Chapter 7

"Well darling," Joanna said, "Have you found a new manager yet?"  Jamie placed her wine glass down on the coffee table, "actually no, Aunt Jo, when Uncle Harry gets here I was going to discuss this with him." 

"Good idea love, time is short only five and a half months before you kick off the tour." 

"Don't remind me," the singer said with a grin, "thank god most of the production is done, I don't know what I would have done without Tom."

"How is he dear, and those precious girls of his."

"Tom is wonderful Aunt Jo, he keeps everything together so well, besides, they have him wrapped firmly around their little fingers."

"Unhmmm and what about you Jamie?  Are you keeping it all together, have you picked up the pieces yet?" her aunt asked softly reaching down to brush the bangs away from Jamie's forehead.

Jamie felt the prickle of tears behind her eyes, as her glance fell to the picture on the mantle of the fireplace.  "I really miss them Aunt Jo, there isn't a day that my heart doesn't ache or I don't feel guilt."

"Jamie its been a year and a half, you have to move on, meet someone new..."

"NO!" she cried forcefully, looking at her aunt who appeared startled, "I'm sorry Aunt Jo, I could never replace them and I really have no desire to meet anyone."  The singer's eyes pleaded for understanding.

Joanna looked at Jamie with sadness and compassion in her eyes.  Oh Jamie, Joanna's heart cried, you are such a vibrant loving woman and you've shut that all down.

Joanna patted her gently on the shoulder.  "Time will heal all my dear, time is what it takes." 

"I don't ever think that will happen," Jamie whispered softly to herself. 

"I'm going to check on dinner dear, your Uncle should be home shortly.  Relax and enjoy your wine, I'll be right back."  Joanna left the room quietly while Jamie sipped on her wine lost in her thoughts. 

Sunday dinner's at home were always a big event, since her parents had gone on a world cruise two months ago she missed them.  Jamie let her eyes wander around, remembering growing up with her cousins in these very rooms.  She shuddered now to think how her Uncle and Aunt had allowed them to play amongst the expensively decorated room.  I wonder if we ever broke anything of value, Jamie mused. 

Standing up she crossed the room, taking the photo off the mantle, she returned to her chair. At least I can look at this without crying, well, a little, she thought Jamie rubbed her fingers on the faces of the two people she had loved so much.  She sipped her wine and stared at the picture, lost in her own world of memories.


Harry arrived home and walked into the foyer to be met by his wife.  "Hullo darling," he said kissing Joanna on the cheek.   "Is Jamie here yet?  Oh Good evening Andrew," he acknowledged his butler, passing him his briefcase.

"Good evening Sir, welcome home." 

"Thanks Andrew, can you place this in my study for me," Harry said indicating his briefcase.

"Certainly sir." the butler replied taking the case and heading to the study. 

Joanna waited before answering her husband's question, "Yes she's in the library." 

"How is she?" 

"Oh Harry, my heart breaks for that girl and I know it didn't help, but I forgot to take the picture off the mantle." 

Just then a second person came in behind Harry, "Hi Joanna, I'm not early am I, Harry you did say seven?"

"Not at all, your timing is perfect, you look lovely Loren," Joanna said enveloping the young lawyer in a welcoming hug.  "You must be turning quite a few heads in that old stuffy office of Harry's." 

Harry reached around his wife and brought Loren in out of the doorway.  "Good evening Loren," Harry greeted the dark haired beauty, as he kissed her lightly on the cheek closing the door. 

Andrew reappeared from the study, "Good evening Andrew, nice to see you again."

"Good evening Ms. Loren, its wonderful to see you again."

"How are Barbara and the grandchildren doing?" 

"Well Ms. Loren, they certainly do keep you active" he said with a broad smile, "may I escort you to the Library?"

"Wonderful idea Andrew," Joanna said with a smile, as she patted Loren on the arm.  "You go ahead dear, I was on my way to check on the dinner preparations, oh and Andrew, could you please bring Ms. Loren a glass of her favorite  red wine?"

"Most certainly Madame, most certainly."

"Its ok Andrew," Loren assured him as he made to escort her to the library, "I know the way, I'll see myself in," Loren walked down to the library door opened it quietly and walked in. 

Loren saw the singer immediately and noticed that Jamie was seated with her back to the door.  The lawyer took in the scene through narrowed eyes, she's crying was Loren's first thought. Then she saw the picture in Jamie's hand and realized that she may be interrupting something very private. 

Loren stepped back out into the hallway, with the door partially opened she called back into the empty hallway, "Red would be nice Joanna thank you."  As she pretended to enter the library for the first time she noted Jamie wipe her eyes quickly and place the photo beside her on the chair. 

Loren walked over to Jamie who stood up.

"Hi, I didn't know you were coming?" Jamie said her voice reflecting surprise. 

"I didn't know you were coming either."  Loren grinned, "If its a problem I can go.......but I'd have to miss the best pot roast in the country and I'm very hungry."  She raised her eyebrows, turning a corner of her mouth up to indicate she certainly hoped not. 

Jamie laughed and said, "Of course not, Aunt Jo makes enough to feed a small army, besides, I couldn't have you wander away starving now could I."

"How have you been Jamie?" Loren asked, warmth seeping into her voice as she took the chair next to the singer.  "Any further problems?" 

"No," Jamie responded, "everything is going well." 

Loren let her eyes sweep over the blond, she looked incredible in the brown Armani suit and green silk blouse.  Who would ever think she was a rock star, she thought unbelievably.

Unbeknownst to the lawyer, emerald green eyes had taken in her black suit with the blue silk shirt.  The skirt was short, with long silk clad legs crossed in front of her.  Jamie felt her pulse quicken when she looked up to catch azure blue eyes watching her.  Oh oh, I'm busted, Jamie thought as she blushed. 

"You look wonderful Jamie, that suit really becomes you," Loren said softly.

"Thank you, its not hard to look good in Armani," she replied, as her heartbeat increased further with the compliment.  Then she grinned impishly, "Hard to believe a rock queen would be found looking like this eh." 

Oh oh, Loren looked at the singer with a sheepish grin on her face, I'm busted!

Harry entered the room, as he bent down to kiss Jamie on the cheek, he saw the photo tucked between Jamie and the chair.  He felt a hand squeeze his heart. One day JJ, one day it'll be ok, he thought sadly"Hello my darling," he said hugging the blond close.

Loren was entertaining the three of them with a repertoire of funny court room stories when Andrew announced dinner would be served shortly.  As they stood and moved into the dining room, Loren followed behind Jamie, watching the slender sexy woman walk into the dining room with her Uncle.  Loren couldn't take her eyes of the long silky legs and the slightly swaying, sculpted skirt.  Be still my beating heart, she groaned as she gratefully took her place at the dinner table.

The dinner conversation flowed easily, the four seemed able to discuss any topic.  During a lull in the conversation, Joanna looked at her husband, "Jamie needs your help dear." 

"Oh," her Uncle responded glancing first at his wife then Jamie, "what's the problem?" 

Jamie felt Loren's inquisitive eyes resting on her as she spoke. 

"With the concert tour only five and a half months away, most everything is in order, however, I need a business manager to deal with last minute contractual mishaps.  I need someone with a legal background who can travel for six months.  And lastly a twenty four hour, preferably female bodyguard." 

"Hmmmm" Harry thought as he set his fork and knife down picking up his wine to take a sip thoughtfully.  "Loren can you think of anyone in the firm that would be suitable?"

She looked up surprised that Harry would seek her advice on a family situation.  "Ahh, no, not off the top of my head."  She glanced at Jamie who was watching her closely.

Joanna took a sip of her wine and looked over her glass at the three of them.  Then in a questioning tone asked, "Why not you Loren?"


Loren had just taken a sip of her wine and had almost ended up choking. 

Jamie had leaned over and gently patted her on the back.  "Are you ok?" 

"Un yes, thanks."  Turning to Joanne she replied, "Me, I don't know anything about the music business, well at least not the touring and scheduling aspect of it." 

"Hmmm."  Jamie smiled.  "You wouldn't know that based upon the first time we met," she teased with an innocent look on her face.

Harry started to chuckle, "Oh, yes that's right, however Loren from a work perspective, its a great opportunity!  If you're free to travel, that is, I know you specialize in some sort of martial arts so, why not you?" 

"Wha..., what," Loren said incredulously.  "I have the practice, clients, I just can't run off on a whimsical road show!"  Oh oh, the lawyer thought immediately, I shouldn't have said it like that, she snuck a quick look at Jamie and noticed an angry flush creep up the singers neck. 

"Well, Ms. Wynfield, seems like you still have your assumptions open and available for your use at any time," Jamie said taking offense to the young lawyer's description of her upcoming tour. 

Placing her napkin on the table she stood up.  "Excuse me Uncle Harry, Aunt Jo, I believe I need some fresh air."  The singer left the room. 

"Oh god, I'm sorry Harry, Joanna, I didn't mean it like it came out, especially in front of Jamie." 

"Its alright dear," Joanna said, "I didn't mean to put you on the spot, but you do meet all the qualifications don't you?"  Joanna peeked up at Loren, she sighed and continued when no response was forth coming, "Why don't you have a seat in the library we'll have tea and desert there." 

After Loren had left the room, Harry and Joanna looked at each other, "Harry," Joanna said a contemplative smile soft on her lips, "if you don't make Loren go on this tour, I'll drag her there myself!" 

Harry laughed, "You picked up on that too, didn't you?"

Instead of going straight into the library, Loren had noted the patio door was open at the end of the hallway.  Straightening her shoulders, she walked towards the door, mentally chastising herself, Ok, Ms. Athlete's mouth, time to take my foot out and apologize, again!.  As she exited the patio doors she saw Jamie leaning against the veranda post lost in thought as she looked out over the lake. 

Loren walked up beside her, in a low husky voice she said, "I'm sorry, Jamie, it wasn't what I meant to say." 

"Don't worry about it Loren, I'm just on edge tonight," she sighed.

"The woman and boy with you in the photo, who are they?"

Jamie twirled around shock reflecting in her eyes.  "How do you know about them?"

Loren stepped up beside the veranda railing, she turned her gaze away from the singer and focused on a sailboat skimming across the lake.  "I saw the photo in your office, then again tonight on your chair in the library." 

Jamie sagged back onto the post, eyes closed head tilted back, after a long pause in which Loren had decided the singer wasn't going to respond she heard the anguished words.  In a voice that was barely a whisper she replied, "They were my life, but I.... killed them."

Loren stiffened, slowly she looked at the blond, questions were forming in every part of her brain, she wasn't quite sure what to say or how to say it.  Catching a movement from the corner of her eye, Loren saw Jamie's Uncle standing in the doorway, he had overheard his niece's comment.

Harry spoke very softly, "That's nonsense and you know it Jamie." 

"Is it?" Jamie whispered as a tear rolled silently down her pale cheek, "I sent them away in anger, my anger, and they didn't come back." 

"They weren't angry with you Jamie, Sam was giving you some space, you were a mess, and Christian adored you, neither of them would have left you."  Harry took Jamie by her upper arms and looked directly into defeated green eyes.  "Don't do this Jamie, let it go, Sam wouldn't want you to beat up on yourself."

Jamie straightened up shaking loose of Harry's grip, her eyes shuttered closed, all emotions tucked away.  "I'll be inside saying goodbye to Aunt Jo, I'll see you before I leave."

"Loren," she nodded her head towards the dark haired woman as she left.

Harry sighed, "Damn, I'm sorry Loren, Jamie is so blinded by pain and guilt that she can't start living again.  Sometimes you can almost see and feel the old Jamie, but not often anymore." 

"What did she mean Harry, what happened?" 

The older lawyer sighed, he regarded Loren for a minute then nodded his head as if making a decision.  "She had just finished wrapping up her latest album, just before that she had completed a world tour and was riding high.  She lost it one night, the pressure was too much.   After a particularly nasty argument, Jamie basically told the love of her life, Sam, that she didn't need anyone including her. 

We all knew this was untrue, JJ desperately needed the grounding that Sam gave her.  Time passed, they worked it out, but Jamie always seemed to be running and not knowing why." 

Harry leaned against the same post Jamie had been using for support, "When they had Christian it changed Jamie forever, her family gave her purpose." 

"Several events unfolded after the birth of Christian, including her best friend dying, basically leaving his family financially destitute.  It affected her, she decided she had to make more money, do everything in her power to ensure her dream, that her family was kept safe, make sure they never wanted for anything.  We kept telling her she didn't need it but she was obsessed." 

"Well it caused a rift between her and Sam, Sam didn't want the money, in fact she hated Jamie's work and lifestyle.  She would have nothing to do with the limelight, they argued, things were said that could never be taken back, Sam decided the best thing Jamie needed was space.  She packed up Angel, sorry didn't mean to confuse you, that was Jamie's nickname for Christian.  She lived for that boy, he was everything to her." 

"Sam took Angel and headed out to their summer cottage for a few weeks to cool things down.  The last meeting between Jamie and her family ended in anger.  Jamie was on a deadline to deliver another album, over a dozen TV appearances were scheduled she couldn't go with them.  Sam had chosen the worst possible time, she refused to take part, so she left for the cottage."

Harry turned to look Loren directly in the eye, "On the way out of town, a drunk driver struck them, they never knew what happened. 

Loren closed her eyes feeling tears sting her eyelids, she rested her arms on the veranda railing, her head fell forward, her shoulders slumping, So that's why you hurt, that's why you're so sadOh god Jamie, she thought her heart constricting, I'm so sorry.

Harry sighed, "Loren, its taken Jamie this long, to get to this point, but we are concerned for her on this tour.  She's just out of the hospital after  recovering from pneumonia, she's not strong yet physically or mentally.  She needs someone to take care of her, be there to help her.  She likes and seems to trust you Loren, both Joanna and I see that, I'll release you for the six months with full pay if you decide to do this, I won't force you into it, its your decision."  Harry turned to go, he stopped at the door, when he heard Loren's voice speak softly.

"I'll do it, I'll make the arrangements."


Jamie was sitting talking with Joanna when Harry and Loren entered the room. 

"Jamie, can we talk for a few minutes, I believe we have a solution to your problem, Loren has agreed to continue her legal expertise on the tour as your manager." 

Jamie, bowed her head shaking it from side to side, "Listen Loren," she sounded tired,  "there's no need...." 

"I'd like to Jamie," Loren interrupted softly, kneeling down on one knee in front of the singer, taking Jamie's hand lightly into hers, "I think I could learn a lot from this tour, I can handle the legal work and with my self defense background I'm the perfect bodyguard."

Jamie looked up into a sea of blue sincerity, she smiled and intertwined her fingers with Loren's.  "Can we start again?" 

Loren laughed squeezing the smaller hand.  "Sure can," she whispered.  "Hi, I'm Loren, your new manager." 

"Welcome aboard manager!"

Chapter 8.

Jamie held a meeting for the tour at her house the next night, it would be the first of several barbeques to be held in the process of preparing for the road trip.  The day had been meeting after meeting, bringing Loren up to snuff on what the nuances of touring was about.  Tonight they were going to celebrate Jamie's 28th birthday, it was five months and two weeks from opening night. 

Everyone was sitting around the pool, some taking advantage of the hot weather by taking a cool dip.  Others dancing and helping cook the steaks on the barbeque.  Loren was sipping a cooler sitting in the shade talking quietly with Jamie.

"Jamie be reasonable, you already know you need a rest, stop and think about everyone else.  They'll be on the road for six months away from their families, they'll need the time off."  Loren knew that the only way to talk the singer into taking time off was to ensure she brought the bands personal situation into the conversation.

Jamie sighed holding her hands up in surrender, "Alright, alright I know you're right, there is just so much to do, to get ready." 

"Great!" the lawyer said clapping her hands together, "I already told a few of th....," Loren said with a grin which slipped off her face when she saw the look Jamie was giving her. 

Jamie realizing she had been set up arched one eyebrow trying hard to keep a scowl on her face asked, "You already told them?" 

"Ah I mean, ah that I should go and tell everyone ..." 

Pushing back her chair, she set her drink down on the table and went up to the dance floor and turned down the music.  Everyone turned to look at her, the dancers yelling "what are you doing, it was just getting good." 

"Can I have everyone's attention, please, just for a few moments."  The group gathered around Loren.  "Your esteemed leader, Ms. Jamie James has agreed to giving everyone without exception, the next two weeks off with pay!"

The group gave up a loud cheer, "no way" they said, "is this true Jamie," Sue yelled from the pool. 

"Yes," Jamie nodded her head, laughing at the reaction to the news Loren had given. 

"Yahoo," yelled Tom, "this is so cool, two weeks with the girls, Yessssss!" he said as he pumped a fisted arm up and down. 

Jamie laughed. "You all deserve a break before we hit the road, however I'll expect everyone to work extra hard to make up the time." 

All heads nodded up and down.

"No problem JJ."

"We-are-there for you JJ."

"You rock girl."

"Well I try," Jamie responded dryly, "I try."  Everyone chuckled at the joke. 

"Ah, people," Loren said, "just one more minute of your time."  "Jamie will be unavailable for the next two weeks, no calls, no visits no nothing.  You have my new numbers, you can contact me if the need arises. 

"That's even better," Marsha the bass player snickered.  "Now we can really vacation." 

Everyone laughed when Jamie said with exaggerated sarcasm, "Thanks Marsha, love you too."

"Ok everyone join with me before we toss our songbird in the birdbath, Happy birthday to you, Happy birthday to you........." 

Before the song finished, Jamie tried to sneak into the house until Tom and Jim picked her up body and bones and tossed her fully clothed into the pool.  As she surfaced she saw Loren being tossed in beside her. 

They made their way to the side of the pool, with Loren muttering under her breath "This is getting to be a habit!" 

Just as the two soaking wet women climbed out of the pool, a commotion over at the patio doors distracted everyone.  Looking up Jamie gave a cry of delight, "MOM, DAD!  You're back early!"  Jamie's mom and dad wrapped their arms around their daughter wishing her happy birthday as they hugged her.  Jamie felt herself being lifted into the air as she was twirled around, she saw the grinning face of one of her younger brothers and assumed she was in the arms of the other.  Finally finding solid ground under her feet she was mobbed by Nick and Christian who hugged her closely.  "Happy birthday small stuff," Nick greeted her as he kissed her cheek.  "Yeah, older sister!  Happy birthday!" echoed Christian as he ducked behind his father when Jamie tried to swat him.

Loren regarded the greetings and knew immediately that a closeness existed between the family.   She saw the happiness spill out of Jamie's eyes as she was surrounded by her family. 

"Ok, since the whole crew is here, lets cut the cake." Jen said grabbing her sister by the hand leading her to the table. 

"My God!" Christian called.  "Nick, call the fire department, I think you need a permit for that many candles."  Jamie took off after Christian intent on punishing him for his teasing remarks.  Christian realizing he was in danger turned and started to run, looking back over his shoulder at his sister trying to gage his head start he felt himself come to an abrupt stop.  He found himself looking straight up into brilliant blue eyes, from his position flat on his back.  Blinking his eyes, trying to clear his head he immediately realized blue was replaced by jade green which were glaring down at him. 

Nick was doubled over with laughter at the ongoing antics of the family when he had seen Christian brought down to the ground by a gorgeous dark haired woman.  Nick leaned into Jen, "Who is that beautiful Amazon?" 

Jen grinned and said, "Come on, I'll introduce you all." 

Taking her mom and dad by the arm she dragged them over just in time to hear Jamie contemplating if she was going to strip her brother naked and toss him in the pool.  Christian hadn't moved up til this point as he wasn't sure what had just happened.  Seeing his brother and dad standing nearby he felt more secure that he had backup.

"Loren, I'd like you to meet our mom and dad, Rita and Joe, this here drooling fool is our brother Nick and the klutz on the ground is Christian.  Everyone, this is Jamie's new lawyer, manager, bodyguard and friend all rolled into one."

Jamie's parents shook hands with the lawyer and gave her a warm welcome.  "Some great moves you had there," Joe said chuckling, indicating his now prone son on the ground. 

"Really nothing, just thought Jamie wanted to talk with him," Loren replied a smile lighting up her eyes.

"Well you could have just asked me to stop," a grumbling Christian said as he got off the ground, brushing his clothes off. 

Nick laughed, "Like you were gonna stop with Ms. Hell fire chasing you!"

Rita reached over and smacked her son on the arm, "Watch your language young man!"  Nick laughed and swung his mother up into his arms and twirled her around kissing her on the neck.  Finally he set a giggling Rita on the ground who looked at Loren, "Be prepared young lady, these are their fathers sons!" 

"Come on ladies, lets find the wine and cut the cake," Rita said as she wrapped her arms around Jen and Loren and started to lead them towards the picnic table.  Just then they heard a large splash and turned in time to see Jamie wiping her hands on her shorts. 

"See you boys inside," she said as she looked down into her brothers' stunned faces as they spluttered in the pool. 

Joe had his hands on his knees bent over in laughter at his son's predicament.  Letting go of the girls arms Rita snuck up behind her husband and gave him a push, sending him head first into the pool between his son's.   Grabbing Jamie's hand in hers, she turned from the pool and addressed the crowd, "Now, that takes care of all the need to do things, if you'll excuse us we really must run."  With that the girls broke into a run filled with giggles and headed for the safety of the house before the men could climb out of the pool and exact their revenge.

Everyone was laughing as the party resumed until after Jamie had opened her gifts.  Everyone was happy, well fed and on their way to two weeks of needed down time. 

Loren looked at Jamie as she closed the door behind the last person.  "Okay kiddo, go pack, you're leaving this evening." 

"Where am I going?" the singer asked.

"You'll find out, now go pack, swimsuit, shorts one nice outfit for dinner the rest personal items. Now scoot."

Jamie returned thirty minutes later, carrying three bags.  "I'm ready." 

The door to the hallway swung open and Jamie's family filed out.  "Well Loren," Joe said.  "You've accomplished something we haven't been able to do, you got her to finally take a vacation.  We don't want to hear anything from you two for the next two weeks, except dinner on Wednesday night before the boys head back to school.  Would that be ok?"

Loren laughed, "Yes sir, we'll be there, just as long as we don't have to go swimming! " Everyone laughed and hugged the girls goodbye wishing them a good time. 

Loren picked up her car keys off the side table in the hallway, grabbed two of Jamie's suitcases and went out to the vehicle.


"I like your family," Loren said to her passenger, "they seem like a lot of fun."

"Oh that they are."  Jamie smiled.  "That they are."

As they pulled into the driveway at Loren's house, Jamie looked at her, "Ooooh, my private getaway, now I get it." 

Loren grinned and said, "Race you to the door."  They arrived at the same time both a little breathless.  "Great," the lawyer said, hands on her hips shaking her head in disgust, "we left everything in the vehicle." 

They walked back chuckling and retrieved the suitcases.  Loren dug out the keys and let them into the house.  "Same room Jamie, make yourself at home, its yours for the next two weeks."

Loren placed the two cases she carried on top of Jamie's bed, you get settled and I'll put on a pot of tea unless you would like something else?" 

Jamie dropped her suitcase on the bed and quickly started to unpack, "no actually tea would be lovely, thanks." 

The lawyer left and went out to the kitchen.  When Jamie was finished unpacking,  she put the suitcases in the closet, then went to claim her share of the tea.

Loren was just coming in from the patio, "I put the tea out on the deck, I thought we could enjoy what's left of the evening." 

"Good idea," Jamie said and slipped out the door with Loren.

"What would you like to do for the next two weeks?" the lawyer enquired.

"Sleep!" Jamie responded with a smile. "I guess relax, eat, sleep be lazy." 

Loren grinned "Sounds good to me, did you want to go for a swim?" 

"Ahhh, no, I had enough today.  If its alright with you I think I'll just hit the sack, its been a long day."

"Ummm good idea, I'll be in, in a bit, g'night Jamie sleep tight." 

Jamie changed into her favorite 49'ers football jersey and pulled on a pair of boxer shorts.  After she had brushed her teeth and washed her face, she climbed into the bed and fell asleep the instant her head hit the pillow. 

Loren, cleaned up the patio area, put the dishes away and sat in the living room, flipping through the TV channels. 

At around eleven thirty she shut off the TV, distracted when she heard a faint sound.  Getting up she cocked her head to the side trying to determine what the noise was and where it came from.  She didn't hear anything further and decided she had imagined the sound. 

She stretched her arms above her head, yawning broadly and turned to go down the hallway to bed.  As she passed Jamie's room she heard the noise again, it was a small muffled cry.  She knocked softly on the door and opened it to peer in at the blond. 

The younger woman was twisted up in the sheets, sweat glistening off her face mingled with tears.  Jamie was thrashing from side to side calling out to Angel. 

Loren felt her heart constrict, she went to the side of the bed and sat down.  She placed her hands on either side of Jamie's shoulders, she shook her gently.  "Jamie, its Loren,  Jamie I'm here sweetheart wake up." 

Jamie sat up abruptly, "Angel! Oh god Angel!"  Her eyes were glazed and her cheeks tear stained.  She wrapped her arms around Loren's neck, laying her head on the tall woman's shoulder weeping softly.  Loren held her while rubbing her back and talking soothingly to her. 

Jamie slowly withdrew her arms from around Loren's neck and laid back against her pillow.  She looked so vulnerable and sad.  Loren stroked her cheek gently, "Hey little one you ok, wanna talk about it?" 

Jamie looked into deep blue eyes, she felt mesmerized by them.  She reached up and stroked Loren's cheek, "Perhaps another time, but thank you." 

"For what little one," the lawyer responded confused. 

"For taking the job, for caring and for being concerned."

"Ah, little one, its not hard to want to do that for you."

"Will you stay with me, I'd, well, I'd like the company, I don't want to be alone."

Loren pulled the covers back slipped off her jeans and bra, leaving her tee shirt on, she let them fall to the floor and crawled in.  She lay beside Jamie, and felt the smaller woman slip her hand inside her own.  She felt the little ones breathing even out as she spoke soothingly to her, and knew she had fallen into an exhausted sleep.  It wasn't long before Loren felt her eyes flutter shut and she too, was in the land of dreams.

Jamie felt herself emerging from a deep sleep.  God, she thought, this is so nice.  Her legs were draped over a longer set of legs and she had her arm wrapped under a tee shirt and around a soft gently curved body.  Jamie ran her hand up the taunt stomach and up to a perfectly shaped breast.  Lazily she ran her hand over the nipple, playing gently with it while lightly squeezing the full breast. 

Her lips were resting beside an erect nipple, she leaned over slightly and took it into her mouth and suckled slowly.  She swirled her tongue over the material, wetting the pointed nipple, satisfied at the hardened reaction she had achieved she released the nipple.  Jamie cuddled in closer to the natural furnace that she was wrapped around and lost herself back into the land of Morpheus.

Loren's body tensed completely, her eyes flew open, she dragged a labored breath into her parched lungs.  My god!  Blue eyes looked at the singer who was now sleeping peacefully again. 

Loren closed her eyes and groaned, willing her pulse to slow down, she could feel a fire radiating from her lower body.  It had been a long time since she had been this aroused, she thought. 

Loren disentangled herself and gently slid out from under the blond.  Creeping out of bed grabbing her clothing as she went, softly closing the door to the guest room she turned and entered her bedroom, heading straight to a very cold shower. 

Jamie woke up about an hour later, she lay in the bed stretching. She relaxed trying to figure out if Loren had actually stayed with her last night or did she dream it.  She hoped as she blushed furiously, that she had dreamed the part of the warm beautiful body that she had gently stroked in her dreams. 

God it was stimulating it felt so real.  Jamie reflected it had been a long time since she had made love to anyone.  She had had sex a few times over the last few months, but this feeling was different.  Sitting up she forced those feelings away.  Slipping out of the bed she headed to the bathroom to take a very cold shower.

Loren knocked softly on the door, receiving no answer she entered Jamie's bedroom.  She looked around, she could hear the shower running so she walked to the bathroom door to let Jamie know the tea was ready. 

Loren stopped, letting her eyes roam over the singer's body, I could do this all day, she thought feeling her pulse quicken.   She could see Jamie's naked body outlined behind the glass shower stall reflected in the bathroom mirror.  Loren mentally shook herself.  That's funny, Loren thought to herself as she backed out of the bathroom, there's no steam in there


The lawyer was stretched out on the pool lounge chair, sipping her tea and eating toast, reading her book when Jamie made her appearance. 

"Well, good morning sunshine!" Jaime said.  Her sunglasses hiding eyes that literally devoured the dark haired woman's body in one glance.  Loren had on a blue bikini the same color as her eyes, it was startling against her tanned skin. 

Oh gods, Loren thought as she glanced up at the blond, two weeks of being this close to this gorgeous creature will kill me.  I'll be an ice cube from all those cold showers. 

"Unh, hi. Tea and toast is on the side table by the door", Loren said.  She noted Jamie had on her bikini under a long t-shirt. 

She watched from behind her book as Jamie pulled the second lounger over, and pulled her tee shirt over her head.  She tossed it on the lounger and walked over to the side bar.  It was at this point that Loren started to choke on her toast. 

Jamie turned and moved quickly beside Loren, "Are you ok?"

Loren quickly nodded her head, hoping the heated tinge to her skin would go unnoticed by Jamie. That woman is going to kill me, she thought, it should be illegal to wear a thong bikini in public.  Well not in public, exactly, but it should still be illegal without a warning sign. 

"Loren, are you getting to much sun already?  You're really red." 

Great, Loren thought, just great.  "No, ahhh, I'm fine, go get your breakfast, toast went down the wrong way."

Jamie chuckled, and walked back to the side table.  The whole time Loren watched the muscles in the singers smooth body stretch as they sauntered with their owner.  The lawyer took a deep breath and grinned as she watched Jamie move. Be still my heart, she muttered, I think I'm dying

Jamie grinned evilly, Unhuh, so you choked on your toast huh lawyer girl, I don't think so, as she watched Loren's reflection in the patio door, watching her. 

Let's have some fun, she chuckled to herself.  Jamie made an exaggerated bend over the table to reach for a napkin.  She kept an eye on Loren's reflection, the lawyer didn't disappoint her.  She sat with her mouth open staring at Jamie, fanning herself with her book. 

Jamie started to chuckle in earnest, this time dropping her napkin and bending over from the waist to pick it up.  Before she could check on the lawyer's reflection in the glass door, Jamie heard a splash and turned around to see Loren doing laps in the pool. 

Feeling satisfied with herself Jamie sat on the lounger drinking her tea and eating her toast and watching Loren.  The lawyer eventually slowed down after ten minutes of straight laps and returned to the side of the pool pulling herself over the top. 

Jamie was laid back sunning in the lounger, she watched from behind dark sunglasses as Loren picked up her towel and patted her hair dry. 

She smiled smugly.  "Felt like some exercise did you," teased Jamie.

Loren looked at her and narrowed her eyes the first inklings of setup seeping through her brain.  She smiled sweetly at Jamie and said, "Yes, small burst of energy."

The smile came off Jamie's face.  "Small burst?" she questioned. 

"Actually," the lawyer responded, "nothing worth talking about" she said with an evil grin as she laid on the lounger. 

She heard Jamie muttering, "Fat chance lawyer lady, fat chance." 

Loren lifted her sunglasses and enquired innocently, "I'm sorry, Jamie did you say something?" 

"Ah, er, no, nothing, nothing at all." 

"I didn't think so."


The two women passed the better part of the day swimming and sunbathing, reading and listening to soft relaxing music.  They had an early dinner and then went to bed.  Over the next several days the two women developed an easy friendship.  At moments it was playful, and at other times filled with a tension neither understood.  On the forth it had started to rain. 

"How do you feel about a movie marathon." the singer asked stretching lazily in front of the patio windows as the lawyer leaned against the kitchen counter. 

"What kind of movies?"

"How about some good chick flicks."

"Now you're talkin'!" 

Loren went over to the shelf, beside the TV, "lets see what I have, Boy's on the side, three television movies about some chick decked out in leather, called Xena and Tomb Raider.  Not a large selection but what do you think?" 

"Lets watch Boys on the side, I heard it was good."

"Ok put it on and I'll make the popcorn." 

Loren returned with two large bowls of popcorn and two beers.  She plopped down on the floor in front of the couch with Jamie, she passed over a bowl with a beer. 

Half way through the movie Jamie looked over to see Loren sound asleep snoring softly, her chin resting on her chest.  Jamie reached behind her grabbing a pillow, placed it on her lap and gently pulled Loren's head over.  Grabbing the remote she turned the movie off.  She stroked Loren's hair as she slept.  Jamie sat and watched the sleeping beauty sleep. She is so beautiful, the singer thought, as her heart constricted, her head warned her to stay away but her heart whispered take a chance? 

An hour later Loren opened her eyes, her head was resting in Jamie's arms on a pillow in her lap, the TV was off and Jamie was sleeping soundly her head rolled back resting on the seat of the couch.  OOOHHHH she's gonna have one hell of a sore neck, Loren thought. 

The lawyer sat up, she stretched and stood.  She leaned back down and patted Jamie's leg.  "Hey rocker, wake up, you're gonna hate your neck in a few minutes." 

Jamie's eyes fluttered open, her head snapped forward, she immediately grabbed her neck.  "Owwww damn," 

Loren chuckled, "Yeah I know, hold still, c'mon, go take a hot shower then I'll give you a massage."  Loren placed her arm around Jamie's waist and helped her up and into the bedroom.  "Will you be ok?" 

"Yep, just this damn neck," Jamie whined while rubbing the back of her shoulders and neck. 

"Ok shower, then massage, be right back."

Jamie undressed and got into the shower allowing the hot water to work the muscles.  Ten minutes later she shut the water off, opened the door and got out.  Her neck wasn't quite as stiff.  She wrapped a towel around herself and went into the bedroom, Loren was sitting on the edge of the bed with a bottle of herbal  tiger balm. 

She patted the bed beside her.  "Lay down on your stomach, we'll fix you up in no time."

Jamie laid face down, Loren straddled her hips, she opened the bottle of tiger balm, spreading some in her palms and applied it to Jamie's neck.  Loren wasn't sure if the heat that radiated from Jamie's skin was from the ointment or from Jamie herself. 

The lawyer rubbed the tense muscles around the shoulders and neck area, she pressed her fingertips deep into Jamie's muscles, squeezing gently. 

Soft moans were coming from the prone singer, who could feel the heat rising from Loren's hands.  God that feels so good, her hands are like magic, I wonder what they would feel like all over, causing a louder groan to come from deep within her. 

Loren kneaded the muscles on the singer's shoulders, running her fingertips along the upper parts of Jamie's arms.  Loren felt and heard the intake of breath by Jamie.  Loren was extremely aroused, and very aware of the feel of Jamie's hips pressing between her thighs. 

Loren rolled off and lay beside the singer.  "How was that, feel better?" she asked breathlessly. 

Jamie turned on her side facing the lawyer, she propped her head on her hand.  Jamie reached down and gently traced a finger along the side of the lawyer's face. "Much better, thanks."

Loren's blue eyes were intense she could feel the tension emanating between herself and the singer.  She stared into emerald green seas, she had never felt this lost before and knew she would never feel that way with anyone again. 

Jamie slowly bent her head down and placed soft warm moist lips on Loren's.  The kiss was gentle and seeking, it probed the surface and tugged at the depths of their beings.  Jamie pulled her head back slowly and found misted blue eyes staring at her. 

"That was beautiful, thank you," Loren whispered. 

"No, thank you, I didn't think I could ever experience that again.  You've given me something, I thought I had lost.  I'll never forget that."  Jamie leaned in and placed another soft kiss on Loren's lips, then got up and went into the bathroom, closing the door softly.

Loren lay on the bed for a few minutes reflecting on what had just happened.  What had just happened? she thought shaking her head, I just lost my heart is what.  Now what do I do.  She walked out to the pool and sat in a chair and softly cried.

Chapter 9

The next morning found the two women sitting outside drinking their morning coffee.  "Would you like to go out to dinner this evening Jamie?"

"Ah well Loren, that would be a sure fire way to be inundated with media and fans," she said with one eyebrow raised.

"That's not what I asked, I asked, would you like to go out to dinner this evening Ms. James?"

"Ok," Jamie smiled playing along, "Yes, Ms. Wynfield, I would love to go to dinner." Now, Jamie thought, lets see her figure out how she's going to do that!

"Right, then its dinner out, my treat, can you be ready say for seven, I'll have the car out front milady.  Oh and can you wear about something SEXY," she said wiggling her eyebrows.

The singer giggled, "SEXY as in SEXY, or SEXY as in I can wear it in public." 

Loren laughed out loud, "How about something SEXY for public consumption, we can always try the other at another time."  Silence hung between them after that last statement. 

Jamie looked into deep azure blue eyes, winked, licked her lips and smiled, "That can be arranged."  Then turned and sauntered saucily out of the room. 

Loren felt the heat spreading throughout her body, while thinking to herself, I refuse to take another cold shower, I'm gonna look like a prune.

Loren entered her bedroom and changed into her Gi.  She headed directly to the workout room and commenced with her usual routine.  After running ten kilometers on the treadmill, she lifted some free weights, then stood in front of the mirrors and concentrated on her self defense disciplines. 

The music was turned up as Loren moved through a serious of kicks and arm movements.  She neither saw or heard the singer enter the room and take a seat against the back wall.  The lawyer continued to work out, totally absorbed in her art.  She moved with the grace and swiftness of a gazelle.  Sweat flowed from her body coating her limbs. 

Jamie was in awe watching the lawyer workout, the singer felt something inside of her twist, realization dawned, she was attracted to this beautiful woman.  Fear flooded within her, No, I can't, I'll only hurt her like Sam, I can't let this happen.  Tears welled up in her eyes, Why, why!  Then she heard a tiny voice inside of her rationalize, You've slept with other women and remained aloof, its only an attraction, its not like you're in love with her. 

Loren finished her workout and bowed slightly to the mirror, and turned around to grab her towel.  She spotted Jamie seated across the room watching her.  "Hi," she said, "you should have let me know you were there." 

"Sorry, you looked so absorbed in what you were doing I didn't want to intrude."

"No problem, hey its almost six, time to get ready to go to dinner." 

Jamie looked at her watch.  "You're right, I completely lost track of time watching you, you're great you know.  You move so beautifully.  In fact," she said as she moved quickly by the lawyer, "pretty sexy," and swatted the blue eyed woman on the butt.  Jamie took off at a run through Loren's bedroom into her own slamming the door in Loren's face just as she got there. 

"Jamie," she called softly through the door.

Jamie hesitated, giggled and replied, "Yes," breathlessly.

"Pay backs are a bitch, see you outside in fifty minutes."

Loren walked down the hallway, singing "Your day will come." at the top of her lungs. 

Jamie laughed loudly as she stripped off and got into a hot shower.  Nice, she thought, hot water for a change.


Forty five minutes later Jamie walked out of the house and found Loren leaning against the SUV, her arms folded across her chest.

Lazy blue eyes swept over the smaller blond not missing a thing.  Jamie had on a short forest green leather mini skirt, with long lean silk covered legs ending in matching pumps.  A green leather halter top covered by a see through cream colored shirt left nothing to the imagination.  Startling emerald green eyes settled under swept up hair that gently left curling tendrils falling around the blonds face. 

Loren's mouth hung open, she couldn't tear her eyes off the singer.  "My god you're stunning!" the lawyer managed to get out.  "Absolutely stunning." 

"Why thank you lawyer girl, although I was trying for SEXY in a public sort of way, but stunning will do," she grinned. 

"Oh you don't have to doubt you achieved that!" Loren said as she practically drooled. 

Jamie walked over to the dark haired beauty and drew a finger lightly down one side of her face ending the tip on Loren's lips.  She then drew the finger back and placed it upon her own moist lips simulating a kiss. 

"Thanks," she whispered breathlessly.

Loren almost fainted from the emotions going through her body.  Will I live through this night she questioned. 

The singer turned from the door of the vehicle and looked directly into deep blue eyes.  "You are absolutely stunning yourself tonight! If I didn't know better I'd say you weren't a lawyer girl at all." Jamie paused, dragging in a breath to quell her speeding pulse. 

Letting her eyes drift sensually over the tight fitting black mini skirt and matching sleeveless vest.  The outfit made the lawyer seem totally dangerous and compelling at the same time. 

Loren reached her hand out toward Jamie drawing her body close.  The singer felt herself hypnotized by the closeness of the dark haired beauty. 

The blond leaned into the warmth, feeling Loren move in closer to her as she reached her arm around the singer.  Jamie lifted her head, eyes half closed feeling the nearness of Loren's lips, Loren continued with her movements.  Opening the door of the SUV while stepping to the side, the spell was broken. 

Loren said with a smirk, "There you go rocker, your chariot awaits you." 

Jamie opened her eyes wide feeling a flush of embarrassment flood her cheeks.  My god, I almost made a fool of myself.  She climbed into the front passenger seat and rested her head back on the seat rest.  Closing her eyes she attempted to bring her pulse back into some semblance of control. I really wanted to kiss her, what is happening with me.

The taller woman walked slowly around the rear of the vehicle lost in thought.  I know she wanted me to kiss her, but would I have scared her away?  God I want to be with her, but I want, what do I want?  A tiny voice in the back of Loren's brain kept repeating, you want all of her, every bit, not just a taste.  You're in love with her.  Loren stopped suddenly, running her fingers through her hair, shaking her head. How did I ever get into will I ever get out unscathed.


A short time later, Loren pulled up behind a non descript building, parked the vehicle, got out and opened Jamie's door for her.  "C'mon" she said holding out her hand, "we're here." 

Jamie looked around and the small parking lot that was void of any other vehicles.  The building nearest them had a doorway without a door handle on it, precluding access. 

"Where are we?" 

"You'll see," Loren said mysteriously.  The dark haired woman strolled over to the only door visible at the back of the building when it opened suddenly.

A petite Japanese woman dressed in the traditional kimono placed her hands together and bowed slightly to Loren.  Loren returned the gesture then the two hugged each other. 

"Sashi, its wonderful to see you again." 
"Ah yes my beautiful orchid, it has been to long," she said drawing a tender hand down the side of Loren's face.  Looking past Loren at Jamie, Sashi turned her head sideways and studied the blond. 

Jamie looked directly back at the Japanese woman with clear friendly eyes and a slight smile on her face.  Sashi looked back to Loren and spoke quietly, the singer couldn't hear what Sashi had said to Loren but whatever it was, it had caused Loren to blush furiously. 

Jamie stepped forward and placed a hand on Loren's arm in  a questioning manner.  Loren gently took her hand and pulled the singer next to her. 

"Sashi Yoshido, meet my friend Jamie James, Jamie, Sashi." 

"Very nice to meet you Ms. Yoshido." 

"Sashi please, a pleasure to meet any friend of my orchid's," she said bowing.  "Come," she said taking Jamie's hand, leading her to the door.  "Welcome to my establishment."  She stood aside to let Loren and Jamie enter into the building. 

Sashi led them through a small hallway skirting the main portion of the restaurant into a private room.  The walls were made of rice paper depicting Japanese trees.  Two cushions rested on the floor on opposite sides of a low table.  Jamie watched as Loren removed her high heels and entered into the room, the singer copied Loren's moves and followed her. 

"Just under the table there is a place to put your feet," Loren informed her.  Jamie sat down in the small intimate room and Loren joined her.  Sashi, bowed slightly and left closing the sliding door giving the two women complete privacy. 

"This is really nice orchid," Jamie teased. 

"Yeah, well, I've known Sashi a long time and she's always called me her orchid."

"I think its cute, you certainly are a rare beautiful flower."

Loren blushed at the compliment.  "Thank you."

Sashi returned moments later with a teapot and two small glasses, setting the items on the table between the two.  Loren smiled her thanks as Sashi departed.

"Ah, Loren?" 

"Yes" the lawyer responded as she poured two glasses of the liquid from the teapot.  "I've never had Japanese food before, I have no idea what to order." 

"Its ok, Jamie, Sashi will take care of us, although I should warn you, this is Saki you're about to drink and it can be quite potent!" 

"Oh, I've always wanted to try it," the rocker stated as she sipped the liquid.  "Mmm its quite good," she said delightedly. 

The meal progressed with much laughter by both women as Jamie tried to eat a meal of sushi and tempura with chop sticks. 

Finally Jamie leaned back and rubbed her stomach, "I think I've eaten way to much," she groaned. 

Loren refilled the glasses and sat back sipping her Saki.

"Thank you," the singer whispered softly as she captured deep blue eyes. 

"You're welcome," blue eyes responded equally soft.  "I hope you enjoyed the experience."

"Enjoyed it, I'll never forget it.  Although, I'm a bit fuzzy headed right now, I think I drank too much Saki," she giggled. 

Loren grinned, "I warned you it could sneak up on you."  There was a soft knock on the door and Loren said, "Yes."

Sashi entered the small room and knelt down.  "I hope you had a pleasant meal?" 

"Oh Sashi, it was wonderful, thank you for taking such good care of us," Jamie said sincerely. 

"Thank you," Sashi stated bowing her head then slightly clapping her hands she turned towards the doorway.  Behind her appeared a young Japanese woman carrying a tray.  Sashi reached behind, and picked up a small self contained Japanese garden plant.  She placed it in front of the astonished blond.  "A small piece of Japanese life to remind you of the good experience you have had." 

Sashi turned again and picked a beautiful flower off the tray as the young woman bowed and walked away. 

The restaurant owner laid the rare orchid down in front of Loren, and placed a soft hand on her cheek.  "For you, a rare orchid for a rare orchid." 

Loren's eyes filled with tears. "Oh Sashi," she whispered, "its beautiful."  The Japanese woman smiled with satisfaction, bowed her head with thanks wishing them a wonderful evening she backed out of the room. 

Just before closing the door she looked directly into Loren's eyes. "Do not forget what I spoke of to you earlier."  Bowing she closed the door.

Loren face was a deep red as she stood up to go.  Jamie reached out and took Loren's hand preventing her from standing, "Loren, what did she say to you?" 

"Ah, well, I really would prefer to discuss that at a different time," she stammered.  Jamie nodded her head in understanding and was pulled to her feet by Loren.

When Jamie stood she felt a little light headed from the Saki and lost her balance falling into Loren's arms.  Blue eyes became lost in a sea of Jade green just before Loren lowered her mouth to Jamie's. 

The two were lost in the sensual warmth of their lips meeting.  Jamie's mouth opened slightly under the pressure of the kiss and Loren extended her tongue slowly inside the singers, searching every intimate corner.  Tongues swirled around each other in a sensual dance.  Jamie felt her body of its own accord respond to the length of Loren's warmth and soft curves.  Her hands came to rest on Loren's waist on bare skin just under her vest.  The kiss deepened until both women broke away breathless looking deep into each others eyes. 

"I, I haven't felt like this in a long time," Jamie stuttered, unsure of what was happening to her.  "I'm not sure I'm ready for what will come of it, Loren I need, oh I don't know what I need," the blond said laying her head against Loren's shoulder. 

As Jamie stood there in the comfort of Loren's arms listening to the ragged pulse of the dark haired beauty, she thought she heard Loren mutter, "I need you!" 

Before she could question Loren, the lawyer stepped back took her by the hand and said, "C'mon, lets get you home." 

The drive back was comfortable but very quiet as the singer dozed in her seat.  Loren was lost in her own thoughts, until she felt a small hand reach over and rest on her thigh.  The heat radiated throughout Loren's body and came to rest in the center of her being.  I really don't know how much more of this I can take, Loren thought as she drove home. 


On Saturday evening they had sat together on the patio enjoying the evening sipping wine, listening to the music of Enya.  Loren looked at Jamie and asked quietly, "Tell me about them?"

Jamie knew immediately of whom she was referring.  Tears glistened in her eyes, "they were everything to me. Sam was my equal, she kept me grounded, she seemed to always understand what I needed.  In truth I can't say I was always clear in the reverse.  She was beautiful, lively we had so much fun together," she said smiling and shaking her head slightly. 

Then Jamie turned her head and looked directly into Loren's eyes.  "But I never gave her all of me, and that is my loss.  If I had, would it have been different?  Would they be alive?  I don't think I can ever do that again, I couldn't bear to hurt another person I love."  She dropped her eyes and leaned her head back staring into space.

Loren remained quiet listening to the soft anguished filled voice of her friend. 

"We decided to share our lives and we were blessed with Christian my angel," she whispered a catch in her voice. "What can I say," she said shaking her head back and forth slowly, "he was so innocent, fresh, full of unquestioning love.  His eyes would light up whenever I entered the room.  He loved to sing with me at the recording studio, I... I still have the tapes, I...I just can't bear to listen to them, not yet."  Silent tears cascaded from green eyes filled with pain.  "He was only three years old, I wish I could smell his scent one last time, god I miss him so much it tears me apart." 

Jamie wrapped her arms around herself rocking back and forth letting the tears flow steadily. 

Loren got up and came around to the singer and wrapped her arms around her, drawing her into her shoulder.  "Jamie if I could change it for you I would, but I can't, but I can be here," the lawyer whispered softly, stroking the blond's hair gently. 

"I screwed up," Jamie mumbled through tears.  "I drove them away with my misguided sense of what I thought was right.  I caused this to happen, me!" 

"No!  No Jamie, an irresponsible drunk, driving a lethal weapon did that, not you.  You couldn't control what happened no matter what you did."  Loren lifted Jamie's head up and looked her in the eyes, "Would Sam want you carrying this guilt around?  Do you think Christian would blame you?  No, Jamie, they would want you to stop running and be happy."

Loren lowered her mouth to Jamie's and kissed her sweetly on the lips.  She lifted her gently out of the chair and guided her towards her room and gently laid her on the waterbed.  The lawyer laid down beside the singer and wrapped them in a comforter and held the crying woman in her arms until she slept.