by Victoria Traw
Disclaimer: These characters are mine; although they very well may resemble a certain Warrior Princess and bard we all know and love.
Love/sex warning: Yes, there is a loving and sexual relationship between people of the same gender. If this offends you or is illegal where you are, please grow up or move on. If you are under the age of 18, go away and play with your toys until you're old enough.
Violence: There is some playground violence in this part (Childish bullies and bigots) There may be reference to rape, though no graphic depiction.
Hurt/comfort: Some discomfort happens in this part. Not between the main characters, but something they have to deal with.
Dedication: This story is dedicated to my Sandra, you complete my soul beloved…. always remember.
Feedback welcome at Vtraw@aol.com
A comfortable pattern formed for Angela, Elise and the girls. Angela spent many days and too many evenings working on security projects. The Richardson's had been extremely pleased with the work Angela had done, and had spread the word to friends and clients. As a result, Angela had more work than she knew what to do with. She had actually had to turn down a few potential customers only to have them say that they would wait until she was available. Things were going well!
Both young girls would stay with Elise on the evenings that Angela had to work late. Elise liked this arrangement because on those nights, Angela would use her key to let herself into Elise's house, she would then come upstairs, check on the girls and then join Elise in bed. Some nights, Elise would be so fast asleep that Angela would simply place a soft kiss against her skin then drop off to sleep herself; but other nights, Elise would stay awake until Angela slipped between the sheets and then the two women would make love until they both fell into an exhausted sleep.
The girls had been given the go ahead to use their 'pet' names for their parents. Both girls wound up calling Angela "Pop" on a day-to-day basis, though Ellie stilled called her mother "Mom" when they had heart-to-heart talks or when she had an owie that needed to be mended.
One afternoon, Elise was working in her home office when the phone rang. She was in the middle of some complicated coding so she allowed the answering machine to pick up the call. "Hello, Ms. Covington, this is Jodine Smythe, the nurse from Coleman Prep. If you can please call me at your…" Hearing that the call was from Angel's school, Elise grabbed up the phone.
"Ms. Smythe, this is Elise Covington, is there a problem with Angel?" Elise asked anxiously.
"I'm afraid so, Ms. Covington. There was an altercation on the schoolyard and Angel's arm is injured. I think it would be best if you come right away and take her to have it X-rayed." informed the infuriatingly calm nurse.
"X-rayed? What happened?" demanded Elise as she hurriedly went through the house and collected her purse and keys.
"I believe it would be best if you come to get Angel. We'll explain everything when you arrive. She is in no immediate danger, but her arm should be looked at as soon as possible."
"I'm leaving now, I'll be there within twenty minutes." informed Elise.
"We'll see you then, Ms. Covington." Answered Ms. Smythe.
As Elise got behind the wheel of her car, she dialed Angela's number on her hands-free cell phone. 'Please answer, baby, I need you' She thought.
"Angela Popodopolis" the phone was answered.
"Angela? Angel's been hurt at school. I'm on my way there now." Elise's voice shook as she informed her love.
"Angel's hurt? I just got a call to come and get Ellie!" Taking a breath, Angela continued, "What happened?"
"I have no idea. The school nurse just called and said I need to come get Angel and take her to get her arm X-rayed. What's wrong with our Ellie?"
"From what I gather, she's got one whopper of a black eye. I'm mainly going in because the principal wants to talk to me about whatever happened on the schoolyard." Angela informed Elise.
"How far are you from the school right now, Baby?" Elise asked.
"I'm pulling in as we speak, love. I was heading for the Principal's office, but now I'm going to go to the nurse's office first to check on our Angel girl. I'll wait with her until you get there, then I'll go on ahead to the Principal's office. Once I have that out of the way I'll meet you wherever you take Angel."
"Thank you love, I should be at the school in fifteen minutes or so," said a relieved Elise.
Angela jumped out of her car and rushed into the administrative office building of the school. The receptionist saw her and assumed that she would go directly to the principal's office and was surprised to see the tall woman march right past the door to that office and down to the nurse's station.
"Ms. Popodopolis, Ellie is in the principal's office. She isn't injured to the point of needing to stay with the nurse." informed the receptionist, trying to be helpful.
"I understand that, but my other daughter IS injured enough to need the nurse's care and I'm going to sit with her until Ms. Covington arrives." declared Angela, her blue eyes filled with concern. "Will you please send Ellie into the nurse's area so that I can take care of her as well?"
The receptionist simply nodded then headed in to the principal's office so that she could send young Ellie in to be with her mother and 'sister'?
Angela's heart clenched when entered the nurse's area and saw Angel. She was sitting on a cot holding an ice pack to her forearm and she had tears streaking down her cheeks. Angela quickly crossed the room and knelt in front of the little girl.
"Hey, Munchkin," she said softly.
The moment Angel realized that Angela was there she began to sob. She immediately leaned in to Angela's embrace and cried her little heart out into Angela's chest.
"Mom, it hurts," she sobbed.
Angela's heart broke at the pain in Angel's voice yet at the same moment, it filled with joy that she had been called 'Mom'. She rather liked when the girls called her Pop, but at a time like this, it felt so good to be called Mom. She wrapped Angel in her arms and rocked her until the sobs began to subside, and then she took a tissue and mopped the tears from the small face.
Angela carefully cupped the injured arm, "Let me take a look little one," she said.
"Be careful," warned Angel.
"I promise," Angel assured her. She then removed the ice pack and gently began to inspect the injured area. The arm was clearly broken just above the wrist.
As Angela was inspecting the little girl's arm she felt another small body lean against her side. She replaced the ice pack on Angel's arm then reached around and pulled Ellie into a hug. After the hug ended Angela held Ellie away from her and looked into the little girls' eyes. Angela's eyebrows disappeared beneath her dark bangs when she saw the dark purple shiner around her daughter's left eye.
"Did you two have a fight?" She asked incredulously.
An angry scowl came over Ellie's face. "No. We didn't fight. I'm not supposed to say anything until we're in the principal's office so that…" a look of disgust covered the small face, "everyone can have their say."
It was impossible for Angela's eyebrows to go any higher on her forehead so her eyes simply opened wider at her daughter's comment.
"Ok, honey. As soon as Mamma gets here and takes Angel girl to the hospital, we'll go to the principal's office." She gently stroked the small black eye, "This hurt?"
Small shoulders shrugged, "Yeah, a little."
Angela moved to sit on the cot beside Angel. "Would you like me to hold you until Mamma gets here?" she asked softly.
The small blonde head nodded and Angel leaned against the tall woman. Angela carefully picked the little girl up and set her on her lap. She then indicated that Ellie should sit beside her so that Angel's lower legs rested on the girl's lap.
"There ya go, we'll both hold you, how's that?" Asked Angela.
Again, Angel only nodded but she also leaned her full weight into Angela's chest. The three of them sat like that until Elise finally walked into the room. Elise thought her heart would burst at the sight that greeted her. 'My family,' she thought. She quickly moved to join the threesome.
As soon as Elise was close enough, she brushed Angel's blonde bangs back and leaned in to kiss the warm forehead. "Baby, what happened?"
Angel's green eyes once again filled with tears. "Sally pushed me down really hard and I hurt my arm bad!" she cried.
"What?!" exclaimed Elise. The need to confront whomever pushed her child warred with the need to get the little girl medical attention. Elise's body shook with rage that someone would push her daughter so hard that she broke her arm.
Elise felt Angela's hand take her own. Her blue eyes bored into Elise's angered green orbs, "El, you take our Angel girl to the ER. I'll take our little 'Rocky Balboa' here to the principal's office and find out exactly what happened."
It wasn't' until Angela made the reference to the fictional prizefighter that Elise looked over and noticed the shiner on Angela's eye. As she took that in, she felt her anger raise another notch. "What, in the name of Hades, is going on?" she demanded.
"I don't know yet, love, but let's get you two off to the ER and I'll go find out. The only thing I'll ask is that you stop in with me to the principal's office and let her know that…well…" Angela's voice faltered for a moment, "that I can speak for both of us."
The look of fierce determination that covered Elise's face was almost enough to make Angela smile, "You bet your sweet gorgeous ass, I'll tell her you can speak for us."
"Ok then, let's get going," Angela said as she stood with Angel still cradled in her arms. "You grab Rocky and let's get to the principal's office."
Elise turned and offered her hand to Ellie, "C'mon, Rocky, let's go."
"Who's Rocky?" a confused Ellie asked.
The women realized their movie references were going completely over the little girl's head. The irony of the generation gap gave them a small laugh, relieving a bit of the tension they felt.
Once the foursome arrived at the principal's office, Elise asked to speak with the principal privately for a moment. She noticed that Sally and her mother were sitting in the waiting area outside the office and that neither of them looked happy.
Once she entered the Principal's office she made it clear that she would only take a moment because she needed to get her daughter to the ER.
"I understand, Ms. Covington, we can talk about what happened here after you get young Angel taken care of."
"You can count on the fact that I will be back to address this issue, Principal Timmons, but, in the meantime, I wanted you to know that Ms. Popodopolis has full authority to speak for me until I am able to be here."
"I see," Commented the attractive salt-and-pepper haired principal. "I'm sure you realize that any legal action that might be necessary on Ellie's behalf can only be authorized by you," the principal paused and the soft look in her eyes told Elise she understood the nature of Angela and her relationship, "please be assured, I will take Ms. Popdopolis's words on this issue with Angel in the same manner I would take the word of any child's parent."
Elise nodded, "Thank you. Ms. Popodopolis and I will discuss this situation this evening and if there is any action we think I need take on Angel's behalf, I will let you know tomorrow."
"Understood," replied Principal Timmons.
The exchange only took a few minutes and once it was done, Elise went back out to the waiting area to retrieve Angel. After Angela carefully transferred the small girl into Elise's arms, she bent and placed a soft kiss against her soft cheek then whispered into the small ear, "We'll see you at the hospital as soon as we're done here, baby."
"Ok, Pop," Angel replied. Then, looking down at Ellie she said, "Don't you let them get you into trouble, Ellie. You're my hero."
Ellie's mouth quirked into a lopsided grin at being called Angel's hero. "I'll always protect you, Angel. We're friends forever, remember?"
"Friends forever" repeated Angel.
The women's eyes met as they both relived similar moments from their own childhood. A feeling of warmth invaded both adult hearts at both the memory and at the reality that history was indeed repeating itself in their daughters.
"Where are you going to take her?" Asked Angela.
"I'll take her to the ER at Scripps Mercy I guess." Answered Elise.
"All right, El. We'll come over there as soon as we're done with the Principal. We'd better go in now. I'll see you as soon as I can. I love you, El."
"I love you too," Elise answered. She looked from one set of blue eyes to the other set of matching blue, "I love both of you."
"I love you too, Mamma," Ellie said solemnly.
Elise walked out to take Angel to the Emergency Room while Angela and Ellie entered the principal's office.
Principal Timmons greeted the mother and daughter; she then stuck her head out the door and indicated that Sally James and her mother, Petra, should join them. Once they were all inside the office, Principal Timmons closed the door and sat behind her desk.
"All right, here is what I know," the principal began, "at the afternoon recess, Ms. James was witnessed speaking to Angel Covington. At one point during the heated discussion, Sally was overheard using some extremely inappropriate and hurtful words!"
"But!" Sally started to interrupt.
Principal Timmons raised her hand in warning and with a stern look cautioned, "Miss James, you are in enough trouble right now as it is. I would not push the matter by interrupting, if I were you."
"Yes Principal Timmons," said Sally, though her face held a look of defiance.
"Thank you," replied the principal, "Where was I? Ah, yes, before any of the teachers could intervene, Sally forcefully shoved Angel to the ground. When Angel landed, she seriously injured her arm. She is, as we speak, on the way to the Emergency Room to get treatment." The principal paused to look at the faces of the two adults facing her. The face of Angela Popodopolis was a stoic mask, but beneath the surface her blue eyes flashed with carefully guarded anger. Ms. Jame's face was much more expressive, showing confusion mixed with disappointment and anger.
"While Angel was on the ground, writhing in pain I might add," Principal Timmons sent a stern disapproving look toward Sally, "Sally attempted to kick her."
Petra James gasped at this last bit of information, "Principal Timmons, you must be mistaken. I cannot imagine Sally doing something like that!" she cried desperately.
"I am quite certain of the facts as I witnessed the events myself," explained the Principal. "Now, I say Sally attempted to kick young Angel because the moment Angel was pushed, a dark-haired blur..." Principal Timmons eyes moved to look at Ellie, "raced across the schoolyard and stood between the fallen Angel and Sally. It was at this point that Sally again used derogatory statements and proceeded to punch Ellie in the eye."
Taking a moment to look from one young girl to the other, Principal Timmons asked, "Is that an accurate description of this afternoon's events?"
Ellie nodded her head, whereas Sally shrugged her shoulders and maintained her defiant facial expression.
"Miss James, what do you have to say for yourself?"
"I don't know," pouted the little girl.
"Sally, did you push Angel down and then punch Ellie in the face?" asked Petra.
Again the small shoulders shrugged. Sally's eyes looked everywhere but into her mother's eyes.
"Answer me, young lady," demanded the increasingly angry mother, "Did you do the things Principal Timmons described?"
Finally, Sally realized there was no way she could avoid facing up to her actions so she admitted, "Yeah, I shoved Angel and then I hit Ellie. But they made me so mad!"
"You know better than to push or hit another person. I don't care what they did, there is no excuse for you to have done those awful things." Exclaimed the distraught Mother.
Angela's firm voice entered the discussion, "Ellie, what stared all of this?"
Ellie's tear filled eyes stayed focused on the floor, "Angel told Sally that she wanted you to talk to her class on Parent's Career day. Sally said that you had to be her parent and Angel said that you were her parent," taking a deep breath Ellie continued, "Then Sally said you couldn't be her parent because she knew her Mom and you were my Mom and besides you were a woman so you couldn't be Angel's other parent." A sad look came over Ellie's face, "Angel said that you were so her other parent because her Mamma loves you and we're a family."
Angela's hand moved to rub comforting circles against Ellie's back, encouraging her. She leaned in close to her daughter and assured, "Angel was exactly right, baby, we are a family." She then took Ellie's chin and brought the young blue eye up to meet her own, "What happened after that, Ellie?"
Ellie forced herself to look into her mother's eyes, "Then Sally said…" Ellie's eyes began to fill with tears, "she said that Angel was a freak and that her mom was a stupid dyke."
Angela's eyes closed against the pain she felt, both for herself and for her two daughters. The fact that such a small child could spew such hateful words broke her heart.
Ellie continued with her story, "After Sally said that, she said that if Angel's mom was a dyke then Angel must be one too." A small smile came to Ellie's lips, "Then Angel said that she's rather be a dyke than to be a meanie like Sally. That's when Sally pushed her down. Mom, she pushed her really, really hard!"
Pulling Ellie onto her lap, Angela gave her a reassuring hug. "I know she pusher her hard. Is that when you came running?"
"Yeah, I was already headed over there 'cause I could tell that Sally wasn't being nice and I wanted to make sure Angel was ok."
"Good girl," complimented Angela with another hug.
"I couldn't get to Angel before Sally pushed her, Mom. But when I saw Sally try to kick Angel while she was on the ground I ran as fast as I could and got between them. That's when Sally yelled at me and told me to get out of the way and called you a name too." Ellie's eyes dropped to the hands in her lap as she told the last part of her story.
Again, Angela lifted the little girl's chin and met her eyes, "What did you do when she called me a name?"
"I remembered what you always tell me, Mom, even though I wanted to hit her, hard, that hitting isn't the answer and that I have a responsibility to control my temper so I don't hurt people. But it was hard, Mom." Ellie whined.
"I am so proud of you, Ellie." complimented Angela.
"Anyways, I just stood there and did the breathing exercises that Master Kang taught us and I didn't say anything back. When I turned to check on Angel, Sally slugged me!"
Angela couldn't keep the smile off of her face at the astonishment in Ellie's voice. She shook her head slightly and said, "Yeah, I was kind of wondering how she had managed to get a hit in on you."
Looking over at the Principal and the Jones's Angela explained, "Ellie and I have been taking martial arts lessons since she was four. She holds a red belt in Tae Kwon Do."
Petra Jones's eyes grew to the size of saucers. The realization that her daughter had come through the incident unscathed was amazing.
With an embarrassed look Ellie said, "I lost my concentration because I was focused on Angel." She then looked over at Ms. Jones, "Ms. Jones, I wouldn't' have hurt Sally, even though I wanted to, but I should have been able to block her punch without even blinking."
Angela ruffled the child's dark hair, "Hey, give yourself a break. You maintained your cool, you protected Angel and you learned a lesson about not letting your guard down."
"Yeah, I guess," muttered Ellie.
Principal Timmons chose that moment to speak again, "I appreciate and commend your restraint, Miss Popodopolis." She then turned to Sally, "Miss Jones, your actions were inexcusable. You know that physical violence will not be tolerated in this school and you also know that respect for others is just as important here." The principal folded her hands on top of her desk, and looked at the elder Ms. Jones, "I don't believe in suspending a student when they misbehave. I am of the opinion that most children see the time off from school as a kind of reward."
Principal Timmons continued, "First, Ms. Jones, I need to ask you what your thoughts are regarding the verbal remarks your daughter has made toward Angel and Ellie's parents."
Petra aimed a stern look at her daughter, then turned back to look at Principal Timmons, "I'm not only shocked that she would say such heinous things, but it hurts me to my core that Sally has the ability to be so cruel. To be honest, I don't know where she learned such terms much less what they mean!" She looked again at her daughter, "I've tried to teach her how powerful words are and I've tried to instill in her that the only evil people in this world are those that would do harm." Her eyes filled with tears and her voice quivered as she continued, "It seems I have not taught her those lessons, and that I have also somehow missed that she has the ability to be one of those hurtful people."
"Where did you learn such hateful words, Sally?" She asked her daughter.
Hearing the hurt in her Mother's voice chipped much of the ice from around Sally's heart, "Grandpa Ellis said that Aunt Bev and Aunt Sally were degenerate dykes and that they were going to hell. He said that any girl that likes girls or any boy that likes boys should be locked away from decent people."
All of the adults in the room were shocked to hear those words pouring from a seven year old's mouth. For a moment no one spoke, but then Ms. Jones finally said with a sad sigh, "Honey, I know you love your Grandpa Ellis, but…look at me…" Petra waited until her daughter's eyes met her own, "your Grandpa is wrong. The things he said to you are hurtful and hateful. Your Aunt Bev and Aunt Sally are not going to hell, they are not doing anything wrong." She took her daughter's hands, "Is what Grandpa said the reason you stopped wanting to go visit your Aunts?"
Sally's face was filled with confusion, but she nodded and affirmative answer to her mother's question. Her mind reel, trying to understand the conflicting messages she had received from her Grandpa and now from her Mother.
Petra looked at Principal Timmons and then at the Popodopolises, "I see that I have some brainwashing to undo here. I hadn't realized that her Grandfather was filling her mind with such hatred and bigotry." Her eyes sought out Angela's "I am truly sorry that she said the things she did, and I can hardly believe she was capable to inflicting such physical harm on your daughters. There is no way for me to make up for that. Please, send Angel's hospital bills to us and we'll pay them." A smile crossed Petra's face, and then she looked down in to her daughter's face, "Actually, Sally will pay for them."
Sally's eye grew wide. She knew hospital bills were expensive, how was she going to pay for a hospital bill? Her Mom must be saying that just to sound good.
Petra's Motherly intuition told her what was running through her daughter's mind so she continued, "All of Sally's allowance will go toward the hospital bills, she will also be given extra chores around the house to earn extra income and that money will go to pay the bills. She may not see any allowance money in her own pocket until she's thirty, but she will pay Angel's hospital bill."
Angela decided she liked Petra Jones. She was obviously distressed about her daughter's horrid actions and it seemed as if she would show the girl that actions came with consequences.
"As soon as the bills arrive, we'll forward them to Sally." Angela said solemnly.
The conversation that followed included Principal Timmons's discipline plan for Sally as well as a discussion about respect for others. Sally was made to apologize to both Ellie and Angela for her actions and a promise was made by Petra that the issue was not closed and that she would do everything in her power to make her daughter understand the seriousness of her actions.
As the discussion wound down to an end Angela looked at her watch as the cell phone in her jacket pocket began to ring. She pulled out the small phone and flicked it open. "Angela Popodopolis," she answered.
"Hi love," Elise's tired voice came through the earpiece. "We've been waiting here all this time. They still haven't called her in."
"Oh baby, you're kidding?" asked Angela anxiously.
"No, and she's really hurting. This isn't right!" cried Elise.
"Honey, let me make a phone call. I'll call you right back," said Angela.
"Oh, I'll have to call you back. They won't let me use the cell phone inside the hospital so I'm on the pay phone in the waiting area," informed Elise.
"Ok, just keep calling until you reach me. Talk to you in a few. I love you, El and tell our Munchin that I love her too."
"I will, and I love you two too." Elise said as she hung up the phone.
Angela disconnected from her call with Elise then pulled out her address palm pilot and looked up the number of her orthopedic doctor. She dialed the number, hoping that Dr. Greene would be willing to squeeze Angel into his schedule. After only two rings the receptionist answered the phone and Angela explained the situation. After being put on hold for a few minutes, Angela heard the doctor's voice come on the line. She repeated her dilemma to the doctor and he promptly said that he would see Angel as soon as they could get to his office. Angela thanked the doctor and hung up the phone hoping Elise would phone her back quickly.
Realizing she had been ignoring the other people around her, Angela apologized, "I'm sorry, that was Ms. Covington and the ER still has them waiting. I've arranged to have my orthopedic see her so we need to get going."
"Of course, I understand," Principal Timmons answered. "I'll call the Covingington house later to check on Angel, if that's all right with you?"
"We'd appreciate it," answered Angela. Then to Mrs. Jones she said, "I hope you can help her understand all of this. I don't envy you right now."
"Thank you, Ms. Popodopolis, and again, I am so sorry for all of this." Ms. Jones replied.
Standing up, Angela bade everyone good-bye then took Ellie's hand and led her out to her car. As she stared the car her cell phone began to ring. She set the phone in the hands-free cradle then answered, "Angela Popodopolis."
"Hi Love, what's up?" asked Elsie.
"Baby, go tell those Neanderthals in the ER that you don't need them. I called Dr. Greene and he said he'd see Angel as soon as we can get her to him. I'm on my way to get you right now, just wait outside the ER and I'll pick you up."
"You're kidding? That's wonderful. They just told me that there was some huge accident on the freeway and that's why there is such a long wait. They said it would be at least another hour before they can get to Angel." Elise growled, "I am so angry right now I could scream!"
"Calm down, El, we're almost there," soothed Angela.
A few minutes later she pulled into the parking lot of the hospital Emergency Room. Elise and Angel were waiting outside and Angela hopped out of the car and went around to help Angel get settled in the seat beside Ellie. The trip to Dr. Greene's office took only ten minutes and Angel was taken to the doctor as soon as they entered the office.
An exam and X-ray session were followed by a trip to the casting room where Angela chose a purple colored fiberglass for her cast. The doctor said that the cast would have to stay on a minimum of six weeks, but that the break should heal without trouble.
After they were done in the Doctor's office, the family piled into Angela's car and they drove back to pick up Elise's auto that was still in the hospital parking lot. The girls stayed in Angela's car for the ride home and Elise stopped on her way home to pick up pizza for their dinner. The group was subdued the entire evening yet both Mothers felt that it was necessary for them to talk about what had happened. The family discussed the hurtful things that were said and, as painful as it was to admit, Angela and Elise told the girls that they might have to endure more encounters of small-minded bigotry. They discussed how much the cruel words hurt and they used the incident as a lesson for Ellie and Angel about how very powerful words are and how words, wrongly spoken, can easily lead to physical violence. It was a huge lesson for such small girls to have to learn, but since it stared them all right in eye they couldn't avoid it.
Once the girls were settled in bed for the night Angela and Elise went downstairs and huddled together on the soft couch. The stress of the day caught up with Elise and she clung to Angela as she wept tears of frustration, anger and hurt.
"Our babies shouldn't have to put up with this kind of thing!" Angela rasped, "They should be swinging on Monkey Bars and playing dodge ball, not dodge fist!"
Elise agreed wholeheartedly with Angela, "I know. I hope that Principal Timmons will do something so the other students know that what happened today won't be allowed to happen again."
A knowing smile crossed Angela's face, "Oh, I think Principal Timmons will make very certain the students know that Sally's behavior will not be tolerated. I think Sally's words and actions hit a bit too close to home for Principal Timmons, if you know what I mean" she arched a brow and sent a meaningful look toward Elise.
"Ahhh, that's right, Principal Timmons has that beautiful wife at home, doesn't she?" smiled Elise.
"Yup, but her wife can't hold a candle to the woman that hold's my heart" Angela whispered against Elise's ear.
"You amaze me, my Angel. We've had the most horrific day, our girls were hurt and yet you know just the right thing to say to make me feel completely loved and cherished," Elise leaned back to look into Angela's eyes, "Do you have any idea how much I love you? We'll get through this…together."
"Forever, El." Angela said softly before placing a kiss on Elise's lips. "Baby, it's been a crazy day, I'm sure you're as exhausted as I am, let's head up to bed. I want to wrap you in my arms and hold you close all night."
"Perfect," sighed Elise.
To be continued
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