See disclaimer chapter 1
Early morning sunlight shone through the sheer curtains and fell on the pair lying on the bed. Abby propped herself up on her elbow and looked down at Stan, her eyes lovingly tracing his features. His eyes were closed, but she knew he wasn't sleeping. But the fact that he allowed her this time to observe him made her love him all the more. She traced a fingertip softly over his lips, down his neck and across his chest. Reaching his shoulder, she traced the lines of the tattoo that marked him.
"Hmmm..." he mumbled without opening his eyes.
"Tell me the story behind this," Abby requested.
He peered at her and grinned. "Why?"
She leaned down and kissed his shoulder. "Cause I want to know everything about you," she said simply.
"Okay. I got it in college. A buddy and I used to spend all our free time hacking into systems just to see if we could. We called ourselves the Web Shock, so we would leave a little icon somewhere of a spider and a bolt of lightning. One night we decided to each get a tattoo. I got the lightning bolt and Charlie got the spider." Stan grew silent. A thought had just occurred to him. The man in the diner; his tattoo might have been a spider. No, it couldn't be Charlie, could it?
"So whatever happened to the Web Shock?" Abby asked.
Stan shrugged. "We got caught. Or, I should say Charlie got caught. We hacked into a government computer and somehow they traced it back to Charlie. He spent some time in prison and I never knew what happened to him after that."
"Well, I'm glad that part of your life is over," Abby sighed.
"Me too," Stan agreed. "All I want is my family." He pulled her down and claimed her lips in a slow leisurely kiss. Rolling over and pulling Abby beneath him, Stan added, "But right now, I want you."
A few hours later, Holly knocked on her dad's door. "Daddy, there's a guy here with a package for you!"
Stan left the warmth of Abby's arms and slid on a pair of jeans. "Coming!" he called to Holly. He turned to his fiancÚ, "C'mon, lazy bones, let's get a move on. He added a swat to her butt for emphasis.
"Okay! Keep your pants on!" She eyed the snug denim that hugged Stan's thighs. "On second thought, could you take them off?"
Stan laughed. "No time for that. And haven't you had enough?"
"Never," Abby sighed.
Stan leaned over and placed a little kiss on her forehead. "Later," he promised. "Right now I need to get this package and I want to tell Holly our news."
She grinned, imagining Holly's response. "Okay, I'm up." She slid into her clothes and followed Stan to the kitchen.
Stan carried a package to the table. Abby came and sat down next to Holly, who was pouring herself a bowl of cereal. "Who's it from Dad?" the little girl asked.
"There's no return address," Stan observed as he turned the box over in his hands. He could hear something shift inside, but that gave no clue to the contents.
"Are you going to open it?" Abby asked. After everything that had been going on, she was a tiny bit scared that this could be something bad.
"I suppose I will," Stan answered. He retrieved a knife from a drawer, sliced open the tape and opened the flaps of the box.
"AAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" both females screamed and jumped out of their chairs, backing away from the table but never taking their eyes from it. Stan had jumped back a bit too, but tried to stay calm. About a dozen spiders appeared and started climbing out of the box. Stan grabbed a can of bug spray and emptied it onto the kitchen table, not stopping until every arachnid was still.
He went over to where Abby and Holly were and gathered them up into his arms. "I'm going to call JT. Don't touch anything."
Abby said in a shaky voice, "I don't think you need to worry about that." Holly nodded in agreement.
"C'mon," Stan said, tugging on Abby's arm. "Come into the living room while I call JT."
"No way," she replied. "I'm not moving until those things are gone. I'm not convinced they're dead." He grinned and went to call the FBI.