Choices Of The Heart
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 dont 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! Id 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 firstname.lastname@example.org Now, on to Alex and Bryns 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 wasnt his sister calling.
"David, Im Bryn ONeill. You dont know me exactly, but Im your sisters um, partner. Weve been together for almost seven months now. I was with her when you called early this morning."
A woman! I knew it! Im so happy Alex finally figured it out. "Wheres Alex? Did she change her mind about talking to me?" he asked expectantly.
"Im afraid not. You see, shes rather adamant about putting the past behind her. Maybe if you could just give her some time. Ill talk to her, and she might come around."
"I dont know. I think she hates me, and I dont blame her." Bryn could detect a very faint Boston accent in Davids speech patterns.
"No, no. She doesnt hate you!" She loves you very much. "Just give Lex some time. Ill 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 "
"You have to promise me that you wont 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 theres any chance of it, then Im hanging up this phone right now! Ill make sure that you never see her again. I wont allow her to be hurt anymore. Shes been through enough already."
"I promise, Bryn. I want to make things right between us. I love my sister." So much.
"Olivia cant be a part of this. Is she still in your life?"
"No! Thats 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. Ill see what I can do. Ill talk to Lex when she gets home and then maybe we can meet for lunch. Ive heard a lot about you. And, no, not all of it was bad."
Davids hopes soared. "Thank you, Bryn. Please, take good care of my sister."
"We take good care of each other. Ill be back in touch soon." I hope. "Bye."
"Goodbye. And, thank you."
Dear God. I hope Im 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?"
"Its me, Squeak. I needed to hear your voice. This whole day has just gone from bad to worse."
"Whats wrong, Honey? I thought youd be in surgery by now." Bryn paced as she spoke.
"I should be. But the babys father didnt 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. Im falling apart!
"Im sorry, Lex. I hope that parent doesnt end up regretting his decision. Whos your replacement?
"Paul Silver. The patients a 28-week baby with PDA. They waited too damned long to transfer her here, too. Shes critically ill." Alex paused, pouring herself a cup of coffee. Listen, Bryn, I think Ill wait around here in case Paul needs me for anything. Hes a great doctor and all, but Baileys really sick." Ill feel responsible if she dies now.
"Lex Morgan! I know what youre thinking and I want you to cut it out now! If that child dies, it wont be your fault. Now why dont you just come on home and let Paul handle things? You cant save the whole world!"
Alex paused, wanting to take Bryns 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.
"Im sorry. I just cant. As soon as things calm down with Bailey, Ill come home, I promise."
"All right, then. Dont forget dinner at Mom and Dads tonight."
"I wont. I love you, Squeak."
"I love you, Lex! Bye now." Somethings 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 ONeill. 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.
"Im just tired, Kathleen. It was supposed to be my day off, but things went crazy at the hospital today." Although Alex liked and respected Bryns parents, she wasnt 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 youre the best in your profession," Kathleen complained. I cant imagine wanting anything but the best for my child. Will the little one recover?"
"She made it through surgery, but shes in extremely critical condition. Im standing by in case she needs me for anything." Alex put her napkin down and pushed her plate away.
Kevin ONeill laid a hand on his wifes arm, and she responded with a knowing glance. "Lets 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; Moms 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 Moms fried chicken and biscuits, but youve barely touched your dinner.
"Im fine, Squeak. Really." Alex forced a smile, wanting Bryn to enjoy her evening with her family. "Im just not very hungry tonight." She squeezed her lovers small hand affectionately.
That pretty much tells me that youre a lot more upset than youre letting on. "Do you want to go home?"
"No, I dont want to go home. Were going to stay and have a nice evening with your parents like we planned. Now stop worrying." Alex tapped Bryns nose and smiled her endearing, lopsided smile.
"Okay. If youre sure."
"I wonder whats 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 Gods 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, shell always be Lexi to me!"
Kevin smiled, his gray eyes sparkling with warmth. "If you say so, Honey. But I think Ill 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 Bryns 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 lovers discomfort. She seemed fidgety and unhappy. Bryn got up and planted herself on Alexs lap. A small warm hand began rubbing the surgeons broad back.
"Hi there, cutie." Alex smiled, unable to resist Bryns sweet affection.
"Are you sure you dont want to call it an early night?" Bryn whispered. I really dont mind."
"Im sure." She hugged Bryn tight and kissed her fragrant blond hair, cheered for the moment by her partners 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 hadnt noticed her partners 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.
"Whats wrong, Lex?" Bryn gasped. Everyone turned to Alex, concern written all over their stunned faces.
"I I dont 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 partners 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.
"Ill call later," she said in a shaky voice. "Cmon, 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. Bryns heart began to pound wildly as Alex buried her face in her hands.
"Is it a migraine, Lex? Oh God, please tell me whats wrong?" Bryn was frightened out of her wits. The surgeon was deathly pale, and shaking like a leaf.
"I " Alexs 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 partners back. Dear God, what could be wrong with her? I hope shes not sick. Bryns heart was beating so hard that her chest was beginning to ache.
Alex reached frantically for Bryns 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 hadnt wanted to go. The funeral had frightened her, and she didnt 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 dont think Mommy likes me very much, Harry," she whispered in her bears ear. She likes Davy, but not me. I think I make her mad all the time. I cant do anything right." She stroked the soft fur as a tear tracked its way down a sad little face. "Im 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 Bryns 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 Bryns waiting arms.
"Shh, its okay, Lexi. Ive got you now." She held Alex close, rocking a little, and kissing her hair. "Want to talk about it?"
Alex shook her head. "I cant," she hiccupped.
"You cant, or you dont want to?" Bryn gently rubbed soothing circles on her partners back.
"I cant," she choked, her body shaking from the force of her sobs.
Bryns heart broke. "Wait then, " she whispered, continuing to rock. "Ive got you, Lexi. Ive 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 fathers death." The beautiful surgeon sighed. " Its 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. Im really sorry about this evening."
She gently cupped her lovers 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. "Im always here if you need me, Honey. Are you sure theres nothing else bothering you?"
"I I dont think so."
Bryn suddenly frowned. "Today is March 27th!"
"Yeah," Alex sniffled.
"Its Davids 29th birthday today, isnt it?"
Alex nodded, biting her lip.
"No wonder you were upset. Honey, Im so sorry. I didnt 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 Alexs 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.
Dont 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. Hell love it, Lex! He ruffled her hair affectionately. Youre a wonderful big sister!
Wide blue eyes grew somber. Lexi held a finger to her lips. Shh, Daddy. You dont want to wake Mommy yet. She might be grumpy!
David Morgan chuckled at the serious demeanor of his precocious offspring.
They arrived in Lexis 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! Youre the nicest sister I ever had!
Lexi giggled. Youre so silly, Davy! Im the only sister youve ever had!
Silent tears steadily tracked their way down Alexs cheeks. She bowed her head and swallowed hard, trying to regain her composure. "David was always such a great brother. Until "
Bryn took her lovers 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!" Im scared, and Ill probably just end up getting hurt again! "I dont want anyone I dont need anyone but you, Bryn." Alex hugged the small blonde tight. "Never let go of me," she murmured into Bryns warm neck.
Bryn pulled Alex closer and inhaled the sweet scent of her hair. "Never! Ill never let you go, Lex. Youre 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 ONeill. Im sorry to bother you this late, but Im 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.
"Im sure shell tell you all about it on Monday, its just that Im afraid that hearing from David has set her back. Everything was just fine until today. I havent 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 shes come a very long way, she still has some problems to work through. Outbursts like that could happen for months, even years. But, as Ive 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 cant bear to see her unhappy."
"Maybe. But be very careful. Dont push her. If you do, you could be playing with fire."
"Okay. Thanks for listening, Bonnie! Good-bye"
"Dont 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 Alexs shoulders carefully. I love you so much, Lex. All I want is to see you happy. I dont think you will be until you are back with your brother. Bryn leaned down and kissed her partners cheek. Dont worry. I know you and David will be together soon.
|To Be Continued in Part 3||Back To Main Page|