Disclaimers: These two ladies may seem familiar, especially if you read the Invitational's here at the Academy. The previous story, Just Like Old Times , came from Delaney's point of view. Here's a chance to get to know Gib a little better, and show you how they got together.
The names, persons, places and events depicted in this story are completely fictional. I worked at a State Park back in 1980, but in no way am I an expert on the Texas State Park system. So, for any inaccuracies, forgive me.
I'd love to hear from you and can be reached at email@example.com . Also, check out my website for stories, info, and just the heck of it – www.CarrieLCarr.com . Thanks to the Academy munchkins who do so much for us all. You are the best!
Dedication: This story is for the one woman who means everything to me – my wife, Jan. Forever and always, my love.
Monday morning, Gib walked into the main office, whistling softly to herself. She noticed Clint at the counter with a sour look on his face. “Good morning.”
“What are you so blasted happy about?”
She took off her hat and tried to wipe the grin off her face, without much success. “I had a good weekend. Why are you such a grump?”
“Well, let's see. Half my staff is either injured or gone, and I've got calls out all over the state, begging for help. How's that?”
Clint scratched at his neck. “Chicken pox.”
“Do I look like I'm kidding?” He scratched at his arm.
Gib stared at him. “Do you have the chicken pox?”
“I had it when I was six. But ever since I heard, I keep itching like crazy.” The phone rang and he grabbed it. “ Benton State Park , Manager Clint Wright speaking. How may I help you today?” His face brightened as he listened. “Really? That would be fantastic. When? That soon? Oh, thank you. Yes, I will. Good-bye.” He hung up the phone and grinned. “Salvation!”
“Dare I ask?”
Clint laughed, almost maniacally. “That was one of the managers from Big Bend . He asked for volunteers to bail us out, and had a couple agree. He said he'll probably go by lack of seniority, since none of them seemed completely thrilled. Our extra body will be here next week, if all goes well.”
“That's good. So, George has the spots, Kennie is still in the hospital. What about Dan and Jessica?”
“Dan's patrolling the park and Jessica,” Clint thought for a moment. “Honestly, I have no idea where she's at. Would you mind hunting her down? I'd like her to work the counter today.”
Gib nodded. “Sure, no problem.” She put her hat back on and saluted. “Reporting for duty, boss.”
“Oh, shut up.” Clint wadded up a piece of paper and threw it at her. “Go.”
“Ten-four,” Gib answered, catching the paper and tossing it in the trash on her way out.
She was still laughing when she climbed into her truck. She loved picking on her boss, and knew he enjoyed the banter as well. Her mind shifted to the past weekend.
Gib was awakened late Saturday afternoon by light kisses on her neck and throat. They spent the entire afternoon snuggled in bed, exchanging kisses and talking about anything and everything. Although they didn't go any further, Gib felt that the time was well spent, as they learned more about each other.
Her radio crackled to life, ending her pleasant daydreams. “This is Proctor, go ahead.”
“There's a disturbance at the swimming pool,” Clint informed her. “Could you please check it out?”
“On the way.” Gib took the shortest route to the park's public swimming pool. Most of the time she was called in to sort out an altercation among the kids that congregated at the pool. Other times a belligerent parent had to be told that the pool was not a babysitting service. Any children under the age of twelve had to be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
The pool was surrounded by a tall chain-link fence. The main gate was set off by a large stone structure, which housed the restrooms, concession stand and showers. She parked in front of the entrance and hurried through the stone gates. “Great.”
The sight that greeted the officer was a full-blown fight surrounded by at least twenty people, all yelling and cheering. Gib pushed her way through the crowd. Two teenage girls in swim suits were going after each other, wrestling and punching. Both had shoulder-length blonde hair and neither could have weighed more than one hundred twenty pounds. They were cursing and slapping at each other. Both were covered in scratches and dirt. “Hey, stop it!” She reached for one but was unable to get a good grasp because of the girl's sweaty skin.
The crowd continued to egg them on, taunting Gib's presence.
“Ha! Stupid cop!”
“Get her, Meg!”
“Ooh, good one!”
Gib stepped in between the two girls and grimaced when a foot connected to her shin. “Cut it out,” she yelled, wrapping her arms around the girl in a two-piece pink suit and turning away from the other.
“Bitch! I'm gonna kick your ass,” the other girl screamed. Wearing a black one-piece, she charged and jumped on Gib's back.
“Damn it!” Gib released the girl in pink and started wrestling with the girl on her back. “Last chance. Get off or I will arrest you!”
“Fuck you, pig!” The girl put her slender arm around Gib's neck and tried to choke her. She knocked off Gib's baseball cap and started pulling on her hair.
Gib easily flipped her off her back and had her face down on the ground. She fended off the screaming and kicking from the other girl while she handcuffed the one on the ground. “Now stay put!” She stood and turned, holding her hands up around her face to keep from getting hit by the other girl. She kept one foot lightly on the other girl's back in order to keep her on the ground. In a loud voice she demanded, “Everyone break it up!”
“Aaah!” The free girl charged Gib, who caught her. “Damn you! Let me at her!”
“What the hell is your problem?” Gib wrestled with the girl and finally got her hands behind her back. “Stop it!”
“She stole my boyfriend! I'm going to kill her!” The girl on the ground yelled. “Bitch!”
“I did not, you ugly whore!”
“Enough!” As the crowd slowly dissipated, Gib used one hand to hold the girl's small wrists together behind her back. She carefully bent over and grabbed the other girl by the arm. “Stand up slowly.”
“Stupid bitch,” the girl on the ground spat as she was helped to her feet. She tried to kick her opponent but was jerked away by the officer.
“Cool it,” Gib ordered.
“Looks like you have everything under control.” Jessica stood a few feet away with a smirk on her face. “Sorry I got here too late.”
Gib glared at her. “Yeah, right. Clint needs you at the office.”
“I got his call earlier, but was having trouble with my Jeep. Later, Proctor.” Jessica waved and walked away, laughing.
“Come on, ladies. Let's so have a chat in my truck.” Gib led the girls out of the pool area, ignoring their curses and threats. She leaned the handcuffed one against the side of the truck while she opened the back door. “Sit down.”
Gib opened the front door and took her spare handcuffs out of the glove box. Once the girl in pink was cuffed she sat her in the front passenger seat. “Now. Who wants to tell me what's going on?”
“It's her fault, the bitch.”
“How old are you?” she asked, getting similar answers. Gib sighed and keyed her mike. “Clint, I need a police transport for two minors.”
Clint immediately answered. “All right. I'll get them on their way.”
“Fuck that! My dad will kill me!” Backseat girl kicked at the open door.
Gib put her hands on her hips. “Too bad. Stop it!” When the girl in the front seat began to cry, Gib privately cursed her soft heart. “Hey.”
“Stupid crybaby,” the girl in black taunted from the back seat. “Whiny little bitch!”
“Shut up,” Gib growled. She softened her voice for the other girl. “What's your name?”
“Megan.” The girl sobbed and lowered her head.
The girl in the back kicked the seat in front of her. “I don't know what Justin sees in you. Baby!”
“Stop it, or I'll throw you in the back of my truck.”
“Fuck you,” the girl snarled as she kicked the seat again.
Gib took some plastic restraints from the glove box. She grabbed one of the girl's legs, intent on tying her feet together. A well-placed heel against her cheek caused her to see stars for a moment.
“Suck it, pig!” the girl laughed victoriously. She cried out when her other leg was captured. “Fuck!”
“One more word out of you and I'm going to wash your mouth out with soap.” Gib blinked to clear her vision.
The girl glared at her, but stayed silent.
Gib turned her attention to Megan. She held out her hand. “Step out of the truck so we can talk.”
Megan sniffled and looked at her. Tears still tracked down her cheeks, but her sobbing had stopped.
After she helped Megan from the truck, Gib walked her far enough away so that the other girl couldn't overhear their conversation, but she could still keep an eye on her. “All right. Do you want to tell me what happened?”
“Lindsey thinks I stole her boyfriend,” Megan explained quietly. “But we're just friends, honest.”
“How old are you, Megan?”
“Sixteen.” Megan wiped her face on her shoulder. “If I get arrested, my mother will have a fit.”
Gib sighed. “If I free your hands, will you behave?”
“Yes, ma'am.” Megan stood quietly while Gib removed her handcuffs. Once she was free, she rubbed her wrists. “I'm sorry for hitting you.”
“Who started the fight?”
“Lindsey. I was walking out of the bathroom and she grabbed my hair and threw me down. You can ask anyone. That stupid bi-, I mean, she started it.”
Gib stared into Megan's eyes. The girl never looked away. “How did you get here today?”
“All right. You get your stuff and go home. But if I ever catch you causing trouble again, I will let the Benton police take care of it, you hear me?”
Megan nodded vigorously. “Yes, ma'am. Thank you, officer.” She jogged toward the entrance.
“Hey! Where's that bitch going?” Lindsey yelled. “Hey!”
Gib sighed and headed for her truck. Her good mood from the weekend was long gone and it wasn't even lunchtime. She stood beside the back door. “How did you get here today?”
“You know what? I can sit here all day while you curse and act like a little punk. Or, I can go inside and get your stuff so no one steals it. What will it be, Lindsey?”
Lindsey glared at her for almost a full minute before she decided to speak. “I came with my friends.”
“All right.” Gib leaned into the truck and fastened Lindsey's seat belt. “I'll be right back.”
“Bitch,” the young blonde growled.
Gib ignored her and went inside the pool facility. After speaking with the concessions employee who had called the office, she found Lindsey's friends and explained that Lindsey would have to go into police custody. They gave Gib the girl's tote bag, which held an oversized tee shirt and her wallet. It took less than fifteen minutes, and Gib was on her way back out front. She dusted off her hat and placed it on her head.
Once she closed the truck doors, Gib slid in behind the wheel. She placed Lindsey's bag on the passenger seat beside her.
“You stupid cow! I'm going to—” Lindsey shut up when Gib turned in her seat.
“Young lady, you need to shut your mouth and think about what you've done. We're going up to the office and wait for the police. Maybe if you behave, they'll let you off with a warning.” She started the truck and exhaled heavily.
After handing off her charge to a pair of officers with the Benton Police Department, Gib walked into the office.
“Wow, Proctor. You look like crap,” Jessica taunted from behind the counter.
Gib ignored her and continued to Clint's office. She tapped on his closed door.
She opened the door. “ Benton 's finest just left.”
Clint raised his head from the paperwork he had been concentrating on. “Good grief. What the hell happened to you?”
“Two hormonal, teenage girls,” Gib moaned, as she sat across from him. She took off her cap and rested it on her crossed knee. “Give me guys any day over girls.”
“Amen,” Clint agreed. “Now that Jessica's here, why don't you take a couple of hours off? Maybe get cleaned up?”
“Do I look that bad?”
He shrugged. “Well—”
“Gee, thanks.” She put her hat on and stood. “If you're going to be that way, I'm going to head home and shower. Call me if you need me. I have to head into town later today to fill out the paperwork at the PD.” She closed his door and tipped her cap at Jessica. “Have fun. There's a middle school tour group coming around one.”
“I didn't hear anything about that.”
Gib grinned. “Yep. They're coming for the camping safety lessons. But don't worry, I don't think you'll have more than thirty second-graders.”
“Shit.” Jessica opened a drawer and looked for the pamphlets they handed out on camping. “Where are you going?”
“Oh, didn't Clint tell you? I'm taking the afternoon off. Then I'm heading into town to do the paperwork on today's scuffle. Bye.” The cursing from Jessica was music to Gib's ears as she left the office.
By the time Gib left the police department, her stomach was growling. She checked her watch and saw that it was past six in the evening. “I wonder if Dee has had dinner yet?” She hit the speed dial and waited with a smile on her face.
“Kavanagh Massage Parlor,” a sultry voice answered.
Holding back her laughter, Gib lowered her voice and spoke in a thick Spanish accent. “This is Officer Sanchez from the Benton Police Department. We found this phone and are searching for the owner. Where are you located?” The dial tone that answered her caused Gib to laugh out loud. She drove toward Delaney's apartment.
Once she was in the parking lot, Gib dialed Delaney's cell phone again. It rang four times before it was answered.
Gib started laughing as soon as she heard the tentative voice. “Hi, Dee . What's the matter?”
“Gib? I thought your phone—” Delaney grew quiet as she realized what had happened. “I'm going to kill you.”
Still laughing, Gib got out of her truck. “Have you had dinner yet?”
“Dinner? Why? What time is it?” The curse from Delaney was anything but ladylike.
“I take that as a no.” Gib waved to the concierge as she walked across the lobby. Once she was in the elevator, she had trouble hearing what Delaney was saying. “Hold on a second.” She was soon standing in front of a familiar door. “What was that sound?”
“What sound?” Delaney asked.
Gib tried to keep from laughing. “I swear it sounded like someone was knocking on your door.”
“Have you lost your mind? How in earth could you hear something over the phone that I didn't hear at my apartment?”
“There it is again.”
Delaney growled. “I think you're imagining things, officer. But if it would make you happy,” her voice trailed off and she opened the door. “I swear, I'm going to kill you,” she said into the phone as she stared into Gib's face.
Gib couldn't hold in her laughter any longer. She took the phone out of Delaney's hand and hit the disconnect button. “Hi there.”
“You are such a brat!” Delaney grabbed the front of Gib's shirt and pulled her into the apartment. No longer in the dim hallway, she got a good look at the other woman. “What in the hell happened to you?”
“Had two women fighting over me,” Gib answered, nonchalantly. “No big deal.”
Delaney's eyes narrowed. “Excuse me?”
Gib dropped onto the sofa and patted the cushion beside her. “Come here.”
“Are you through teasing me?”
“For now,” Gib replied with a grin. She patted the cushion again.
With an air of indifference, Delaney took her time crossing the room. She sat primly beside Gib and turned her head away from her. “Hrumph.”
“That's not going to do.” Gib put her arm around the redhead and tugged her close. She maneuvered until Delaney was sitting on her lap. “Much better.”
Delaney turned and rested her hands on Gib's shoulders. She could see a bruise on Gib's cheek, as well as several ugly scratches along her neck. “What really happened?”
“Two teenage girls got into a fight at the swimming pool and I had the honor of breaking it up.”
“Girls? Were they wrestlers or something?” Delaney traced the bruise with her fingertip. “I can't see anyone getting the better of you.”
Gib laughed. “Neither one were very big. I would have been fine, if that one hadn't jumped on my back.”
Seeing that Gib was amused, Delaney couldn't help but laugh as well. “I bet that was a sight. What were they fighting about?”
“What do girls usually fight about?”
They both answered at the same time. “Boys.”
After their combined laughter had died down, Delaney lowered her face to Gib's and kissed her. She rested her forehead against a strong shoulder and sighed. “I'm glad you're okay.”
“If I get kissed like that every time I break up a fight, I think I'll antagonize the children as often as possible.” Gib flinched as she was poked in the stomach. “Careful, that's empty. Which is why I stopped by. Have you had dinner?”
Delaney raised her head and looked into Gib's face. “I was working on some new plans when you called.”
“Time got away from you again, did it?”
“Well, good. That means I can take you out for dinner.”
“Actually, I have what I need to make a decent meal, unless you're got your heart set on something in particular.”
Gib pecked her lightly on the lips. “Home cooking? I'm sold. Would you like some help?”
“Sure.” The redhead stood and held out her hand. “Come on, officer. I'll show you how an Irishwoman makes an Italian dinner.”
The week dragged by for Gib, and by Thursday she seriously considered taking Jessica out in the brush and leaving her. The tech constantly made snarky comments to Gib, but never when anyone else could hear.
Gib was still seething over the thinly-veiled homophobic comment that Jessica had thrown at her as she was leaving the office for the morning. She was about to check out for lunch, when her radio crackled.
“Proctor, this is the office. We've had a report of a missing child near campsite twenty-three.” Jessica sounded completely professional, for a change.
Gib keyed her mike. “I'm on my way.” She took the park map from between the seats and verified the location of the camp. She keyed the mike once again. “Base, I need a verification. Did you say campsite twenty-three?”
“Yes. Is there a problem?”
“I wasn't aware that we were renting the space out, considering how far from the road it is. The only way to get there is by hiking, isn't that correct?”
Jessica sighed. “The family is, how should I put this, a group of hippies. I wouldn't be surprised if they were all smoking something out there.”
“Great.” Gib clipped her mike onto her shirt and drove her truck to one of the most remote camping sites at the park. It took her ten minutes to get to the parking spot designated for the camp. There were no other vehicles around, which made Gib suspicious. She clicked her mike. “Base, I'm at the parking space. There isn't anyone here.”
“Proctor, what part of hippies did you not understand?” Jessica snapped. “They hiked into the park and asked for the most remote campsite. Was that too hard to follow?”
“Middleton, all I did was ask for information. Cut out the attitude.” Gib got out of her truck. “I'm heading toward the camp now. Will advise after I meet with the family.” She walked down a path through the cedar trees listening carefully for any sign of trouble.
Fifteen minutes later, Gib stepped into an empty clearing. There was no sign that anyone had been there recently. When she knelt beside the rock-encircled fire pit, there were cobwebs in the stacked wood. She keyed her mike. “Base, this is Proctor. There's no one at campsite twenty-three.”
The radio was silent for several minutes, before Jessica replied sweetly, “Oh, dear. It seems I made a mistake. That family was there last weekend. I must have heard wrong. I'm terribly sorry.”
“Damn it!” Gib picked up a stick and violently threw it into the trees. “Of all the asinine crap!” She took a few deep breaths before responding on the radio. “No harm done. I'm checking out for lunch. Call me if there are any real problems.” Still seething, she picked up a large stick and broke it across her thigh. “Stupid bitch.”
After being unmercifully teased by her parents for actually showing up to the office, Delaney was able to buckle down and get to work without interruption. She was reviewing several plans that had been accepted, and a couple of others that had been declined. “I don't know what's wrong with this one,” she grumbled. “If we offered it for any less, we'd have to pay them .” Disgusted with the idea, she pushed away from her desk. “Morons.”
Delaney looked around at her office. At home she tended to have clutter, but here, everything had its place. Her drafting table was clean and her desk only had a phone, inbox and blotter on it. She stood and walked around the cherry desk, intent on getting a cup of coffee from the break room.
The intercom on the phone buzzed. “Delaney, there's someone here to see you,” Maureen's voice was cool and professional.
“Damn.” Delaney returned to her chair and hit the intercom. “Send them back, Mom. Thank you.”
“Sure thing, sweetie.”
While she waited, the redhead took out her PDA and checked her appointments. “Unless they forgot to tell me, I don't have anyone scheduled.” She looked up at the knock on her open door. “Oh.”
Christine stood at the door, wearing a pair of dark slacks and a white buttoned down shirt. In her hand was a small bouquet of wildflowers. “Hi.”
“Hello, Chris. What brings you by?”
The slender butch looked down at the flowers in her hand. “Can I come in?”
“Uh, sure.” Delaney indicated the chair across from her desk. “Please, sit down.”
“Thanks.” Chris stopped before she sat and held out the bouquet. “These are for you.”
Not wanting to appear rude, Delaney took the flowers. “Thanks.” She sniffed them. “What are you doing here?”
Chris shrugged. “We haven't talked for a while and I missed you.”
“Um, Chris? When people break up, they generally don't talk. You do realize that we're no longer together, right?”
“I know you were mad, and I was being a jerk. And I'm sorry about that.”
Delaney put the flowers on her blotter and shook her head. “Chris—”
“No! I was. I totally get that.” Chris stood and put her hands on the desk. “I love you, Laney. More than I ever thought possible. I mean, look. I got a job. I'm going back to being a waitress, even though I hated doing it. I want to be able to support us.”
“There is no us, Chris! Can't you understand that?”
Chris stood up straight and blinked. “But there can be. Right?”
As much as she hated to hurt the other woman's feelings, Delaney knew she had to. “No, there can't. I'm sorry.”
“But why?” Chris whined. “I love you!”
“Chris.” Delaney stood. “I don't love you.” She jumped when Chris slapped the desk.
“Bullshit!” Chris circled the desk and stood within a foot of the redhead. “Did you ever love me?”
Delaney swallowed hard. “I…I don't know.”
Chris' eyes grew hard and she clinched her fists at her sides. “What about when we made love, Laney? Did you feel anything then?”
“Made love? You call what we did making love?” Delaney glared at her. “Making love isn't saying, ‘let's get it on,' and then drunkenly grope the person you're with.” She pushed Chris in the chest. “And it's certainly not guilting your partner into having sex. Yes, when we first got together, it was good. You were kind, considerate, and loving. I enjoyed our time together.”
“I still can be.”
Delaney shook her head. “The last couple of months, I've avoided you. I'm sorry. I should have broken it off, then. Not stringing you along. That's my fault.”
“No. You've changed, Chris. And I don't like the person you've become.” She backed away and held her hands up in front of her. “It's over between us. Please leave.”
Chris frowned. “No. I won't accept that.” She turned to walk away, but stopped at the door and pointed at Delaney. Her voice was strong as she declared, “You'll love me again, I know you will. And I won't give up on us.”
The shaky breath that Delaney exhaled was the only indication she gave of her true feelings. Once Chris had left, she dropped into her chair. “How could I have read her so wrong?”
The cloud cover on Friday morning couldn't dampen Gib's mood. Although she hadn't spoken to Delaney in the past couple of days, the redhead was never far from her mind.
On the previous afternoon, Gib stopped by the construction site and spoke to Dylan. He had let her know that his sister was at the office, but would most likely return to the site to check the week's work on Friday.
Gib tried to call Delaney last night, but was only able to reach her voice mail. She left a silly message and promised to contact her again soon. Now, as she left her cabin for the day, Gib hummed to herself.
The road to the construction site was filled with the usual equipment, and Gib maneuvered her truck around them with ease. Her grin widened when she came upon the familiar black SUV. She parked behind it and got out, adjusting her duty belt. When she spotted Delaney on top of the dam, she marched across the road. As she reached the bottom of the dam, she yelled, “Ma'am, you shouldn't be up there.”
The redhead turned and glared at the voice, before a soft smile touched her face. “Gib! Give me a second, will you?”
Gib touched the brim of her baseball cap. “Certainly, ma'am.” She laughed at the wagging finger she received and waited patiently for Delaney to finish what she was doing.
Dressed in jeans, sneakers and a turquoise, short-sleeved blouse, Delaney looked perfectly at ease as she took the path down the dam. She stopped a few feet away from Gib and put her hands on her hips. “And to what do we owe the pleasure of your visit, officer? Run out of innocent citizens to harass?”
“Not at all, ma'am. I'm only here to make certain you haven't strangled anyone today.”
The redhead laughed. “Not yet, but the day's still young.” Her expression turned serious. “I'm sorry I didn't return your call last night, but it was late and I—”
“Don't worry about it. I was just wondering how you were doing. Say, are you real busy at the moment?”
Delaney shook her head. “Not anymore. Why?”
“I was on my way to check on the new bison calf, and wondered if you'd like to tag along. That is, if I can get your promise not to steal him.”
“Oh, I don't know.” Delaney linked her arm with Gib's and led her away from the dam. “What will you give me if I'm good?”
The sultry voice gave Gib the chills. “Uh, I, um,” she stammered. It took her a moment to get her libido under control. She opened the passenger door for Delaney and helped her inside. “You are not playing fair.”
“I never do,” Delaney admitted with a grin. Too excited to sit still, she squirmed in her seat. “Thanks for thinking of me, Gib. I've never seen a baby bison.”
Gib turned and gave her a gentle smile. “I'm always thinking of you,” she said quietly. When Delaney didn't comment, she turned her attention back to the road. “Anyway, the last few times I've checked, Mama and Brutus are with the rest of the mixed herd. I'm hoping they'll be near the fence this morning.”
“Do they always stay by the fence? And if they don't, what makes you think they will, today?”
“I heard on the radio this morning that we have a pretty good chance of storms today. The cattle tend to gather near the fence when that happens, although I don't know why.” She slowed the truck as they passed the holding pens. “There they are.”
Delaney turned and sat up higher. “Oh, wow. He's so ugly, he's cute.”
“Yeah.” Gib parked and turned off the engine. “If we're quiet, we should be able to walk up to the fence for a closer look.” She grinned when Delaney immediately opened her door and got out. It wasn't long before Gib stood beside the redhead. She kept her voice low so as to not startle the animals grazing nearby. “He's already grown since the last time I'd seen him.”
“Brutus?” Delaney questioned, just as quietly.
Gib chuckled. “Doesn't he look like a Brutus?”
“Well, I guess so,” Delaney relented. She laughed when Brutus butted his mother's flank, before settling down for his breakfast. “Ouch!”
“I don't know why he does that, but it seems like every time I've seen him eat, he has to whack her first. If I were her, I'd whack him back.” Gib moved closer to Delaney and put her arm around the other woman's waist. “Thanks for coming with me.”
Delaney leaned into Gib's embrace. “I enjoy being with you, Gib.”
“What are you plans tomorrow?”
“Just the usual weekend stuff. Laundry, housework, grocery shopping.”
Gib kissed Delaney on the side of the head. “Would you like to go out to dinner with me? Maybe catch a movie or something?”
“I have a better idea.” Delaney turned in Gib's arms and looked into her eyes. “Why don't you come over and I'll cook you dinner tonight?”
“Well, don't let me twist your arm, or anything,” Delaney teased at Gib's immediate answer.
Gib laughed and shrugged. “Sorry. It's just that I don't usually cook for myself and getting a home-cooked meal is always a treat.”
Delaney put her hands behind Gib's neck. “One more thing, officer.”
“Bring a toothbrush.” Delaney kissed Gib tenderly.
That evening, Delaney moved around her apartment and double-checked each room. The floors had all been vacuumed or swept, the furniture was free of dust, and the table was set for a romantic dinner. She straightened the linen tablecloth and carefully inspected each wine glass for spots. Once she was satisfied with the place settings, she went into the bedroom and looked at herself in the full-length mirror on the closet door.
Delaney studied her reflection carefully. The navy blue, sleeveless dress she wore barely reached mid-thigh, and was cut low enough that she didn't even bother wearing a bra. Her hair had been pulled back into a chignon, with a few loose tendrils around her face. She nodded at herself and leaned closer to make certain her makeup wasn't too much.
When the doorbell rang, Delaney grinned at her reflection and hurried to answer the door. “Well, hello there, officer. You sure clean up well.”
Gib blushed. Her black slacks were pressed, and the light blue shirt went well with the black suit coat she wore. “Thanks.” She made a point of slowly taking in all of Delaney. With a low whistle, she shook her head. “Wow. You look absolutely fantastic.” She handed the redhead one single, yellow rose. “For you.”
“Thank you.” Delaney took the flower and brought it to her nose. Its sweet fragrance brought a smile to her face. “Please, come in.” She stepped back and allowed Gib to enter. “Have a seat while I get a vase for this.”
Unable to take her eyes off the redhead, Gib lowered herself onto the sofa. She nervously jiggled her left leg and brushed her hands on her thighs. When Delaney returned, she jumped to her feet. “My god, you're gorgeous,” she blurted, then blushed again.
Delaney stood in front of her and kissed her lightly on the lips. “Thank you. Now, sit. We have a few minutes before dinner is ready.”
Gib dropped onto the sofa again, grinning when Delaney sat almost on top of her. She put her arm around the other woman and sighed as Delaney snuggled closer. “This is nice.”
“It certainly is,” Delaney purred. She turned so that she could rest her head on Gib's shoulder. “How was the rest of your day?”
“Not too bad. Jessica had the day off, so at least I didn't go on any wild-goose chases.”
Delaney raised her head. “Why do you let her get away with that? I'd kick her ass.”
Gib laughed and gave the redhead a squeeze. “I wouldn't doubt it. But right now, I can't really prove anything. It's only been twice, and she swears they were both mistakes. She'll slip up one of these days, don't worry.” She kissed Delaney's hair. “You smell good.”
“I hope so. I took a shower today, and everything.” Delaney giggled when Gib started to tickle her. “Stop it!” she squealed, trying to move away. She fought off Gib's fingers and launched a counter-attack. “Ha!”
“Aaah,” Gib yelled as she rolled away. So intent on escaping, she didn't realize she had ran out of couch space, and found herself on the floor.
Delaney, forgetting how short her dress was, immediately straddled Gib. “Gotcha!”
Gib's eyes grew larger when she saw so much of Delaney's legs. The sight of the stockings being held up with black garters caused her to forget the game. She ran her hands up the outside of Delaney's thighs and groaned. “ Dee , unless you want to skip dinner, I think you'd better get up,” she begged.
“Give up?” Delaney loved how she affected Gib. She took a finger and traced a line from Gib's throat to her chest. “Are you sure?”
“Please,” Gib whispered hoarsely.
Delaney slowly leaned over and kissed her, rocking her hips slightly. As much as she didn't want their first time together to be in the middle of the living room floor, she was almost past the point of caring. The buzz of the oven timer brought a smile to her face. “Saved by the bell,” she murmured, leaving one final kiss before getting up. She adjusted her dress and winked. “Take off your coat, officer. You're not going anywhere tonight.”
After Delaney went into the kitchen to check on dinner, Gib stood and brushed her fingers through her hair as she exhaled heavily. “Holy crap. She's going to kill me.” She removed her jacket and folded it neatly over one arm of the couch. Once she was able to walk without embarrassing herself, she walked into the kitchen. “Do you need any help?”
Delaney turned away from the stove and grinned. “Probably not as much as you do,” she teased.
“You are an evil woman, Delaney Kavanagh.” Gib stood next to the bar and leaned against it. “Is there anything I can do to help with dinner ?”
“No. I have everything under control. Unless you want to put that salad on the table,” she nodded to the bowl on the bar.
Gib picked up the bowl. “Anything else?”
“Go ahead and sit down, and I'll bring the meatloaf in a second.” Delaney went back to her preparations while Gib followed her instructions. Once she had moved the meatloaf to a serving dish, she brought it to the table.
Gib stood and held out a chair for Delaney. “Everything looks delicious,” she said, as she kissed the back of Delaney's neck. “And the food looks good, too.”
“Thank you.” Delaney sat and shivered as Gib's hands went from the back of her chair, to stroke lightly across her shoulders. “Behave.”
“I plan on it,” Gib whispered in her ear, before taking her seat at the table. She was on the end of the square table, while Delaney was to the left of her. “Thank you for cooking tonight. You're going to spoil me.”
Delaney raised her wine glass. “All part of my master plan.”
“And what plan is that?” Gib asked, raising her glass as well. “To a great evening.”
“Oh, yes. A great evening,” Delaney agreed with a smirk.
They watched each other over the candlelit table. The longer the meal went, the thicker the sexual tension became. Gib watched as Delaney used an index finger to wipe a smudge of mashed potatoes away from her luscious, red lips.
Delaney heard the groan. “Are you all right?”
“Yea,” Gib cleared her throat. “Yes, I'm fine.”
“Are you satisfied?”
Gib's eyes widened. “What?”
“Would you like more?” Delaney asked, pointing to the remaining meatloaf.
“Oh, no. I'm great,” Gib squeaked.
Delaney leaned closer to her and lowered her voice. “Are you ready for dessert?”
“Uh, sure.” Gib momentarily closed her eyes and silently prayed for strength. She heard the clatter of dishes, and opened her eyes to see Delaney clearing the food from the table. “Can I help?”
“No. I'm going to cover these dishes and put them in the refrigerator.” In a couple of minutes, Delaney returned, with one large piece of cherry cheesecake and one fork. “Here we go.”
Gib cocked her head when Delaney placed the plate between them. “Aren't you having any?”
“Yes. Scoot away from the table just a little.”
Doing as she was told, Gib was surprised when Delaney sat in her lap. “Oh.”
“I thought we could share.”
Oh, god. She is trying to kill me. “Um, sure.” Gib put her arm around Delaney's waist to help balance her.
Delaney took a forkful of the dessert and brought it up to Gib's mouth. “Open up.”
Gib opened her mouth and took the bite into her mouth. She jumped when Delaney's free hand started playing with the back of her neck.
After swallowing the cheesecake, Gib could stand it no longer. She kissed Delaney hungrily, groaning when the redhead turned and straddled her lap. Her lips moved from lips down across Delaney's throat, sucking on the rapidly beating pulse point.
“Gib, please,” Delaney moaned, tilting her head back.
“I've had enough foreplay,” Gib growled.
Gib stood and kicked the chair away, as Delaney wrapped her legs around her waist. They continued to kiss as she staggered toward the bedroom, refusing to let go of the woman in her arms. She got to the edge of the queen-sized bed and dropped Delaney, her own body following quickly behind.
Delaney tried to unbutton Gib's shirt, but her shaky hands weren't much help. “Damn it!”
“I got it.” Gib sat up and tore open the top two buttons. She quickly pulled the shirt off over her head and grinned. “How fond of that dress are you?”
“Let me up for a second,” Delaney answered. She stood and turned her back to Gib. “Unzip me, please.”
Gib's hand trembled as more skin was slowly revealed. “You're gorgeous,” she reverently whispered. When the dress hit the floor, she almost followed it. Delaney stood before her, wearing only shoes, a thong, garters and stockings. “Oh, my lord.”
Delaney sat on the edge of the bed and held out a foot. “Help me?”
“Yes.” Gib swallowed heavily as she dropped to her knees. She watched Delaney unclip the garters on her left leg, while Gib removed her left shoe.
“Roll them down,” Delaney ordered softly.
Gib slowly rolled the nylon down Delaney's leg. Unable to stop herself, her lips followed the same path. She felt hands in her hair, urging her on. “ Dee —”
“Hurry,” Delaney begged.
A triumphant grin broke out on Gib's face, as she slowed her pace. “Why, sweetheart? We have all night.” The grip on her hair tightened.
Gib took off the other shoe and make quick work of the stocking. Still on her knees, she looked up into Delaney's face. “You really are the most beautiful woman I've ever seen.”
Delaney's face softened at the honesty in Gib's voice. She traced her hand across the other woman's cheek. “Gib?”
Gib looked down at herself, still only missing a shirt. “Yeah, I guess maybe I am.” She stood, kicked off her shoes and unbuckled her belt. Her eyes never left Delaney's as she lowered her slacks and stepped out of her underwear. “Now look who's overdressed.”
Delaney grinned and scooted back on the bed, her navy, satin thong shining in the light. “Come here and do something about it.” She squealed when Gib leapt toward her on the bed. Her giggles disappeared as Gib's body covered hers.
Gib awoke in a panic, unable to move. She blinked as the sunlight streamed through the cracks in the mini-blinds. Something tickled her nose and she looked down. A ball of red hair was all she could see of Delaney, who was lying completely on top of her. At some point during the evening, Gib had unpinned Delaney's hair, enjoying the feel of the silky strands against her skin. She used her hand to lightly brush the hair away from her face, which caused Delaney to groan. Gib smiled tenderly. “Good morning, beautiful.”
“No. Can't be morning.”
“Sorry, but I think the sun would disagree with you.” Gib's hand trailed lower until it cupped a shapely behind. “Oooh. Look what I found.”
Delaney grumbled and shifted, her knee finding its own interesting place. At Gib's grunt, she giggled. “Look what I found.”
“ Dee ,” Gib warned. Her voice went up an octave when Delaney moved her knee again. “Oh, lord. Dee , you need to behave before things get messy.”
“Whatever do you mean, officer?”
Gib wrapped her arms around Delaney and rolled until she was on top. “I mean,” she kissed the redhead, “that one more move like that,” she kissed her again, turning up the heat, “and I'd pee the bed!” She tickled Delaney and jumped off the bed, racing for the bathroom.
“I'm gonna get you for that, Gibson!” Delaney laughed and stretched. “Oh, god. I'm so sore,” she moaned. Her laughter turned into a wicked giggle. “It's a good sore, though.”
“What's good?” Gib asked, as she came out of the bathroom. She stood by the bed, her nude body peppered by small hickeys and a few scratches.
Delaney put her hands behind her head. “Good? Did I say good?” She slowly stretched her legs out. “Oh, honey. I'd say you were more than good.”
Gib sat on the bed beside her. “I had a rather enjoyable time myself, Ms. Kavanagh.” Her hand traveled across creamy skin, also adorned with a few new blemishes. “Have I told you how beautiful you art this morning, Dee ?”
A flush traveled from Delaney's chest up to her face. Her eyes sparkled with emotion. “You don't have to say a word, Gib. I can see it all in your eyes.” She reached for Gib. “Now come here and give me a proper good morning kiss.”
“Yes, ma'am.” Gib allowed herself to be pulled down.
“Don't call me ma'am,” Delaney ordered, giggling when Gib fell on top of her.
By early afternoon, both stomachs were growling, so Gib volunteered to make breakfast. She padded to the kitchen, not bothering to dress. It didn't take long for her to find the eggs and bread, and was soon cooking enough to feed them. She was so focused on what she was doing that she had no idea she wasn't alone, until a warm body curled up against her back.
Gib looked over her shoulder. “You should have stayed in bed. I was going to bring it to you.”
Delaney kissed between Gib's shoulder blades. “I was lonely,” she pouted.
“Well, we can't have that, can we?” Gib switched the stove off and turned around. “If you'll set the table, I'll bring the food over.”
“Aren't you forgetting something?”
Gib rolled her eyes toward the ceiling as she pretended to think. “Hmm. Eggs, toast, sausage, coffee.” She tapped her chin. “No, I believe I've got everything.”
Delaney pursed her lips and leaned forward. She cleared her throat.
“Oh!” Gib snapped her fingers. “Orange juice.” She squeaked when Delaney pinched her. “All right, all right. You don't have to be such a grump.” When Delaney closed her eyes and leaned forward again, Gib licked the tip of her nose.
“Eeeww, gross!” Delaney wiped her nose and glared at her lover.
Gib laughed and danced around her. “Come on, Dee . Time for brunch.”
“I'll get you back for that, Proctor.”
“Gripe, gripe, gripe.” Gib swatted her on the rear. “Get with it, woman. I don't want our food to get cold.”
The redhead scooted out of her way. “Hey, watch it!”
“I have been,” Gib leered. “And I'm enjoying the heck out of it.”
Delaney gathered plates and silverware, putting a little sway in her hips as she walked toward the table. “Sweet talker.”
Gib joined her and placed the food on the table. “Keep teasing me like that and it'll be a while longer before you get lunch.”
“Oh yeah?” The redhead turned and put her hands on the table behind her, which caused her breasts to come to Gib's attention.
“Um,” Gib's eyes strayed below Delaney's face. “Uh.”
Delaney laughed. “My eyes are a bit higher, officer.”
“Eyes?” Gib slowly raised her gaze. “Oh. Yeah.” She gave her a bashful grin. “Sorry.”
“I'm not.” Delaney kissed her before moving to her chair. “Feed me. Then you can ravish me.”
Gib laughed. “Ravish? I thought I already did that.” She took her place at the table. “Or, maybe that's what was done to me .”
“You haven't seen anything, yet, Officer Proctor. Now eat up. You're going to need all your strength.”
“Don't call me—” Delaney was cut off when Gib put a piece of toast in her mouth.
Still damp from the shower, Gib fell back onto the bed. “You know, this isn't getting a lot accomplished today.”
“Oh, I don't know. I think we've gotten quite a bit done,” Delaney argued, sliding her nude body against her lover's. They had played in the shower until the lack of hot water ran them back to the bed.
Gib yawned, even as her hands continued to rub along the redhead's smooth skin. “If I don't go home sometime soon and work on my laundry, I'll be going commando to work next week.”
“Although the thought has its merits, I understand.” Delaney raised her head to look at the alarm clock. “It's almost six. Why not stay the night and go home tomorrow morning?” She propped her head up on one arm and stared into Gib's face. “Besides, you look too tired to drive.”
“Why would I be tired?” Gib yawned again. “We've barely left the bedroom all day.”
Delaney laughed and pulled the covers over them. “Uh-huh. That's the biggest reason. Are you hungry?”
They had breakfast around noon and lunch sometime after five. The last meal had turned into an impromptu painting session with chocolate syrup and cherry pie filling, which is why they had gone to the shower. Gib scratched at her damp hair. “Not really.”
“Good. Then go to sleep. We can order a pizza later, if we need it.” Delaney kissed Gib's jaw before pillowing her head on her lover's shoulder.
“Sounds great.” Gib put her arm around Delaney. “G'night.”
Delaney smiled as Gib's voice trailed off into sleep. “Sleep well, honey.”
It was after eleven on Sunday morning by the time Gib was dressed. She stepped into the living room and laughed at her lover's posture. Delaney sat in the recliner, with her arms crossed over her chest. “Aww. Why are you pouting?”
“I'm not ready for you to go,” the redhead admitted.
“I know what you mean. Part of me is scared to leave.”
Gib sat on the sofa and sighed. “This weekend has been magical to me. I'm afraid that when I walk out that door, the magic will go, too. And I don't know if I can handle that reality.”
Delaney got out of the recliner and went to her favorite perch – Gib's lap. “Honey, as far as I'm concerned, this is our reality. You'll go home, get your weekend chores finished, and we'll make plans to see each other again this week.”
“Yeah, I guess.”
“Now look who's pouting.” Delaney kissed those pouty lips. “You know, I don't care if you stay until you have to leave for work tomorrow morning.”
Gib returned her kiss with fervor, then touched their foreheads together. “Yeah, but I hate going without underwear.”
“It's actually not bad, once you get used to it.”
“Excuse me?” Gib raised her head and looked her in the eye.
Delaney grinned. “I usually skip it when I'm at home, especially if I'm relaxing in my sweats.”
“I wish you hadn't told me that.”
Gib kissed the tip of her nose. “Because now that'll all I be able to think of, when we talk on the phone at night.”
“Good.” Delaney couldn't hold back a wicked chuckle. “And I'll never think of cooking breakfast again without seeing you in your birthday suit in my kitchen. So I think we're even.” She kissed Gib again and slowly climbed off her lap. “Come on, officer. Duty calls.”
“All right.” Gib wrapped her arms around Delaney and hugged her. “Want to come over to my place for dinner on Tuesday? I figure we're both going to be too tired from the weekend by Monday night.”
Delaney nodded. “Sure. And since I'm not quite ready to say goodbye, let me walk you to your truck.”
Gib stepped away, but hung on to her lover's hand. “That could be dangerous.”
“Why?” Delaney grabbed her keys before following Gib out the door.
“Because, if you're with me, I might throw you into my truck and take you home.”
Delaney tugged her into the elevator and pushed the button for the lobby. “Sweet talker.” Once the doors closed, she pushed Gib against the wall and started kissing her.
They broke apart just as the doors opened. Delaney smacked her lips. “I've always wanted to make out in an elevator.”
“Whoa.” Gib stepped out on unsteady feet. “You are dangerous, woman.”
“Heh.” Delaney waved to the woman working the concierge desk. “Hi, Lauren. How's the boys?”
The heavyset blonde smiled. “They're doing great, Ms. Kavanagh. Mikey's got the lead in his school play.”
“That's wonderful! Please let me know when it is, so I can go.” Delaney never released Gib's hand as she led her through the foyer. “This is my friend, Gibson Proctor. I'm sure you'll be seeing her from time to time.”
“It's nice to meet you, Ms. Proctor,” Lauren replied.
Gib stopped long enough to shake the concierge's hand. “Nice to meet you, too. Please call me Gib.”
“Good luck with that one,” Delaney muttered under her breath. “I've been trying to get her to call me by my first name for over two years, now.”
Lauren blushed and shrugged. “Sorry, Ms. Kavanagh. Company rules, you know.”
“I'll keep working on you,” Delaney promised. “Come on, Gib. Your underwear awaits.”
“Oh, lord.” Gib blushed and waved at Lauren as Delaney dragged her from the building.
The noon sun was obscured by clouds, leaving the day humid and comfortable. Gib unlocked her truck and turned to Delaney. “Guess this is it.”
“Hey, it's all right. You're not going out of state or anything. Just home.”
Gib nodded, but was unable to speak.
“Oh, honey.” Delaney moved into her space and put her arms around Gib's waist. “I'll probably be at the office tomorrow, and more than likely will go to my parent's for dinner. But I should be home by eight, at the latest. Call me?”
“Sure.” Gib shook her head and grumbled under her breath. “Sorry that I'm being such an idiot about this.”
Delaney kissed her on the chin. “I'm not. I'd be a lot more sorry if you had jumped out of bed Saturday morning and took off.”
“I'm not built that way.”
“I know.” Delaney gave her a soft, slow kiss. “And I'm very glad. Now, run on home to your laundry, and I'll call you this evening before bed.”
“Okay.” Gib hugged her close for a long moment, before getting in the truck. “I,” she stopped. “I had a great time, Dee .”
“Me, too.” Delaney stepped onto the sidewalk and watched as Gib started her truck and drove away.
Gib was halfway home when her cell phone rang. She turned on the speaker function and let it rest in her cup holder. “Proctor.”
“Hey, Gibsy! What are you up to?”
“Hi, Maddy. I'm about to get my laundry together. How's your weekend been?”
Maddy groaned. “Don't ask. Suffice it to say, I don't believe small children should be left to their own devices in the men's room.”
“Ugh.” Gib laughed as she imagined the language her friend had probably used. “Fun, was it?”
“It was for the plumber. For me, that's a few hundred dollars I could have spent on something else. Anyway, why don't you bring your laundry over here? We can argue over basketball while it runs. I'll even spring for the pizza.”
Gib frowned. Her friend rarely paid for the food, usually getting out of it by claiming poverty. “What's the catch?”
“I know you, Maddy. What are you plotting?”
Her friend sounded hurt. “You wound me, Gibsy. Maybe I've just missed your smiling face. How about it? It's not like you enjoy the Laundromat.”
“True. All right. Give me half an hour.”
“That long? Hey, wait. Are you in your truck?”
Gib winced. “Uh, yeah. I'm almost home. It shouldn't take me long to get my stuff together.” She waited patiently while Maddy put two and two together.
“Oooh, Gibsy. Were you not home last night?”
“No, I wasn't.”
“Did we have a sleepover?” Maddy teased.
Gib sighed. “I don't know about you, but I didn't get much sleep.”
“Ah-ha! Sounds like we have lots to talk about. Hurry up and get here. I wanna know all the details.”
“Yes, dear. See you in a few.” Gib disconnected the call and rolled her eyes. “Yippee.”
To be continued in part Six
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