We need some common sense in Washington."

Emma laughed. "Well, I've certainly got the dirty little secrets covered. Can you imagine what they would dig up on me? Drugs, sex, wild parties. Oh, and that sex tape Sam and I made...."

Sam's face turned bright red and hit his palm. "Oh f**k, you had to bring that up."

"Sex tape? As in Mr. Sammy himself naked and buff? Joy in my heart! Is it available for our viewing pleasure?"Carlos fanned himself.

"No! It's not! You had to bring that up," Sam growled. "It wasn't like that."

"Daddy had a Nanny cam in my room. Apparently the pervo liked to watch me undress. So, we figured it out and decided to give him something to look at, to see if he brought it up."

Carlos leaned close. "Did he?"

"Juvie visit number—four, was it?" Sam asked Emma.

"I think so. Might have been the fifth."

"No, that was something else," Sam said, dropping his chin. "Not your dad that time."

"Jesus, did you have your own personalized bunk?" Carlos asked, shocked.

"Just about."

"Here I am complaining about being jumped for being gay—you two have had so much more shit to deal with than I ever had. My folks weren't happy, but they weren't exactly surprised. I mean, I did fashion shows with Barbie dolls and my GI Joe's had a really good time together. It's not like there weren't little clues along the way. But no one ever did to me—" He blinked hard, looking away. "No one treated me like you were treated," he said softly. "But no one defended me either."

Sam clapped his hand on Carlos' shoulder. "If anyone ever raises a hand against you again, you call me. I got your back, bro."

Carlos sucked in his cheeks, eyes watering. He nodded his thanks and dashed from the room. Emma and Sam watched him go. Emma took Sam's hands, kissing them.

"You've done so much for me, above and beyond what most guys do for their girlfriends. Why?"

"Because I love you more than life," he replied honestly. "And one of these days, you'll figure that out." He chuckled somewhat sadly.

"But you're that good to everyone. I don't get it. Life has done nothing but hand you shit on a plate, and you just keep fighting it."

Sam gazed into her eyes, brushing hair from her cheek. "Because as much crap came my way, from every direction, there was always this bright spot—you. Even with everything your dad did, my parents did, other kids, the school, the judges, child services. It didn't matter, because we were in it together. Always us. Always together." He held out his pinky.

Emma giggled with tears in her eyes. "You goof. Pinky swear?"

"Don't you remember?" He hooked her pinky and did the usual handshake, following it with a complicated series of movements.

Emma's body remembered, even if her mind had forgotten. It was their ages old secret handshake, developed before all hell surrounded them, when they were still young and innocent.

"If it hadn't been for my old man, none of this would have happened," Emma whispered. "We wouldn't be here, we'd be in school—normal kids. We'd be happy!"

"I am happy," Sam said defiantly. "Sure, we're here, but this is the best place either of us has ever lived. I'm happier than I've ever been and I'm with you. That counters everything else."

"Sammy, I love you so much," Emma gasped.

"I love you too, Em." He pulled her close and she clung to him.

©2020 Dellani Oakes

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Tuesday, December 08, 2020

Emma, Dangerous by Dellani Oakes – Part 48

Benji manages to offend nearly everyone.

Emma sat on the end of Sam's bed, feet under her. Her eyes were large and she wasn't smiling. "It was Doctor Spiner!"

"Yeah. Sucks, man." He sat next to her.

"It's so awful that they couldn't save him. What if we'd heard him sooner?"

"It wouldn't have made a difference, Emma. Don't get upset by it."

"But we were there. We heard him!"

"And we did what we could. It's not our fault."

"We saw the man who did it."

"We saw someone who might have been in the wrong place at the wrong time. It isn't our fault."

"Aren't you the least bit curious who that was?"

"Sure, I'm curious, but I can't do shit about it."

"What if he saw us?"

"He didn't."

"How do you know?"

"Because," Sam took a deep breath. "If he'd seen us—if he just beat up the doc, he'd have come after us too."

Emma's hands flew to her mouth. "Oh, my God, Sam! Oh, my God!"

"Shh shh. It's okay." He folded her in his arms. "He didn't see us. He won't know."

Carlos popped into the room. "Turn on the TV. We made the news!" He picked up the remote, clicking on Sam's TV.

The reporter stood outside the gates of Ravenwood. It was the same blonde who had interviewed Vera the day before.

"... Ravenwood Home. Last night, this rehabilitation facility was the scene of a grisly and bizarre murder. Renowned psychiatrist, Dr. Emmanuel Spiner, was found brutally beaten, by two of the residents. Apparently, the pair had gone out after lights out and found themselves wandering in the dark. According to the police, neither resident is considered a suspect. Police are also looking for this man, Gerard Hempe, who is missing from the lock down facility at Ravenwood."

A mugshot of a large, brutal looking man, flashed onto the screen. He fit the description that Sam and Emma had given the police. He was 6'4", solidly muscled, with multiple tattoos, including a pattern on his neck and chin, that at a distance might resemble a beard.

"Police urge anyone who sees this man to call them immediately. Do not approach. He may be armed and is extremely dangerous."

They cut to a commercial for a car dealership. Sam turned off the TV. Emma had curled up in a ball, and was rocking back and forth, whimpering.

"He's gonna find us, Sam!"

"He's not," Carlos assured her. "They didn't give out your names. Besides, he'd have to get back in here to do it. Do you know how locked up this place is?"

"He got out!" Emma screeched. "He got out and you don't think he can get back in?"

"He stole Spiner's name tag and keys," Carlos said. "They know that and the locks are being re-keyed as we speak. They also canceled the doctor's swipe card and they are changing all the passwords. You're safer here than anywhere."

"Are you sure?"

"Positive. Don't you worry. If anybody comes after you, Sammy and me will nunchuck they ass." Screeching like Bruce Lee, he did a few impressive kicks and thrusts with his fists.

"You've had some training," Sammy said, impressed.

"Little bit—about five years. Not as good as your bad ass, though," Carlos confessed.

"What can I say? I'm a troubled teen who got put in karate cause they didn't know what else to do with me," Sam said.

"Dude, do you know how many gay beat-downs I could have avoided? I started martial arts because of it. Second I came out, I started getting whooped. Actually, I take that back, I was smacked around a bunch before that, they just got worse."

©2020 Dellani Oakes

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Tuesday, December 01, 2020

Emma, Dangerous by Dellani Oakes – Part 46


Dr. Stewart and Robbie are horrified to find out that the victim is Dr. Spiner. Dr. Stewart collapses when she hears the news.

"Yes, ma'am. They made a positive ID at the hospital, with fingerprints."

"But that's not all," she whispered.

"I'm sorry to tell you, ma'am. Dr. Spiner succumbed to his injuries in transit. The staff at the hospital did everything they could...."

"But they were unable to revive him," she concluded. "Thank you, Detective. I know the spiel." Clearing her throat, she tried to stand, but her legs wouldn't hold her. "I'd like to go home now."

"I'll have someone drive you, ma'am," Detective Tan said.

"I can manage!" she snapped.

"Thank you," Robbie said quietly. "I can drive her home, Detective. If you'd be kind enough to help me get her to the car."

"Is there anyone at her house?"

"She's my dearest friend, like a sister, really. I'll stay with her."

"I'll get the car," Raleigh said.

"I'll send an officer with you to help get her inside," Frank Tan said. "Do you think she needs to see a doctor?"

"It couldn't hurt," Robbie said quietly. "Let's get her home."

"I'll send someone over," Raleigh volunteered. "Dr. Abernathy is on call."

"Yes, see if Cybil will come by. Thank you," Robbie said.

Raleigh hugged her, knowing that Robbie hurt nearly as badly as her friend. They were close and had seen some awful times together, but this was by far the worst. Not even the death of Robbie's son was as bad as Amanda's husband being murdered.

Emma slept deeply all night. Sam slept somewhat fitfully, wishing that the doctor had given him a shot too. He was relieved when the sun rose and he had the excuse to get up and close the blinds, so Emma could sleep. He went to the bathroom, then lay back down.

Beside him, Emma stirred, yawning and stretching. She was a little surprised to find Sammie in her bed, but greeted him with a smile. Her kiss was friendly and filled with joy.

"Hey, handsome. What are you doing here?"

"Do you remember last night at all?"

"Yes." Her face closed. "I was hoping that was a horrible dream."


She sighed. "I had really hoped. My dreams got so much better. You were with me and we were making love." Her arms went around his neck and she pulled him to her.

Sam held her away, gazing into her eyes. "I wish we could make that dream come true right now," he murmured.

"Nasty, boring old rules," she said with a playful pout. "When this is all over, we're going somewhere fun and we're going to—"

There was a tap at the door. Glenn put his head through the gap. "I heard voices. Raleigh wants us all to meet downstairs asap. Get dressed." He was gone before they could respond.

Sam went to his own room to dress. He met Emma in the hall.

"What do you suppose he wants to tell us?"

Sam shrugged. "I dunno, but I smell coffee."

They trotted downstairs. The staff and residents were seated in the dining room, crowded around the massive table. There was an urn of coffee and three boxes of assorted donuts. Everyone helped themselves and Raleigh stood at the head of the table.

"I have some very bad news," he said quietly. "Last night, a man was found in the weight room." He didn't say who had found him, but by now word had gotten around. "He was taken to the hospital by emergency services, but died on the way."

Everyone gasped. Emma's hand flew to her mouth and she burst into tears. Sam's arm went around her.

©2020 Dellani Oakes

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Old Time Religion ~ A Love in the City Romance by Dellani Oakes – Part 25

Obi took a moment to compare the sisters. Frankie had dark brown hair, and blue eyes. Though their coloring was different, they clearly were...