By Bat Morda

(Please click here if you would like to go to Chapter One.)


"Through a window all our sorrows
Would become our only visions
Nothing more"
Jane ñ Stevie Nicks

        Stevie blinked her eyes against the strong California sun. The waves sparkled a short distance away and the sand was the color of light caramel. It was warm but not overly so, as a cool breeze came off the ocean. She stopped a moment at the end of the Santa Monica pier happy to see the picnic basket and fishing poles where sheíd imagined theyíd be. Picking them up she walked along the wooden planks enjoying the scent of the sea. Passing the vacant amusement park, shops, restaurants and sunglasses kiosks, Stevie soon saw Callisto standing at the far end of the pier. The warrior was dressed in her usual armored attire, while Stevie was wearing comfortable shorts, a tank top and running shoes. Her hair was pulled back in a ponytail and she wore a baseball hat to keep the sun out of her eyes.
        "Whatís going on here?" Callisto asked dubiously, eyeing the picnic basket and fishing poles with suspicion.
        "Iíve figured some things out." Stevie replied with a warm smile. "Or I should say you figured some things out."
        "You must be suffering from exhaustion," Callisto shot back. "What is it? Six oíclock your time? Youíve been fucking all night. Clearly youíre not thinking right."
        Stevie shrugged with a broad smile. "Maybe so, did you miss me?" Callisto rolled her eyes. "I followed your advice with Lizzy dearie," she said imitating the warriorís tone dead on. "Donít blame me that it worked like a charm. Is the problem that she was once Gabrielle?" the Egyptologist asked. "Because that would make you as biased as her Grandmother who was also once Gabrielle."
        "The problem, dearie," the warrior replied with a frown "is that youíre setting yourself up to be hurt. Look what the Xena did to you. What makes you think this will end any better? If youíre going to come here looking for a shoulder to cry on, youíre crazier than I am."
        Stevie smiled and handed a fishing pole to the warrior. "Actually I had a reversal of that in mind." She looked out over the ocean, amazed at the brilliant azure color her dream provided. While the sea was never ugly, Santa Monica was not the most picturesque stretch of coastline that California had to offer. Awake sheíd never dream of fishing off of this pier, being too worried about what the fish might be carrying living so close to storm and sewage drains, but here, in her dream the ocean and beach were as pristine as they should be, which was a start. "You told me when you were a little girl that the sea was special to you," Stevie continued. "That your mom would pack a lunch and that a group from the village would spend the day at the beach."
        "So?" The warrior asked.
        Stevie shrugged. "I thought we could talk about that. Swap beach stories, have a normal conversation for a change. Who knows, maybe weíll become friends or something."
        Callisto was speechless, which was not a common occurrence. "You want to relive my childhood? Oh you have got to be kidding."
        "Iím sure it doesnít work that way." Stevie replied. "But I see no reason why you canít experience a different life, now, even though youíre dead. I canít redeem you Callisto, I can only redeem me. Youíve forgiven Xena and I think thatís a huge step. But there is a bigger one. I think that was the piece missing that my previous lives didnít get. You have to be forgiven, not by Xena, not by me ñ but by you. You have to really forgive yourself from the beginning- for not being able to save your family, and you have to forgive yourself for everything youíve done since. Youíve never had a friend, until now..."
        "Iíve never had want or need of one, including now." Callisto said flatly.
        The Egyptologist chuckled. "You might change your mind when you see how well I can cook in my dreams," she replied. "Honestly, would you have shown me all that you have, lifetime after lifetime if you werenít looking for a way out? You forgave Xena. How many lifetimes has it taken for you to do that? Youíre going to tell me that isnít a step in the right direction? And honestly, giving me pointers with Lizzy last night was a very ëfriendlyí thing to do. Donít blame me if I choose to take you up on it." Stevie put the basket down and opened the lid. From inside she withdrew a small Tupperware container of hot dog bits. She withdrew a piece of the... for lack of a better term... meat and put it on the hook of her fishing line. Casting out a short distance from the pier she watched the bobber dance merrily on the oceanís surface.
        "What is that?" the warrior asked.
        "Hot dogs," Stevie replied. "But youíll learn more about those when we do some sort of Memorial Day barbeque. For now, consider it bait."
        "I donít think so," Callisto said as she withdrew a chunk of meat from the container. Instantly it turned into a large worm that moved sluggishly in her hand.
        "That is so cool," Stevie said. "You can do that because youíre a god?"
        Callisto baited her hook, not flinching as the worm twisted and struggled. "I can do this because youíre dreaming. Everything youíve seen and youíre impressed with a worm?"
        "You have a point," Stevie said, casting out her line. Casually she glanced over at the warrior who had also cast out her line.
        "You want to talk so talk," Callisto said without looking at her. "You know how much I love chit-chat."
        Stevie chuckled; she was not about to be intimidated by her twin. "My childhood was pretty good," she said conversationally. "My mom took me to the beach every summer as well to stay with her sister. Weíd build sand castles, and make sand candles, plaster castings of sea shells, all kinds of things."
        "Sounds nice," Callisto agreed watching her fishing line. "So what are you going to do with the Gabrielle?"
        Stevie smiled. "Everything I can possibly think of." Callisto rolled her eyes and Stevie coughed reconsidering the question. "Honestly I donít know. Weíre just at the beginning. We live on two different coasts, there isnít much that could keep us together with all practicality."
        Callisto smirked, clearly enjoying her own thoughts. "Youíd be surprised with the things you find yourself doing when you want something badly enough," she said quietly.
        "I guess love and revenge have something in common that way," Stevie allowed with a nod. "Iíd really like this to work out," she added quietly.
        The warrior shrugged, "the odds arenít very good." She watched a group of pelicans flying in formation just skimming the oceanís surface before climbing higher. "Still, itís clear sheís crazy about you. Or at least just crazy. We know what side of the family she gets that from."
        Stevie smiled. "Iíll admit sheís got it bad for me, which is a wonderful feeling I must say. Not that anyone would say my family tree is perfectly sane. Still, some of what she likes I think I get from you and I donít think that has anything to do with her lineage," she said softly her mind filling with images of only several hours previously.
        Callisto turned brown eyes narrowing and faced Stevie. "Just because Iím not actively killing someone right now, donít mistake who youíre talking to. I am not a set of qualities that youíve absorbed and use to bed women. Iím not some bear youíve domesticated and can now feed hot dogs," she said coldly with a pointed glance at the picnic basket. "I am a memory that has driven you to any number of horrific deaths. I am your depression and I am driving you mad."
        Stevie looked back, her eyes every bit as cold and hard. "Not today sister," she said, her voice ominous. "That may have been how weíve played this forty-two times before, but it stops here. Maybe that was our problem, too many of my former selves let you bully them, but not me. We are going to talk, you are going to grow and if I have to put up with this shit in my sleep for the rest of my life, then so be it."
        "So youíre a therapist now?" Callisto shot back acidly. "You and I both know that in spite of the amount of hours youíve spent in therapy youíre hardly qualified. Are you really going to deconstruct me?"
        Stevie didnít budge. "Iím not, we are. I am finished with spending night after night doing nothing but reliving the horror that was your life. Youíve told me yourself where that road leads and I donít want to go there. I am not you, but if Iím a reincarnated you, then in a way Iím related to you. I felt it when I wore your armor. There is a fearlessness, confidence and aggression I can touch just below my surface and that is you. I have a temper, Iíve been known to throw the occasional plate and Sarah has a scar on the back of her head to prove it. That is also you. I am going to deconstruct you to see where I fit. Not as a shrink, because frankly you donít have the money for that, but as a friend because Iím completely qualified for that. You can talk to me, see what I have to offer or you can go away and sulk. The choice is yours. Youíve told me that Iím in charge of my dreams and thatís what weíre doing."
        Callisto cocked her head not looking surprised as much as impressed. "Youíre not the least bit afraid of me," she said.
        "How can I be afraid of myself?" Stevie answered. "Maybe that was the mistake weíve made before. The other lives trying so hard to keep you separate from them. Iíll own the fact that I was you, in all your horror all those centuries ago. I will own the things you did and the choices you made. But I am not my past. Still, in my line of work I obviously know the value of oneís past and I can learn from it, understand it, and grow. You are more than a relic Callisto, much more."
        Just then there was a tug at her fishing line and Stevie reeled in a fish. It was large and fought like hell but in a few minutes sheíd brought the fish onto the pier and removed the hook from itís mouth. She looked at Callisto uncertainly. "Iíve no idea what kind of fish this is," she admitted.
        The warrior smirked. "Seabass," she replied.
        Stevieís eyes grew wide. "Youíre kidding, I love seabass!"
        "Imagine that," Callisto said rolling her eyes amused. "Now how could that possibly happen?"
        The two continued to fish and talk about the sea and their various memories of it until the breeze took on a distinctly cold chill. Theyíd each caught a fish and the ocean had shifted from azure to indigo. The sun began to make its way across the sky, playing hide and seek with some white puffy clouds when the two began to walk back down the pier. Callisto carried the poles and fish while Stevie carried the picnic basket. They were halfway down the pier when they spotted two familiar women at a sunglasses kiosk.
        Janice Covington was trying on various styles of sunglasses, deciding which went best with her hat. Melinda Pappas was trying on straw hats, occasionally nudging the archaeologist for her opinion.
        "Dr. Covington, Miss Pappas," Stevie said, surprised in spite of herself.
        "What are you doing here?" Callisto finished looking down at the archaeologist with disdain.
        Stevie shrugged, "Obviously Iíd have said that more politely."
        Melinda nodded. "We understand, hon."
        Janice took the pair of sunglasses she held and put them in the pocket of her jacket. "Youíve ravaged my granddaughter for god knows how many hours and you donít honestly think youíll get a visit from me?" she asked.
        "We werenít watching," Melinda quickly explained putting the straw hat back on the rack.
        "But we couldnít help but overhear, we are just down the hall," Janice added.
        "Maybe you should tell her to move the ashes and that fucking broom to the basement," Callisto suggested as she started down the pier once more knowing full well sheíd read Stevieís thoughts.
        "Relax kiddo," Janice replied smoothly to Stevie, "Youíre going home today, itís not like we can travel to California... or can we?"
        "You canít," Callisto said flatly. "You said yourself that getting to Melís place was a stretch."
        Janice shrugged. "So whatís for dinner?"
        "Who said you were invited?" The warrior shot back then realized sheíd given the archaeologist the rise she wanted. Annoyed she picked up the pace heading off of the pier and down the beach towards the shore. Stevie watched her walk on ahead, noticing that Melinda, with legs every bit as long was having no trouble keeping up with her. Moments later the Southerner took the fishing poles from Callisto and was helping her find a good spot on the beach to fix dinner.
        "Whatís going on there?" Stevie asked, curious watching Mel and Callisto.
        Janice shrugged. "Sheís a Xena, remember? That little scene with you and the stuntwoman last night had her sobbing. Xena forgives her so Melinda forgives her."
        "And still you donít?" Stevie asked, knowing the tone in the archaeologistís voice.
        "Gabrielle never forgave Callisto and as much as she loves you, Lizzy hasnít forgiven her either so it remains to be seen." Janice said, taking a cigar out of her pocket and lighting it.
        "Donít you think declarations of love are a bit premature?" Stevie said lightly.
        Janice stopped in her tracks. "No, I donít," she said, green eyes glaring up into brown. "I think she loved you from the second you put make up on her in that bathroom. She isnít playing around here and if you are..." her hand went ominously to the whip at her side.
        Stevie put the picnic basket down and crossed her arms over her chest. "First, I think itís totally creepy that you follow her everywhere. Jesus Christ no wonder she hasnít found anyone yet. Who the fuck wants to put up with the shadows of two nosy old ladies who are DEAD! Second, no I am not ëplaying aroundí with your granddaughter. If she wanted that Sarah would have been the obvious choice. And third," she stopped a minute, the fight having drained from her.
        "Yes?" Janice pressed.
        "Iím torn between wanting what I want, and protecting her from what I want," she said with a sigh.
        Janice stooped to pick up the picnic basket and continued down the pier. "So youíre in love with her too then?" she asked. She smiled sadly, "I guess it canít be helped, Covingtonís are outrageously charming people."
        "Honestly, Iím not finding you all that charming," Stevie said absently. "Lizzy yes, you, not so much. You still forbid me to see your granddaughter?"
        The archaeologist shrugged, "For all the good thatís done me? No. Itís too late now. Lizzy made her choice and I hope to god she didnít make the wrong one. But itís for you two to sort out now." They were silent for several moments as they walked down the beach to the spot where Callisto and Melinda had been collecting driftwood for a fire.
        "What makes you think this approach will work with Callisto?" Janice asked.
        Stevie shrugged. "I have no idea that it will, but nothing else has worked, so why not? Iíve heard that living a good life is the best revenge. She didnít know that when it would have mattered, but maybe she can learn that now. I guess Iíve got the rest of my life, however long that is. Who knows, maybe by the time itís all over sheíll be in place where she can forgive herself. If she canít, we come back and start this thing all over again."
        Janice looked from Stevie to the warrior and back. "For your sake kiddo, I hope you live a very long time."
        "Iím beginning to hope so too," Stevie answered with a smile.
        "Thatís a nice necklace," Janice commented looking at the sterling silver crescent moon as they rejoined the other two.
        "Thanks," Stevie replied helping Janice with the blanket the archeologist had pulled from the picnic basket. "It was from my grandmother. I never met her, but my mother passed it on to me. She had new-age interests for her time, palm reading and the like. I think thatís where my mom got her start in it."
        Blanket set, Melinda and Callisto had finished piling wood for the fire which Callisto lit with an impressive fireball. Archaeologist and warrior prepared the fish while the other two got everything else ready. Stevie was not surprised to find an extra two cold Caronas at the bottom of the basket. They ate mostly in silence, each woman lost in her own thoughts. As Stevie watched the waves she considered her twin, sitting slightly apart focused on the ocean as well. Something the warrior said rang true. She was not domesticated. Stevie had no illusions that she was enjoying this time, this experience of normalcy. She was tolerating it out of desperation. She simply had come to the end of her choices, everything else having failed her. Stevie would have to consider that moving forward. She would have to be mindful of how hard she pushed, what she chose to show her. There could be limits to exactly what the warrior would tolerate. Thinking of this didnít make Stevie fear her twin, but rather respect her.
        When conversations did ignite between the four it was mixed. She enjoyed talking shop with the Doctor or chatting with Melinda about her life. Often though it was with Callisto and Janice shooting barbs at each other with Melinda often coming down on the warriorís side. There was a change in Mel, clearly she was feeling more protective of the warrior, which annoyed Janice. Janice understood it, but didnít like it. Callisto didnít seem to care, but Stevie knew better. As the sunset over the Pacific and Janice finished her last cigar she stood, announcing it was time for them to go and helped Mel stand. Stevie and Callisto stood as well.
        "This is probably it for us kiddo," Janice announced looking at Stevie.
        "Until the next time I visit Salem?" Stevie asked.
        Janice shook her head. "No. Mel and I have been talking and we think maybe itís time to move on. Let the family make their own mistakes and find their own way."
        Melinda smiled bashfully, "Itís time for Lizzy to have some real privacy, She and Melvin are grown now... we can go."
        Janice chuckled. "As distasteful as it is for you to think of your grandparents having sex ñ its every bit as bad from this end."
        "Janice! Please!" Melinda implored, as Callisto chuckled in spite of herself. "Now that Lizzy and Melvin have found someone, yíall donít really need us looking out for you. Weíll still visit sometimes, birthdays, holidays and such."
        "Halloween," Janice added with a nod.
        "Melvin?" Stevie asked, still surprised Janice brought him up and wondering for the briefest of instances if Sarah had in fact satisfied her curiosity with Lizzyís cousin.
        "Donít be ridiculous," Janice said, reading her mind. "Epphie of course, but you probably wonít find that out until tomorrow." Janice turned to Callisto and took off her hat, wanting nothing to get in the way of the warrior seeing her eyes. "I donít know what to make of you," she admitted. "And lord knows Iím not half the woman that Gabrielle was." She shrugged. "A part of me thinks that if she couldnít forgive you, then there is no forgiveness to be had, but..." she glanced at Stevie, "I also see what youíve become and that isnít for nothing. The central thread of a life doesnít change in spite of the strands that come and go; for you to end up as this," she said with a nod to Stevie, "then there had to be good in you all along." Stevie studied Callistoís face and remembered a similar expression when Xena confessed her crimes in the village square. "I know you donít need or want anything from me, but it is my sincerest hope that this road youíre on leads to redemption for you. Stevie may very well be what would have befallen Callisto had Xena not entered Cirra that day. You had a world of promise as a child and I know now that you never lost it, just buried it perhaps. It is indeed amazing what you can find if you dig in the sand, and believe me I know. Good luck to you Callisto and for what itís worth, you have my forgiveness as well." With that she extended her hand and Callisto accepted it, albeit uncertainly.
        "Thank you," she said quietly, shaking the archaeologistís hand.
        "Youíll be fine honey," Melinda added, reaching out and hugging the warrior and kissing her on the cheek.
        Stevie smiled at the obvious look of discomfort and surprise on the warriorís face. With a gentleness that surprised the Egyptologist, Callisto pushed Melinda away and moved back a bit.
        "Perhaps not hugging," she said, "But thank you." Mel smiled, no offense taken.
        "As for you," Janice said turning to Stevie.
        Stevie held out her arms, "Oh Iíll hug you, no problem." Melinda chuckled and Janice blushed looking very much like Lizzy in that moment.
        "I may not be watching you," she said, "But if you hurt my granddaugher, your plates wonít stand a chance."
        Stevie nodded. "That is a threat Iím prepared to live with. I mean this when I say it has been an honor to meet the two of you. Not just professional, you both are amazing women."
        Janice mumbled something unintelligible and brought her hand to the back of Stevieís head. She pulled the taller woman down so she could kiss her forehead. "Be good to her is all I ask."
        "Be good to yourself too," Melinda added, hugging Stevie warmly and kissing her cheek as well. "Be good to Callisto." Stevie nodded.
        As they turned to go the Egyptologist stopped the archaeologist with a gentle hand on her shoulder. Janice looked up questioningly. "Janice," Stevie said, "I hope Argo finds you soon. I really do."
        The shorter womanís eyes immediately misted over and she nodded, swallowing before she could speak. "Thank you," she whispered gratefully and turned to walk down the beach hand in hand with Melinda Pappas.
        Stevie and Callisto watched them go. Their forms receded in the distance then eventually vanished. Both women sat back down on the blanket.
        "What do you think?" Stevie asked. "Is this going to work for you?"
        Callisto shrugged, listening to the waves crash on the sand for a moment. If she pretended it could almost be Cirra. "I honestly donít know. I guess we will have to see. But youíre right, in your dreams your cooking isnít half bad."
        Stevie smiled. "Does this mean weíve bonded?" she asked.
        Callisto turned to look at her and smiled. "Yes," she replied.


        Light came pouring through an unstrategically placed drapery in Lizzy Covingtonís bedroom splashing Stevieís face with warm brightness. She blinked a couple of times and sighed. A warm body was cuddled against her with one arm curled under hers and the other stretched across her torso gently cupping her right breast. Stevie smiled. That hand had been affixed to her breast for most of the night, waking her on occasion with a reflexive squeeze. She didnít mind; there were certainly more worthwhile things to do than sleep. As if reading her mind, the hand gently squeezed once again and soft crown of blonde hair nuzzled into the crook of her neck. Stevie let her hand brush across the warm planes of Lizzyís back, enjoying the contrast between soft skin and firm muscle.
        "Donít tell me itís morning," Lizzy murmured, her voice thick with sleep and exhaustion. "It canít be morning."
        "Iím afraid so," Stevie replied.
        "How long did we sleep?" Lizzy asked, blinking and trying to adjust her eyes to the daylight. "What time is it?"
        "I think we slept maybe an hour or two," the Egyptologist replied with a wry smile. "As for the hour, Iíve no idea. I think Iíve got a bit of time before I have to head back. Our flight doesnít go out until evening."
        "Really?" Lizzy replied her mood brightening. In an instant though something crossed her mind and she seemed uncertain. "Ah... you want breakfast or something?" she offered. "I could make coffee."
        Stevie smiled and rolled her eyes. "You hungry?" she asked. "That legendary Covington ëfood thingí kicking in?"
        Lizzy blushed but didnít mind. "I can honestly say Iím not the least bit interested in food. As for hungry..."
        With a light laugh Stevie rolled over and sat perched on her loverís hips pinning her to the bed. "Hungry for?" she teased affectionately.
        "Ah, If you donít know," Lizzy replied, "then clearly I wasnít doing something right last night."
        Stevie chuckled, "Honey, you did everything right last night." She quickly surveyed the bedroom "and your house is still standing, so I think thatís a very good sign."
        Lizzy looked around as well, then concern crossed her features. "Something feels different," she said.
        Stevie released Lizzieís arms and slid off of her hips stretching her toned body alongside that of the archaeologist. "Theyíve left for now," she said soothingly. "They said so in my dream. You and Mel have earned your privacy, although they did mention the occasional visit on special occasions."
        "That explains the house feeling a little empty," Lizzy said, clearly having mixed feelings about it. Her eyes grew wide as she stared at Stevie, or rather Stevieís chest. "Whereíd your necklace go?" She began to look around the bed when Stevie reached over with an elegant finger and touched the necklace now hanging around Lizzyís neck.
        "Janice commented that she liked it," Stevie said. "I guess they can do that trick from Ghost," she added with a chuckle. "She seems to feel that you should have it and Iím not going to argue with her. Think of it as a gift from one grandmother to another."
        Lizzy looked down, surprised at the delicate silver crescent now hanging just at her cleavage. The archaeologist smiled, although a bit sadly. "In a way Iíll kind of miss them, but as long as Iíve got some privacy..." she leered at her companion who smiled encouragingly.
        The morning passed in the same fashion as the night before but without the awkwardness. If anything the archaeologist had grown exponentially in her romantic self assurance. The love-making moved from the bed to the shower where each woman took their time washing each otherís hair and every other bit of exposed, wet flesh.
        Lizzy reached around from behind, pressing her soapy body against the taller womanís back and moving slightly. "So is what Sarah said true?" she asked inquisitively, "about phone sex," she added.
        Stevie turned in Lizzyís arms and let the spray of water come over her shoulder to rinse the shorter woman. In a smooth motion she pinned the archaeologist against the tile of the shower wall. She leaned down and whispered into a receptive ear, letting her voice go low and husky. "You live far enough away that I expect youíre going to find out. I hope you have a head set for your phone, you may want your hands free. You also might want to download Skype onto your laptop ñ youíll save a fortune on phone bills."
        Slowly, confidently Stevie kissed her way down the shorter woman, licking drops of water away, moving steadily south. It was a testament to her degree of physical fitness how slowly and gracefully she moved until she was on her knees a now familiar patch of wet blonde curls in front of her.
        "I can honestly say," Lizzy replied with pleasure, "that the phone bill is the farthest thing from my mind."
        She groaned with pleasure as Stevie moved against her once again, using her hands and mouth she made Lizzy feel not of this earth in all of the exact right places. As the hot water sprayed her, the archaeologist couldnít ever remember feeling so decadent. She reached out with steadying arms to the walls of the shower, needing their support as yet another thundering release shuddered through her. With only the briefest moments to center herself, she knelt as well, her lips seeking out Stevieís and kissed the Egyptologist soundly. In moments she was hopelessly distracted by the lithe body beneath her and not caring the slightest about her water bill either, took the time to thoroughly and completely express her gratitude.
        It was some time later before the two women managed to get clothes on and actually keep them on. But in time they did migrate to Lizzyís kitchen and brew some coffee. Lizzy gazed for long moments into her cup and then looked over at the Californian shyly. "Is this going to be awkward?" she asked. "I really donít want this to be awkward."
        Stevie smiled, running a slender index finger over the archeologistís hand that was resting on the table. "Parts of this are going to sting Iím afraid. But if your head might be going there, this doesnít feel like a fling... at least not to me."
        Lizzy smiled. "Iím glad to hear that," she said.
        "But I canít say Iím moving to the east coast in winter either," Stevie added cautiously.
        "No U-hauls. Got it," Lizzy replied with a grin. "Maybe Iíll come visit California sometime."
        Stevie nodded with a warm smile. "That would be nice."
        The archaeologist was quiet for a long moment before asking, "Is Sarah going to be okay with this? I mean, whatever ëthisí is. I know you said you talked things out and I totally feel like Iím babbling again..."
        "Sarah will be okay, or if she isnít weíll work that out. As my mother says..." Stevie began.
        Lizzy nodded. "Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham got it together so you can too."
        "Exactly," Stevie agreed. "Besides," she added with a warm smile, "your babbling is adorable. I guess the bigger question, for me at any rate is; are you going to be okay? Most people donít have one of their exes as their best-friend."
        "You guys came as a package deal," Lizzy said with a shrug. "Itís cool. She cares about you a lot, and I canít help but respect and appreciate that." She was quiet for a few more moments. "I donít know if itís my past life talking, but I feel like Iíve got a fair amount of insight into Sarah and how she thinks. Itís more of a comfort to know sheís got your back than anything Iíd worry about."
        Stevie smiled wondering if indeed she was kidding herself, or if perhaps her ever-present depression did feel a bit lighter. "And what does your past life tell you about me?" she asked playfully.
        Lizzyís eyes narrowed a bit and she grinned, green eyes sparkling. "You, my dear are indeed an unknown. A mystery. And if there is one things we Covingtonís find irresistible it is a mystery."
        "Iíll keep that in mind," Stevie replied with a wink.
        They chatted longer, trying to put off the inevitable but when it was time to go, Stevie stood and put their coffee cups in Lizzyís sink.
        "So Iíll head over to Melís with you?" Lizzy asked, the sadness clearly evident in her voice as the time was winding down when sheíd be in the Egyptologistís company.
        Stevie shook her head. "No sweetie," she said. "You should stay here. The whole car driving away thing really sucks and I donít want you to see that. I want you to go back to bed and actually get some sleep."
        Lizzy nodded. Not because she knew that Stevie was right, but because she suspected tears would be involved and she really didnít want her cousin to see her crying, or Stevie for that matter.
        "Oh," Stevie added, "I remember your grandmotherís telling me about Mel and Epphie, so donít be surprised when you go to his place and sheís still there."
        The archaeologist smiled, "íbout damn time," she said. "Heís been crazy about her since high school."
        Standing at the doorway Stevie smiled. "Just to be sure here, youíre certain youíre not suddenly feeling interested in men?"
        Lizzy chuckled. "Hard to believe it was possible, but Iím feeling even more gay than I did yesterday morning." She reached to the coat peg behind her and picked up Stevieís leather jacket. It was soft, almost warm to the touch and smelled of that intoxicating mix of leather and her loverís perfume.
        The Egyptologist accepted it but then draped it around Lizzyís shoulders. "Iíve grown rather fond of seeing you in it," she said. "Please keep it."
        The shorter woman grinned. "How ëbout I hold on to it until I see you next. You might need to recharge it then so it smells like you."
        Grinning, Stevie leaned down to kiss her one last time. "You have yourself a deal sweetie," she said softly. "Iíll call you when I get home, see how youíre doing."
        Lizzy nodded, "Iíll go download Skype," she said lightly, determined to keep herself together.
        Stevie winked and then turned, walking down the street. She didnít look back until she got to the end of the block and even from that distance could see the ache in Lizzyís face. Forcing a smile to her face, Stevie blew a kiss waved and with strength she was a little surprised she had, managed to keep walking.
        The distance to Melís house seemed longer this time. She couldnít keep from replaying wonderful scenes in her mind from the night before as well as absently trying to figure out what it was she had, or where it might lead. Youíre over thinking. A now familiar voice said in her mind.
        "I donít recall asking you," she muttered to herself.
        "Youíre the one who wants to be friends," the voice replied.
        Stevie shook her head. "So what do I do?" she asked out loud.
        "Beats me," the voice said.
        "Oh youíre really helpful," Stevie fumed.
        Inwardly she shrugged. "If you ever want to play ëtruth or dareí with her Iíll help. Is that better?"
        Determined to think of something that might drown out the sound of Callistoís voice, Stevie decided to ponder the first Stevie Nicks song that came to mind.

For no special reason
I am leaving you for awhile tonight
I'm flying far above you
Still I love you

You make things right

I've been with you before
I'll be with you again
I'll come back for more, yea
The story has a strange ending

        She wasnít exactly sure why this song came to mind but as the tune went through her mind she saw a variety of images. Many of them were of Lizzy, the last twenty-four hours certainly proving to be a preoccupation. But there were other images too.

Well, you know me I'm a nomad
I can't feel bad
About the way I am
I've been rolling around
My whole life
You're my candlebright in the window

You guide me back again
And I come when you shine
You are not my friend, no
But I am something of a dreamer
I am something of a dreamer
I am something of a dreamer

        She thought of Sarah and how far the two of them had come, even in just the last week. So much felt more settled and grounded than it had the week before. There was no concern that the stuntwoman wouldnít be in her life. And not that that had ever been a worry, sheíd often wondered what boundaries theyíd have to reach where they could stay and be positive for each other. She thought about her dogs and her mother and the long flight back, absently wondering when sheíd be able to arrange a trip back east again.

Well, you know me I'm a nomad
I can't feel bad
About the way I am
I've been rolling around
My whole life
You're my candlebright in the window

You guide me back again
And I come when you shine
You are not my friend, no
But I am something of a dreamer
I am something of a dreamer
I am something of a dreamer

        She also couldnít help but think about another addition to her life. Not a friend certainly, not at this point at any rate; but someone who was important and needed her help. In an odd way sheíd grown to respect Callisto; disagree with her choices certainly, but she decided not to judge. Would she have made different choices? Would they have gotten her killed? Or would her life have been better? She couldnít say and while she wouldnít ignore or overlook Callistoís bloody past she did feel it wasnít the appropriate prism to measure her ancestor.

Still I love you
My candlebright
You are not my friend
But still I love you
You're my candlebright
Still I love you
But you are not my friend
But still I love you
I can't feel bad

        As the song finished playing in her head she walked up the steps to Melís guest house. She pushed open the unlocked door and immediately smelled the comforting scent of fresh baked toll house cookies. Inside she found the usual crowd gathered around the island in the young manís kitchen either putting cookie dough on baking sheets of moving cookies from the oven to cooling racks or from cooling racks to a plate.
        "Look whoís here" Mel said in a friendly tone, waving his hand that held a spatula and gesturing that she should join them. "We were wondering if youíd gotten lost?" His tone was playful, like one he might use with a younger sister or other family member. Stevie could feel herself blushing as she accepted an iced cold glass of milk. Epphie was sitting on a stool at Melís side scooping raw cookie dough from the bowl with a melon scoop and placing them on the baking sheet. Solari was on the other side moving the baked coolies from the hot trays. With a graceful movement she passed one to Stevie. None of the other boarders were present.
        "Weíre the last ones," Sarah said, wiping the milk moustache from her mouth with the back of her hand seeming to either read Stevieís mind or her expression, she wasnít sure which. "I packed for you, so you owe me the isle seat on the flight home."
        "To be honest, I donít think the Hendersons could get out of here fast enough," Epphie added with a smirk. "They didnít even wait for their bag of cookies."
        Sarah nodded, "Yeah, I donít think theyíll be back next year. Mustíve been something they heard," she said all to innocently.
        Mel grinned. "Thatís a couple of customers I think I can live without."
        "What about Jeff and Phil?" Stevie asked, a little sorry she didnít get to say good-bye to the two men.
        "They tried to wait around for you but had an earlier flight. Doug and Susan were sad to see them go and Iíve no doubt those four will be keeping in touch." Mel said conversationally. "If I do the guest house thing next year they said theyíre interested. Even gave me this cookie recipe as a bribe which is really out of this world."
        Stevie tried her cookie and had to admit that while little can compare with a piping hot chocolate chip cookie, this was indeed the best chocolate chip cookie sheíd ever tasted. "My god, what did you put in these things?" She asked, astounded.
        Sarah smirked. "I told you sheíd go crazy." She muttered to the room. "Those are toffee bits instead of nuts. I swear, itís not so much as a cookie as some new form of cookie/candy hybrid. I canít stop eating them."
        The Egyptologist chuckled. "For you that isnít saying much."
        Solari chuckled and Stevie arched an eyebrow knowingly.
        "Did you have a nice night?" Sarah asked hurriedly, her face open, inquisitive, and all too happy to move the attention back to her friend. "I mean Lizzyís house is still standing, right?"
        Stevie looked at her for a moment to see if there was any jealousy behind the question. Deciding that there wasnít she quickly scanned the faces of the others gathered around the kitchen island. Mel looked like he wanted to know, but more for his cousinsí sake even though any answer she could give would embarrass him terribly. Epphie looked like she already knew and Solari, sporting a collection of bite sized bruises on her neck looked too exhausted to even fathom the question. "The house is fine, and we had a very nice time." Stevie said before taking another bite of cookie. "But I suspect Iím not the only one in this room who had a plesant, if not exhausting time last night."
        She let her gaze linger on Mel who, catching her drift, blushed furiously. "How the hell did you know?" He asked, startled. He looked at Sarah. "Did you call her?"
        Sarah grinned. "Dude, you wernít that loud. Solari and I didnít even know for sure, but we suspected." She looked at Stevie. "How did you know?"
        With a shrug Stevie replied, "your grandmothers told me." She was quiet a moment more before adding "they also said they were going to move on. Just visit on special occasions, that sort of thing. Lizzy didnít sense them this morning"
        That got the attention of both psychics who gave Stevie their undivided attention. "Is Lizzy okay with that?" Epphie asked.
        "Sheís rather fond of them," Solari added.
        Stevie nodded, "It isnít like there is anything she can do about it. I think itíll be hard at first, but she agreed that living on her own might not be a bad thing. She might be feeling lonely a little later though. When it sinks in," she said almost more to herself. Glancing at the plate of cookies she smiled. "Still, you might want to check on her later. Take her some cookies or something."
        Mel smiled, understanding etching his features; Stevie had Sarah, but Lizzy was on her own. "There is little in life some quality chocolate canít fix?" he asked.
        Stevie nodded. "Yeah, something like that," she said softly.


        Jet engines roared as the plane sped for takeoff. "You going to be okay?" Sarah asked casually, scrolling through the myriad of songs on her iPod. Her voice was almost indifferent, like any answer would be okay, but Stevie knew better. Sarah wanted her to be alright.
        "I miss her already," she replied with a sad sigh. "Well, since stepping out her front door," she amended. Changing the subject she asked, "what about you and the psychic?"
        Sarah shrugged indifferently but smiled warmly. "We were just passing time," she said. "You werenít there after all and she had the time. Sheís happily married and thatís cool by me. Itíd been awhile since sheíd been with a woman and was happy to have no strings attached."
        Stevie nodded. She tried to picture strings and if any were attached to her. If there were, then what did they look like and was it a bad thing?
        "Whatís up with Callisto?" Sarah asked, now blue eyes firmly gazing at her friend, concerned.
        Stevie smiled. "We are what we are," she said. "Weíre trying to come to an understanding. I canít pretend to understand her, but that doesnít mean I donít have a sense of understanding her if that makes any sense? I canít fault her for choices I never had to make. She had a very rough hand to play and at first anyway, did what she thought was best. This will take a long time to sort out Sarah," she added quietly. "I think I need you in my life for that. I can talk to you in a way I canít talk to anyone else."
        The stuntwoman blushed. "How did you know I was feeling replaced? And how did you know exactly what to say?"
        "You think I donít know you Sarah, but I do. Sweetie, you arenít half the mystery you think you are."
        Sarah glanced away and then chuckled. "You canít help but be honest with me, can you?" she asked as the Egyptologist grinned in reply. "Thatís why we had to break up, you know. Youíre too damn honest."
        "You have enough fan-girls," Stevie answered. "I wouldnít be your centuries dead arch nemesis if I wasnít honest with you, now would I?" she asked with a warm smile.
        Sarah rolled her eyes. "And Lizzy, sheís totally fallen for you, hasnít she."
        Stevie nodded. "Iím afraid so. But the falling is kind of mutual," she said. "Iím still not quite sure what to make of it, but..." she shrugged, at a loss for words. "I guess itís good I have therapy after I get home. I have a lot of stuff to work out. But you ñ I want that to be okay. I donít want to work on us. Are we okay?"
        Sarah was quiet for a long moment gazing at her iPod. "I think I know why Stevie and Lindsey worked out their shit," she said.
        An eyebrow arched, "and why is that?" the Egyptologist asked.
        The stuntwoman nodded at her iPod. "The song Silver Springs. Stevie says sheíll follow him down until the sound of her voice haunts him. She tells him that heíll never get away from her. She was right. Do you know how often you could hear her on the radio in those days? My god, when Bella Donna and then The Wild Heart came out? It must have driven him crazy. He couldnít turn on a radio without hearing her voice everywhere he went."
        "Is that us?" Stevie asked. "Are you worried Iím going to haunt you?"
        It was Sarahís turn to smile warmly. "I donít think being haunted by you is such a bad thing. Whatever you have to work out, it isnít me. Iím still not sure what I think of you moving on, but Iím going to be all right with it. Maybe I donít want gory details about Lizzy or Callisto but I have your back on both counts."
        "I love you too, Sarah." Stevie said.
        The stuntwoman smiled a bit bashfully passing Stevie a pair of headphones. "Here, just listen to our damn song." She plugged her own headphones into the splitter and leaned back closing her eyes. Stevie squeezed her hand warmly and followed suit. In moments she was transported by the majestic sound of piano, guitar and bass and drums. Then followed a voice she knew as well her own.

You could be my silver spring
Blue-green..colors flashin'
I would be your only dream
Your shinin' autumn
ocean crashin'

And did you say that she's pretty
and did you say that she loved you?
Baby, I don't wanna know.

I'll begin not to love you
Turn around, see me runnin'
I'll say I loved you years ago
Tell myself you never loved me.

And did you say that she's pretty
And did you say that she loves you?
Baby, I don't wanna know.
Oh no.

And can you tell me... was it worth it?
Really, I don't wanna know.

Time cast a spell on you
That you won't forget me
I know I could've loved you but you would not let me

Time cast a spell on you
But you won't forget me
I know I could've loved you, but you would not let me
I'll follow you down 'til the sound of my voice will haunt you
You'll never get away from the sound of the woman that loves you

I'll follow you down 'til the sound of my voice will haunt you
(Was I just a fool?)
You'll never get away from the sound of the woman that loves you
(Still I am a fool)
I'll follow you down 'til the sound of my voice will haunt you
(Give me just a chance)
You'll never get away from the sound of the woman that loves you
(Never get away, never get away, never get away)

You could be my silver spring
Blue-green..colors flashin'


"Donít listen to her
Listen through her"
Violet & Blue ñ Stevie Nicks

        Elizabeth Janice Covington groaned against the pounding of her head. Groggily she opened sore and swollen eyes to the realization that the pounding was actually coming from her front door downstairs. She glanced over at the clock by her bed, a bed that seemed very cold and empty at the moment and realized she had indeed slept several hours. Stevie would be in the air right now and not calling her for several hours more. Grabbing a pillow she pulled it over her head to muffle the pounding. She wasnít ready to wake up from her dream just yet and face the reality that was undoubtedly her cousin.
        To her supreme disappointment she heard the awkward sound of a man on crutches trying to navigate her narrow twisting staircase. Mutterings of "fucking tiny colonial people!" could clearly be heard outside her bedroom door.
        "Iím naked," she growled in an effort to keep him on the other side of the door.
        "Were you any lesbian but my cousin Iíd be all over it," he replied opening the door and hobbling in anyways "however since you are my cousin, Iíll have to forgo my own repulsion and come in for your own good. Ah, look at that, you were lying." He said taking a seat on the side of her bed. He took the pillow from her face and used it to prop himself up against the foot-board. "So thatís where my hard rock café t-shirt went. I got that in Maui."
        To her surprise a plate of cookies and glass of milk were sitting next to her bed. "If I promise to return it, will you leave?" she asked, her voice sounding more miserable and dejected than she wanted.
        "Do you have any idea how hard it was for me to bring that stuff up here?" he asked, ignoring her comment. "A plate of cookies, glass of milk and two crutches! I swear I should be in Cirque de Soliel, Iím such a contortionist."
        She rolled over, "Thank you, but Iím not ready to talk."
        He sat quietly as the smell of warm cookies filled the room. Her stomach grumbled, it was already evening and she hadnít eaten all day. Finally it was too much. The archaeologist rolled back and picked up a cookie in one hand and the glass of milk in the other. Mel beamed at her.
        "So I hear our grandmothers have moved on?" he asked, shaking his head when Lizzy offered him a cookie.
        She nodded. "Stevie said they had, and the house does feel empty." She shrugged. "I guess Iíll have to start locking my doors or something."
        He nodded. "Epphie said it felt empty to her too."
        Lizzy arched an eyebrow. "Yeah, Stevie mentioned she might be hanging around for a bit."
        Mel blushed and Lizzy couldnít help but wonder if that was how she looked to Stevie. There was a vulnerable charm to her cousin. If she looked half as adorable to the Egyptologist, blushing might indeed be something to be grateful for.
        "Do you think Iíll be a good dad?" he asked quietly, smoothing a wrinkle from down comforter. "I mean itís not to say I would be, we havenít talked about anything like that but..."
        "How could you be anything but a great dad?" Lizzy asked in return. "Seriously Mel, youíre a wonderful guy. Epphie would be lucky to have you and sheís my friend, youíre just a cousin. Iím glad the two of you finally came to your senses. Lord knows it took long enough." She drank some milk before taking another warm cookie off of the plate. "I take it that sheís going to stay in town for awhile?"
        He shrugged and absently brushed the blonde hair from his forehead. "She said sheíd stick around for a few days, there isnít anything in Boston she needs to get back to right away. Which got me thinking..." He grinned and fished a folded piece of paper from his shirt pocket. "Epphie is going to help me get around the house until my cast comes off week after next." He nodded at his crutches. "I said Iíd cut you in for helping me with the guest house so here is your cut."
        He handed the folded piece of paper to his cousin who unfolded it and scanned its contents. "This looks suspiciously like an airline reservation." Lizzy commented looking to her cousin for explanation. "To California; LAX to be precise. It leaves tomorrow morning. And I see itís a one way ticket."
        Mel shrugged. "Unfortunately the red-eye was booked for tonight. Besides, there isnít anything you need to hang around here for. Youíre not going back to Greece for a few months anyway. Some California sun might be just what you need. I just wasnít... ah... sure of exactly how much California sun you needed so I left it open ended. Iíll spring for your flight back too."
        Lizzie sighed. "You donít think Iím going to come across as a bit of a stalker if I show up on her doorstep the day after she leaves Salem?"
        Mel looked at his cousin with a rare seriousness creasing his features. "Lizzy honey, not everyone gets the second chance I did. We donít have unlimited chances to let people know that theyíre important to us, that they matter. Which would you rather do, err on the side of playing it cool and not having her feel like she matters? Or being too clear about how much she matters? Is that really such a bad thing?"
        Lizzy studied the cookie she held in between her thumb and forefinger as if searching for her answers among the chocolate chips. "Itís a bad thing if I scare her off."
        Mel laughed favoring his cousin with a broad smile. "This woman was Callisto of Cirra who knows how long ago. Do you really think she scares that easily?" He playfully tugged at Lizzyís foot beneath the down comforter. "Think about last night and tell me if sheís worth making a total ass of yourself?"
        Now it was Lizzyís turn to smile. Green eyes sparkled with delight as she sat up in bed. "Iíd better get packing then."
        "Now thatís a Covington," he said proudly, moving out of the way. "I called Sarah and left a message on her cell phone. She will be expecting you. I thought you might want to leave it a surprise for Stevie."
        "Is there anything you didnít think of?" Lizzy asked playfully.
        He blushed again. "That really isnít a fair question to ask your cousin when it involves two hot lesbians. Now if you want to talk about Solari and Sarah Iím all over it."
        Lizzyís head snapped up in surprise. "What happened with Solari and Sarah?"
        At that point Mel really wished he hadnít said anything.


        Stevie Montgomery walked up the steps to her front porch missing the crisp, cold air of Salem. That was only the beginning of what she missed and had spent most of her fifty minutes in therapy explaining that fact. Sheíd touched on how things went with Sarah, how theyíd grown and where they stood and had even brought up her evolving relationship with Callisto. It didnít take a rocket-scientist to read Janeís expression to see that the information was clearly being filed away to be discussed in more depth in future weeks. No, most of the session had been spent on her amazing discovery ñ that here was a woman whose unconscious charm penetrated the fog of her depression like a light-house. "Do you think itís too much if I call her ëShe Who Shines Brighter Than The Sun?í Stevie had asked her therapist. "I mean, would you find that off-putting?" the Egyptologist pressed. "It could be SWSBTTS for short." Jane had cocked her head a moment then laughed; it had been some time since Stevie had been playful in therapy.
        Still, after leaving her appointment and pausing in her car to read an email from Sarah canceling their plans for the night, Stevie was feeling very much alone. Sheíd called Lizzy upon landing at LAX and gotten her machine. She assumed it was due to the lateness of the hour, but her call following morning was also unreturned. The possibility was beginning to set in that she could indeed be out of sight and out of mind.
        With a heavy sigh she pushed open her front door, surprised that she didnít immediately hear the sound of large dog feet on hardwood floors. Instead she heard conversation as the most amazing scents assaulted her nose.
        "Welcome home," Lizzy said, stepping out from the kitchen. "I hope you like roast, asparagus, potatoes and French onion soup."
        As she spoke, two Great Danes came running out of the kitchen to greet Stevie, licking her hands affectionately and gently nudging her in the leg. As she was wearing jeans and a sweater, the Egyptologist didnít mind.
        "Youíre 10 minutes late, traffic?" Sarah asked matter-of-factly pouring wine into the wine glasses at the dinner table set for three.
        "How on earth?" Stevie asked, dropping her purse and crossing the room to hug Lizzy and kiss her warmly. Smiling, Sarah rolled her eyes but said nothing.
        "Well, you were right about Mel and Epphie. He gave me the ticket, I think he wanted me out of town for a few days while he entertains his company. You know how ësmall towní Salem is." She grinned up at her lover happy to feel that sense of connection once again. "I decided to spare you the whole cooking drama, so after Sarah picked me up from the airport, we hit the grocery store on our way over."
        "You were in on this?" Stevie asked, pleased and surprised. She took a couple of moments for each dog, petting them warmly and scratching behind their ears. On her knees she had to look up to make eye contact with the two large animals.
        "Mel left me a message on the cell when we were in the air. When you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Lizzy hasnít been to Disneyland, California Adventure, or Magic Mountain and you still have a four days left of your vacation," the stuntwoman explained. "Youíve got the clout to easily extend that to a week or more. They love you at the Getty."
        "Or we could not leave this house?" Stevie suggested, appearing to have heard little of what Sarah had to say. Standing up once again she added, "Did I mention I have a hot tub?"
        "Oh come on," Sarah protested, shooing the dogs from the dining room with hand signal as she put a plate of asparagus and potatoes on the table. Lizzy carried a gorgeous roast. And three bowls of soup had already been set on their plates for the first course. "Iím not spending the night, Iíll leave after dinner but you guys are not going to hole up here for the rest of my vacation."
        Stevie turned to look at her friend, "Sarah, youíre between projects right now so technically youíre unemployed not on vacation. Besides we were going to use our extra days to vegetate at our own houses. Separately."
        "Well," Lizzy interjected smiling warmly, "as nice as it is to have the two of you fight over me, I do owe Sarah. She picked me up from the airport, helped cook dinner AND kept your dogs from eating me alive. I feel like I owe her. Besides, it would be nice to spend time with you, out of the bedroom as well as in it."
        Sarah looked pleased with herself as she carved the roast.
        "Yoko and Dakota are cupcakes," Stevie protested, glancing at the two large dogs laying down in the kitchen, their eyes never wavering from the roast sitting in the middle of the table.
        "Yeah, cupcakes when you get to know them." Sarah said. "But what do you think they would have done to a stranger holding a roast?"
        Stevie glanced to the kitchen once again and had her answer. "Thank you for keeping Lizzy alive," she said with a grin to Sarah.
        "And donít think you donít owe me. Youíre paying for Disneyland and DCA tomorrow. Iíll leave right after dinner, well after we clean up. But Iím going to be back here at 9am tomorrow and I expect both of you ready to have an awesome day."
        "I hope you werenít expecting a relaxing trip?" Stevie asked Lizzy, resigned to her fate.
        Lizzy glanced over to Stevie, green eyes catching brown and holding them for a moment. "Iíve got an open ended trip," she said softly. "If we canít tire Sarah out with amusement parks, we can always get her drunk. I promise weíll get to spend some time relaxing before I have to head home."
        "Iím really glad youíre here," Stevie said.
        "Me too," Lizzy replied.
        Sarah shrugged, putting a slice of roast on to each of their plates. "For what itís worth Iím glad too," she said. "If we have anymore past life crap to work out, I canít think of a better place to do it than Disneyland."
        Stevie looked at Sarah then to Lizzy and had to admit that deep down, she was inclined to agree with her.

The End.

        Authorís note: A special ëthank youí to Stephanie Lynn Nicks for saving me... again. Another ëthank youí to Hudson for her portrayal of Callisto ñ that more than anything else inspired this story. And finally, a special ëthank youí to some people in and out of my life; you might not know who you are, but I do. We are molded by our successes, our failures and our demons if only to realize what we can have and what we really deserve. I guess I feel philosophical about the things Iíve gotten right and the things Iíve screwed up. Hopefully on balance there is more of the former than the later. If not... well Iím still young. It seems strange to say but I also need to thank my alter-ego. While she may have been quiet for awhile, it is nice to know that sheís still there when I needed her, not unlike my therapist, Jane.

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