Choices Of The Heart

By Alix

Disclaimers: This is the sequel to Mended Hearts. You will need to read this story first to understand the motivations of the characters in Choices of the Heart. These are Uber characters, and they are my own. Hands off, please. This story contains a beautiful, loving relationship between the two main characters, who are both female. It will be rated R for language and sexual situations. Also, if you don’t care for hurt/comfort, hit the back button NOW! This applies to angst as well.

My story is dedicated to all my special friends out there in cyberspace, one in particular. You know who you are! I love you guys! I’d also like to thank my buddy AJ for taking time out of her busy life to beta read for me!

Feedback and constructive criticism is always welcome. You may reach me at Now, on to Alex and Bryn’s latest adventures!


"Is this David Morgan?" Bryn nervously chewed her pencil as the deep voice on the other end answered the phone.

"This is David Morgan," the young man replied, disappointed that it wasn’t his sister calling.

"David, I’m Bryn O’Neill. You don’t know me exactly, but I’m your sister’s … um, partner. We’ve been together for almost seven months now. I was with her when you called early this morning."

A woman! I knew it! I’m so happy Alex finally figured it out. "Where’s Alex? Did she change her mind about talking to me?" he asked expectantly.

"I’m afraid not. You see, she’s rather adamant about putting the past behind her. Maybe if you could just give her some time. I’ll talk to her, and she might come around."

"I don’t know. I think she hates me, and I don’t blame her." Bryn could detect a very faint Boston accent in David’s speech patterns.

"No, no. She doesn’t hate you!" She loves you very much. "Just give Lex some time. I’ll talk to her. I know she misses you terribly."

"Lex. Dad used to call her that. She loved it when he called her Lex. You must be very special to her. She has never allowed anyone else to use that name. Until now."

"Lex and I are in love. If we could be legally married, we would be. In our hearts, we are." Bryn paused for a moment, still chewing her pencil. "David, if there is any chance of you and Lex getting back together …"

"Go ahead."

"You have to promise me that you won’t hurt her again."

David swallowed hard, guilt punching him in the gut. I guess Alex told Bryn all about Mother and me. And the abortion.

"If there’s any chance of it, then I’m hanging up this phone right now! I’ll make sure that you never see her again. I won’t allow her to be hurt anymore. She’s been through enough already."

"I promise, Bryn. I want to make things right between us. I love my sister." So much.

"Olivia can’t be a part of this. Is she still in your life?"

"No! That’s one of the reasons I moved here. Besides wanting to be near Alex." David fought back tears as he looked at a beautiful photograph of his sister. She was ten, and sat proudly astride a handsome Appaloosa gelding, her blue eyes sparkling with delight. By that time, few things made her smile anymore. The only exceptions were Thunder, her horse; Anna, their housekeeper; and her beloved brother. A brother who failed his sister miserably when she needed him the most.

"All right, then. I’ll see what I can do. I’ll talk to Lex when she gets home and then maybe we can meet for lunch. I’ve heard a lot about you. And, no, not all of it was bad."

David’s hopes soared. "Thank you, Bryn. Please, take good care of my sister."

"We take good care of each other. I’ll be back in touch soon." I hope. "Bye."

"Goodbye. And, thank you."

Dear God. I hope I’m doing the right thing! Bryn blew out a breath and walked to the refrigerator for a cold drink just as the phone rang. She snagged a Peach Snapple, and then hurried to answer it. "Hello?"

"It’s me, Squeak. I needed to hear your voice. This whole day has just gone from bad to worse."

"What’s wrong, Honey? I thought you’d be in surgery by now." Bryn paced as she spoke.

"I should be. But the baby’s father didn’t want a woman operating on his little girl. I really feel like shit about now. First David, and now this." Must be that time of the month. I’m falling apart!

"I’m sorry, Lex. I hope that parent doesn’t end up regretting his decision. Who’s your replacement?

"Paul Silver. The patient’s a 28-week baby with PDA. They waited too damned long to transfer her here, too. She’s critically ill." Alex paused, pouring herself a cup of coffee. Listen, Bryn, I think I’ll wait around here in case Paul needs me for anything. He’s a great doctor and all, but Bailey’s really sick." I’ll feel responsible if she dies now.

"Lex Morgan! I know what you’re thinking and I want you to cut it out now! If that child dies, it won’t be your fault. Now why don’t you just come on home and let Paul handle things? You can’t save the whole world!"

Alex paused, wanting to take Bryn’s advice: to surrender control to someone else for a change. She had gotten much better about control in her personal life, but adamantly refused to give it up in her professional life.

"Please, Honey?"

"I’m sorry. I just can’t. As soon as things calm down with Bailey, I’ll come home, I promise."

"All right, then. Don’t forget dinner at Mom and Dad’s tonight."

"I won’t. I love you, Squeak."

"I love you, Lex! Bye now." Something’s up with her. I had better handle this David situation with kid gloves.


Alex and Bryn sat at the dinner table with Kathleen and Kevin O’Neill. Bryn chatted amiably with her parents. Alex sat quietly, and pushed her food around on her plate.

"Are you feeling all right, Lexi?" Kathleen asked, concern in her voice.

"I’m just tired, Kathleen. It was supposed to be my day off, but things went crazy at the hospital today." Although Alex liked and respected Bryn’s parents, she wasn’t quite ready to call them Mom and Dad.

"Problems with a patient?" Kevin asked.

"I encountered a problem with being a woman surgeon for the first time in my career today," Alex answered. "A parent of a very ill baby asked for a male doctor instead. Frankly, it was a little bit hard for me to swallow."

"But you’re the best in your profession," Kathleen complained. I can’t imagine wanting anything but the best for my child. Will the little one recover?"

"She made it through surgery, but she’s in extremely critical condition. I’m standing by in case she needs me for anything." Alex put her napkin down and pushed her plate away.

Kevin O’Neill laid a hand on his wife’s arm, and she responded with a knowing glance. "Let’s go into the kitchen and get the dessert and coffee ready. Will you please excuse us for a moment, ladies?"

Bryn crinkled her nose as she grinned. "Sure, guys. Bring back extra; Mom’s strawberry shortcake is my favorite!" As soon as her parents left the room, Bryn turned to her partner.

"Are you okay, Honey? You usually love Mom’s fried chicken and biscuits, but you’ve barely touched your dinner.

"I’m fine, Squeak. Really." Alex forced a smile, wanting Bryn to enjoy her evening with her family. "I’m just not very hungry tonight." She squeezed her lover’s small hand affectionately.

That pretty much tells me that you’re a lot more upset than you’re letting on. "Do you want to go home?"

"No, I don’t want to go home. We’re going to stay and have a nice evening with your parents like we planned. Now stop worrying." Alex tapped Bryn’s nose and smiled her endearing, lopsided smile.

"Okay. If you’re sure."

"I’m sure."


"I wonder what’s bothering Lexi?" Kathleen pondered aloud, as she prepared dessert and coffee.

Kevin grinned devilishly, his handsome, boyish face almost unlined. "Probably hates being called Lexi all the time! For God’s sake, Kathleen, the woman is six feet tall, and the chief of pediatric heart surgery!"

"Just hush, Kevin!" She swatted him playfully. I think she enjoys being called Lexi. Besides, she’ll always be Lexi to me!"

Kevin smiled, his gray eyes sparkling with warmth. "If you say so, Honey. But I think I’ll stick to calling her Alex!" He picked up the tray and they walked back into the dining room.


After dessert and coffee, the four settled down in front of a big screen television to watch "Terms of Endearment". Alex and Bryn enjoyed relaxing this way after a long and tiring week. Of course, Alex would have preferred being at home alone with Bryn, but she was always willing to do anything to make her partner happy. Spending time with her family brought Bryn a lot of joy.

It always fascinated the surgeon to watch Bryn interact with her parents or her sister, Cam. Although they rarely saw Cam and her husband Ben because of time constraints, Bryn was very close to them. Of course, she was even closer to Kathleen and Kevin. And watching the happy family together was beginning to make Alex feel an emotion that she was not at all proud of: jealousy.

Alex knew she was loved and respected by Bryn’s entire family. They truly considered her a beloved family member, too. But she was finding it a real challenge to open up her heart to anyone other than Bryn. She felt very sad that her own family was estranged. Alex especially missed David, and Olivia was a lost cause altogether.

As they sat watching the movie, Bryn noticed her lover’s discomfort. She seemed fidgety and unhappy. Bryn got up and planted herself on Alex’s lap. A small warm hand began rubbing the surgeon’s broad back.

"Hi there, cutie." Alex smiled, unable to resist Bryn’s sweet affection.

"Are you sure you don’t want to call it an early night?" Bryn whispered. I really don’t mind."

"I’m sure." She hugged Bryn tight and kissed her fragrant blond hair, cheered for the moment by her partner’s obvious empathy.

Towards the end of the movie, Alex began to grow more restless. Bryn and her mother were in tears as they watched a heart-wrenching scene in a hospital. Three small children were saying good-bye to their mother, who was dying of cancer.

Bryn was so moved, that she hadn’t noticed her partner’s distress. Alex watched in agony, fighting a losing battle against the tears welling up inside. Suddenly, she turned very pale and stood up, unceremoniously depositing her partner on the couch.

"What’s wrong, Lex?" Bryn gasped. Everyone turned to Alex, concern written all over their stunned faces.

"I … I don’t feel well. Please, I need to go home." Now! Blue eyes pleaded desperately with Bryn.

"Okay, Honey. Come on." Bryn looked at her parents helplessly, grabbed her jacket, and quickly led Alex out of the house. She knew from the look on her partner’s face that she was either ill, or about to cry.

Kathleen and Kevin stood by in shock, but decided not to pry. They knew that their daughter-in-law was intensely private and needed to be left alone. As the two women left, Bryn looked back.

"I’ll call later," she said in a shaky voice. "C’mon, Sweetheart," she whispered as she turned to assist her lover. The tall woman looked ready to collapse.

Bryn helped Alex into the passenger side of the jeep, and then got in herself. Small hands trembled as they struggled to get the key in the ignition. Bryn’s heart began to pound wildly as Alex buried her face in her hands.

"Is it a migraine, Lex? Oh God, please tell me what’s wrong?" Bryn was frightened out of her wits. The surgeon was deathly pale, and shaking like a leaf.

"I …" Alex’s breathing hitched as she fought to hold back tears. "Please, Bryn. Just take me home. Hurry," her voice cracked as she struggled to speak.

"Okay. Just hang on." She reached over to rub her partner’s back. Dear God, what could be wrong with her? I hope she’s not sick. Bryn’s heart was beating so hard that her chest was beginning to ache.

Alex reached frantically for Bryn’s hand, needing a way to ground herself. She held onto the small hand as tightly as possible, fighting a losing battle to keep herself together. To keep the painful memories assaulting her senses at bay.

Seven-year-old Lexi Morgan lay in her bed, clinging to Harry. All the guests had finally left, and her mother had sent her off to bed at 7:30.

Lexi hadn’t wanted to go. The funeral had frightened her, and she didn’t want to be alone. She was very upset, and she needed her daddy. Her daddy. Why had he left her? Left her alone with Davy, and Anna, and … Mommy.

"I don’t think Mommy likes me very much, Harry," she whispered in her bear’s ear. She likes Davy, but not me. I think I make her mad all the time. I can’t do anything right." She stroked the soft fur as a tear tracked its way down a sad little face. "I’m scared, Harry. So scared. I wish Daddy was here to pick me up and give me a big hug." The child sniffled. "He gives really good hugs." She held the bear as tight as she could, squeezing her eyes shut to hold back the tears. "Please come back, Daddy," she whispered, her voice quavering. "Please!"

"What did you say? Lex, answer me!" Bryn pulled the car into the driveway as her partner started to slowly fall apart. Alex was still clutching Bryn’s hand to her breast when the floodgates opened.

Bryn gently removed her hand and rushed around to the passenger side to get to her love. She was blocked by the bucket seats, and she needed to be able to hold her. She flung open the door and assisted her now sobbing partner into the back seat. Once there, Alex fell into Bryn’s waiting arms.

"Shh, it’s okay, Lexi. I’ve got you now." She held Alex close, rocking a little, and kissing her hair. "Want to talk about it?"

Alex shook her head. "I … can’t," she hiccupped.

"You can’t, or you don’t want to?" Bryn gently rubbed soothing circles on her partner’s back.

"I …can’t," she choked, her body shaking from the force of her sobs.

Bryn’s heart broke. "Wait then, " she whispered, continuing to rock. "I’ve got you, Lexi. I’ve got you." She began humming Never Alone, one of their favorite songs. Gradually, Alex responded to the tenderness and began to calm down. Bryn reluctantly released her love and leaned forward to reach a box of tissues in her glove compartment. She grabbed a handful of the tissues and gently dried her partners’ face. "There. Ready to talk now?"

Alex nodded. "The movie set something off in me. It reminded me of what it felt like to be abandoned by a parent, and I … I started falling apart. I was having a sort of …flashback to my father’s death." The beautiful surgeon sighed. " It’s a terrible feeling for me to lose control of my emotions in public. I came very close to going to pieces right there in front of your parents!" She took a tissue from Bryn and wiped her eyes. "Thanks for getting me home, Squeak. I’m … really sorry about this evening."

She gently cupped her lover’s damp cheek. "No problem. I know how horrible that must have been for you. Mom and Dad would have understood, though."

God, I would have died! "At least I can let my guard down with you, Bryn. That means a lot to me."

Bryn smiled sweetly. "I’m always here if you need me, Honey. Are you sure there’s nothing else bothering you?"

"I …I don’t think so."

Bryn suddenly frowned. "Today is March 27th!"

"Yeah," Alex sniffled.

"It’s David’s 29th birthday today, isn’t it?"

Alex nodded, biting her lip.

"No wonder you were upset. Honey, I’m so sorry. I didn’t realize until now." Good one, Bryn!

"I … I missed his birthday." Again. "I miss … David." Huge tears spilled from sad blue eyes and splashed into Alex’s lap. "We shared so many wonderful birthdays."

Six and a half year old Lexi Morgan climbed the stairs, giggling. With her tousled dark hair, and dressed in an over-sized pale blue nightshirt, she looked adorable. She and her dad had just made blueberry waffles for her brother, David. Today was his fourth birthday and waffles were his favorite breakfast food.

Don’t drop the tray, Dad! Lexi admonished. ‘Cause Davy loves blueberry waffles with ice cream. I hope he likes my present, too! Long, slender legs navigated the stairs easily.

David Morgan laughed heartily. He’ll love it, Lex! He ruffled her hair affectionately. You’re a wonderful big sister!

Wide blue eyes grew somber. Lexi held a finger to her lips. Shh, Daddy. You don’t want to wake Mommy yet. She might be grumpy!

David Morgan chuckled at the serious demeanor of his precocious offspring.

They arrived in Lexi’s room, where Davy often ended up sleeping. In the middle of the bed sat a smiling little boy with huge blue eyes, dimples, and wavy chestnut hair. He squealed in delight when he spied the tray and the package.

Lexi! Daddy! Is that for me? Are we going to the beach today? He was so excited that he began jumping on the bed. The excitement was contagious, and Lexi tackled him.

Once the tray was set down carefully on the bedside table, Dr. David C. Morgan joined in the melee’. All three began a merry tickle fest. The happy threesome rolled around like playful puppies. When they could laugh no more, Davy threw his arms around his sister and planted a wet, sloppy kiss on her cheek. I love birthdays with my Lexi! You’re the nicest sister I ever had!

Lexi giggled. You’re so silly, Davy! I’m the only sister you’ve ever had!

Silent tears steadily tracked their way down Alex’s cheeks. She bowed her head and swallowed hard, trying to regain her composure. "David was always such a great brother. Until …"

Bryn took her lover’s face in her hands and tenderly brushed the tears away with her thumbs. "I know, Baby. Maybe you should try and work things out with him."

"No!" I’m scared, and I’ll probably just end up getting hurt again! "I don’t want anyone … I don’t need anyone … but you, Bryn." Alex hugged the small blonde tight. "Never let go of me," she murmured into Bryn’s warm neck.

Bryn pulled Alex closer and inhaled the sweet scent of her hair. "Never! I’ll never let you go, Lex. You’re the most precious thing in my life."

"You, too, Darling," she murmured. Alex felt the ache in her heart begin to recede. It was replaced by a feeling of warmth, of love, and of acceptance. A feeling of home. A home in the heart of her family: Bryn.


"Bonnie? Bryn O’Neill. I’m sorry to bother you this late, but I’m very concerned about Lex." Bryn paced anxiously as she watched her lover sleep. After drinking cocoa laced with a dash of Kahlua, Alex had fallen asleep on the couch on their screened in porch. Bryn had covered her with a blanket, kissed her, and telephoned Bonnie. She explained in detail the events of the evening.

"I’m sure she’ll tell you all about it on Monday, it’s just that I’m afraid that hearing from David has set her back. Everything was just fine until today. I haven’t seen her get upset like this in months. I need to help …"

"Alex will be just fine, Bryn. What happened was perfectly normal, considering her history. Even though she’s come a very long way, she still has some problems to work through. Outbursts like that could happen for months, even years. But, as I’ve told you before, she has the strength and the courage within her to work this out — as long as she has you by her side. Allow her to do that."

"Maybe I can bring Alex and David back together. I can’t bear to see her unhappy."

"Maybe. But be very careful. Don’t push her. If you do, you could be playing with fire."

"Okay. Thanks for listening, Bonnie! Good-bye"

"Don’t hesitate to call if either one of you ever need me."

"Thanks." Bryn placed the phone back into its cradle and turned to her lover. She tucked the covers around Alex’s shoulders carefully. I love you so much, Lex. All I want is to see you happy. I don’t think you will be until you are back with your brother. Bryn leaned down and kissed her partner’s cheek. Don’t worry. I know you and David will be together soon.


To Be Continued in Part 3 Back To Main Page