Seeing You Again for the First Time

By Colleen

 

Feedback can be sent to coleen30@webtv.net

 

I have also created a group for discussions of this, past and future stories. Maybe some sneak previews as well.

Join us at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/colleens_corner

 

 

Chapter 15

 

The roar of the huge jet engines could be heard even through the thick glass panes of the airport windows. Erin shuddered under the arm draped across her shoulder as she watched the white machine ascend into the clear, sapphire sky.

"What’s wrong?" asked Jamie.

"I didn’t realize…I mean I thought I’d be okay with this."

Jamie led her partner to a nearby seat. "Are you talking about flying?" After the nod, she continued. "You were fine on the flight back from Ireland. I didn’t realize you were afraid to fly."

"I’m not. It’s just…now that I’ve got you back, I guess the thought of what could happen…what did happen to you..."

Jamie gave her a comforting hug. "I wish I could come with you. I’m sorry." She stroked the blonde head tucked beneath her chin. "You can cancel this trip Sweetheart. Nobody can make you do anything you aren’t comfortable with."

Erin pulled back and took a deep breath. "I know." She stared into the blue eyes, so full of affection and compassion. "But if I don’t get on that plane now…" If there is one more thing I don’t need to be concerned with, it’s this.

"You can call from the plane, can’t you?" asked Jamie.

Erin just sat there staring, remembering the calls that Jamie had made on her ill-fated flight. It couldn’t possibly happen again…could it? I don’t really have a bad feeling about this, like I did before, but still…The debate nearly screamed inside her head, harmonizing with the pounding that had started long ago.

"Erin. Erin, are you okay?"

A warm handed landed on her cheek. "What?"

"I don’t think you should go," said Jamie.

"No." Erin forced a smile. "No, I have to go. I’ll be okay. I’ll call you every few hours." She hesitated, but no reaction.

"Okay. I’ll have my cell with me all the time." They heard the boarding call for Erin’s flight over the intercom. Jamie hugged Erin and kissed her temple. "I love you."

"I love you too," whispered Erin, while still clinging to her dark-haired partner.

* * * *

Jamie hit her exit, signifying the halfway point to home; or more precisely, the ranch. Her home had just left for forty-eight hours. Jamie looked down at the clock on the dash. Forty-six hours, fifty minutes and 10 seconds…9 seconds…8… The ringing disrupted her countdown. Jamie picked up the small gray phone and pushed the button. "Hello beautiful. Do you know how much I love you and much I miss you already?" She heard silly giggles on the other end of the line.

"You’d better be damned glad that it was me," said Erin with a few more giggles. "Pull of to the side of the road," she instructed abruptly.

"What?"

"Just do what I say. It’s too dangerous to drive and talk on the phone. Put the phone down and come back when you have stopped."

Jamie quickly found a small clearing and turned off the engine. "Okay. You now have my full attention."

"Good. What are you wearing?" she asked with a sexy, but slightly slurred voice.

Jamie laughed. "Well, you certainly sound in a much better mood."

"Yeah. Must be the two mimosas I had."

"Champagne loosens you up huh? I’ll have to remember that."

"Oh yeah; like on New Year’s Eve. That was a night to remember."

Jamie’s smile disappeared. "Yeah, well."

"What can I bring you back from New York?’

"Just yourself Sweetheart. Quickly." Jamie chuckled. "I wonder what kind of bill we could run up if we talked through the whole flight?" She sat there waiting for the witty retort. "Erin." There was no answer, but she could tell that the line was still open. A chill went down her spine. "Erin! Rin are you still there?"

"I’m still here."

The morose tone of those words filtered into Jamie’s ear. What happened; you were happy just a minute ago? "What’s wrong, what did I say?"

"Nothing. It’s just that we were on the phone when your plane…"

Jamie sighed deeply. "Erin, Honey you’ve got to stop thinking about that. If I could go back and change it, I would…but I can’t. We both have to learn that we can be separated and everything will be fine."

"I know, you’re right. And I will. But it’s hard."

"I love you Rin. Wrap yourself in my love. It will protect you from those bad feelings. Okay?"

"Okay. Or maybe I’ll have some more champagne and sleep all the rest of the way, then I won’t have to think."

"No Erin. That’s not what you need. Promise me you won’t drink anymore. You’re too strong to start giving in to that. Promise me."

"I promise. I love you Jamie. I’ll call again in a while. But just in case I go to sleep and don’t call, don’t worry. I will call you when we land."

"Okay Sweetheart. I love you too."

* * * *

Erin took a taxi to the hotel where the producer of P.M. Chat had made her reservation. She was scheduled to be on the popular talk show when it was on live at four in the afternoon.

She had taken a short nap on the plane, but had awakened in time to call Jamie about a half an hour before landing. The tall woman had answered from horseback while she was exercising Simeron. They chatted briefly, their conversation ending with Jamie wishing Erin good luck.

Erin’s blue mood from earlier in the day had disappeared. She had a couple of hours before she was needed at the studio and she decided to take in lunch and a little bit of shopping. Luckily her hotel was within walking distance of her favorite New York restaurant.

* * * *

Jamie grabbed the bag of popped corn from the microwave, hissing as the heat stung her fingertips. She soothed them against the cool can of soda as she carried both into the living room where she plopped down into the overstuffed recliner and pulled out the footrest. Once settled in and munching on a handful of the buttery kernels, Jamie grabbed the remote and flipped it to the correct channel. She had to watch half a dozen annoying commercials before the opening logo of P.M. Chat emblazoned itself across the television screen. The unseen voice began announcing the guests and Jamie grinned as her favorite name was listed, although last among the three. Then came an announcement she hadn’t expected.

"Today’s guest host is Joel Barber."

Jamie’s dark brow wrinkled. "Who is he?" She shrugged as the thin, red-haired man appeared from behind the curtain and walked to his mark on the stage, reveling in the prompted audience applause. After a short and very unfunny monologue, he slipped behind the small desk and proceeded to interview his first guest, a bleached blonde, teenage Brittany Spears wanna be. Next up was a contestant from one of the recent rash of reality game shows or as Jamie had called them, upon an experimental viewing, stupidity game shows.

Forty-five minutes into the hour, Jamie crumpled up the empty bag and set it on the table beside her. She hopped up from the chair mumbling. "I can’t believe I wasted my popcorn on the R rated Gidget and the over tanned windbag."

Artemis echoed the sentiment with two loud barks.

"Mommy is on next," Jamie said, returning from the bathroom. She sat down just as the theme music started, signifying the return from the commercial break. She reached for the remote and turned up the sound.

The host leveled his smarmy grin directly into the camera as he made the introduction. "Our next guest is the author of the science fiction novel, The Noah Factor; soon to be a major motion picture this fall. Please welcome Erin Casey."

Jamie leaned forward to get an even better view of her favorite person. Erin looked mighty fine in her crisp, linen slacks and the matching jacket over a soft yellow blouse. She was wearing her new glasses with the nearly invisible frame, which made her even more adorable.

After the opening amenities, comments finally turned toward the book. "I’ve read that you infused different parts of your personality into each of the characters in the story," said Barber.

"Yes that’s true, but not to a narcissistic degree," said Erin.

Jamie chuckled. "Look at that expression. He doesn’t even know what she just said."

Erin continued. "In fact I even used some flawed parts of my persona; ones that I am still trying to improve."

The host glanced down at his notes. "You were sightless when you wrote this, so that’s the obvious quality you gave to Simeron, at least for the most of the book. Was it a premonition of your own restored eyesight that made you give the lead character her sight back?"

"No, not a premonition, just a wish."

The red head nodded. "What qualities of yours did you give Jessie, the male lead?"

"Jessie is incurably inquisitive, sometimes annoyingly so. But at the time I wrote this, I think he really represented my love of life."

Jamie reached down to rub the golden head, now in her lap, as she studied the body language of her partner on the television screen. "What do you mean when you wrote that, don’t you love life now?" The pondering of that thought was put aside as the next question was asked.

The carrot topped man, non-chalantly, tipped his head to some unknown entity and flashed a ghost of a wink to Erin, who appeared unaware of the gesture. But Jamie caught the suspicious moves and straightened in her seat, suddenly feeling a chill down her spine.

"Now Ms. Casey, there is just one more character that I would like to discuss."

Jamie really didn’t like the tone of his voice.

"I guess we all know just what personality flaw," he sneered the last word. "…you gave to Corporal Seeger."

Erin shifted in her seat away from the negative attitude he was projecting. But she wasn’t about to back down or hide from his questions. "I am proud of each and every character in this story. And I don’t believe any further comment is required. My writing speaks for itself."

"If this issue is so important to you, at least tell us why you didn’t make the lead character, Simeron…gay?" Before Erin could speak, he shot back, his voice raised. "Let me tell you why. You knew that a big, butch dyke as a lead character wouldn’t sell on the general market and make you big bucks. And I know that I speak for the rest of the world in saying thank you. If there is one thing that we don’t need is another queer waved in our faces."

Jamie was seething as she watched her lover being verbally abused. "Who in the hell does he think he is? Why don’t they just pull the plug for God sakes?" Just then she saw a man run from the audience, jump over the desk and attack the raving host. The flailing bodies fell toward Erin just as the live broadcast cut away to a commercial. "My God, I don’t believe this." She jumped up to grab the phone.

After twenty frustrating minutes of waiting on the line as she was transferred from one operator to another, she finally gave up and slammed the phone down. She would have to wait until Erin called her. Jamie paced as she mulled over the situation. She had seen those other ridiculous, so-called talk shows and they were nothing but laughable and the farthest thing from journalism on the planet. But Erin agreed to go on this particular show because it had such a good reputation for its fair treatment of all guests and subject matter. Until now.

It was over half an hour before the phone rang. "Erin?"

"Yeah Honey, it’s me. I guess you saw huh?"

"Of course I saw. Are you alright?"

There was a slight hesitation. "Yeah, I’m fine."

"Erin I saw you get hit just before they cut the signal. Did you get hurt?"

Erin gave a slight chuckle. "I have a little bruise under my left eye and a coffee stain on my jacket, but other than that I’m fine."

"I just don’t believe that guy. How could the producers let something like that happen?"

"You want to hear the real joke?" asked a tired Erin. "It was all a set up."

"That was obvious."

"But the producers didn’t know a thing about it. They apologized profusely. It seems that Joel Barber wants to build his career on that kind of junk. He wants to be the next Jerry Springer or…whoever. He thought I was going to be in on it too." Erin sighed heavily. "I don’t know…it was all just so stupid."

"I wish I had been there."

"I’m glad you weren’t."

"Why?" asked Jamie. Her feelings were hurt.

"Because you would have jumped into the fight and maybe have gotten hurt."

"Oh. Well I wouldn’t have let it get that far. I would have stopped that jerk long before that. Are you still going to appear on that other show tomorrow?"

"There was a message waiting for me when I got back to the hotel. The producer said I could cancel, but I don’t want to hide. I didn’t do anything wrong and nothing was my fault. I think it’ll be okay."

"Well you know I can’t watch it live, but I’ll tape it and watch it later." There was no immediate answer. "You must be exhausted?"

"Yeah you could say that. I wish you were here."

"Me too. Why don’t you order room service, take a nice long bath and when you are ready for bed call me?"

"What a wonderful idea. You are so smart and I am so glad that I love you."

"So am I Sweetheart, so am I. And I love you. Talk to you later."

* * * *

Jamie scraped the last few bits of food into the garbage disposal and placed the dirty dishes into the dishwasher. Of the two prepared dishes Erin had left for Jamie’s dinner, she had chosen the spicy Italian one and it was delicious. After the drone of the cleaning machine started, the tall woman shuffled into the darkened living room and made sure the front door was locked. Walking back into the lit hallway, Jamie glanced at her watch. It had been three hours since she last talked to Erin and she was getting jittery, waiting for her to call back. Jamie was growing increasingly concerned about Erin’s emotional state, but every time she even mentioned getting help, Erin glossed over the subject and tried to divert attention, usually with some intimate activity.

The dark haired woman prowled around the big house looking for something to keep busy. She performed half a dozen little chores that could have waited for another day or two. But once every shelf had been dusted and every wastebasket had been emptied, she ran out of busy work. Boredom was tapping her on the shoulder and Jamie was answering the lonely call. She grabbed a book from the crowded shelves in the corner nook of their bedroom, flipped on the reading light and settled into the soft chair. Jamie only scanned the first few pages of the novel before she was distracted by the silence in the room; a silence that pounded in her ears and draped over her like a heavy, wet and musky woolen cloak. What is with me? I never had a problem being alone back at the hospital. I preferred it. She thought about that for a few seconds. Then a smile drew across her sullen face. But that was before Erin. She chuckled and shook her head. But she’s only been gone a day. Am I that pathetic? It only took two seconds for her to answer that question. No. I am in love. It’s not loneliness that’s bothering me. I’m just temporarily incomplete when she’s not here, when I can’t look into those incredible green eyes and see… "my world." It wasn’t a startling new revelation for Jamie, subconsciously she felt this every minute of every day, but it was always warm comforting to stop and say the words aloud…even if know one else was listening.

Jamie picked up the phone just after the first ring. "Hello."

"Hi Hon. I’m all snuggled into bed, waiting for my bedtime story. Just make sure it has a happy ending."

"All right. Once upon a time on a far away, isle of green, a lost soul was rescued by a beautiful, golden-haired angel..."

* * * *

Erin dragged out of bed the next morning, after a restless night’s sleep. Her first thought was of Jamie. I guess that’s why I didn’t sleep well. It was too lonely. The one thing that she absolutely missed the most was her good morning kiss. That kiss was her sunrise. It was her first breath of a new day. It was a necessity. Erin couldn’t even talk to her lover because of the time difference. It was still dark in California and she didn’t want to interrupt Jamie’s sleep.

Erin walked into the bathroom, looked in the mirror and almost scared herself. Her short hair stuck out in every direction. There were dark circles under both eyes and below that, on the left side, the bruise had spread slightly and was darker than the night before. "Wow. I’m glad Jamie isn’t here to see this. Although that’s the only reason I’m glad she’s not here." As for the bruise, it didn’t concern her to go on national television looking this way. She had faith in the professionals to hide the area with make-up.

Erin was hoping that a shower would rejuvenate her, but fifteen minutes later, she didn’t feel any better. Coffee. That’s what I need.

Another forty-five minutes and almost a whole pot of coffee later and she was finally starting to feel human. But still sad. Erin slipped into her casual clothes and placed her good suit into a garment bag and placed it near the door. Just as she did there was a knock. Assuming it was the driver come to take her to the studio, Erin opened the door. She was immediately greeted with a huge bouquet of flowers of every color of the spectrum. After several seconds she finally looked up to see the barer of the colorful delivery.

"Flowers for you Ms. Casey."

Erin set the flowers on the nearby table and retrieved some money from her purse. Once she was alone, Erin reached for the enclosed card while taking a whiff of one of the largest blooms. She scanned the few, but wonderful words and a smile graced her face for the first time that morning.

The card read: I am proud of you. And I love you so much. J

* * * *

 

When Jamie went to check on the horses the next morning, she noticed that one of the boarded horses was limping. But there was no visible cause. She called the owner and got permission for the new vet to come by and have a look.

Her night had been no better than Erin’s. By morning she had twisted herself into a cocoon of green satin and nearly sprained a leg trying to extricate herself. Jamie almost cried when she realized she had yet another night of similar fun to look forward to.

* * * *

Dr. Benson stopped by just before noon and took care of the minor injury in quick order. Afterward Jamie invited him to stay for lunch, as long as he didn’t mind sandwiches. He agreed with a hearty smile. "Will Erin be joining us?" he asked as they trekked back to the house.

"No, she’s out of town until tomorrow."

"What a shame. I was hoping to get a chance to speak with her again."

 

 

Jamie set the plate in front of her guest. Chad’s eyes bulged at the double decker ham and turkey sandwich. With his fingers, he carefully inspected the layers of lettuce, tomato, pickles, meat and cheese topped with globs of mayo.

"What?" said Jamie around a bite of her identical sandwich. "You don’t like it like that?"

"No. That’s exactly how I like it," he said with a curious grin. "It’s just…I’ve never seen anybody outside of a deli make them like this."

Jamie popped the top on her cold soda. "Well I can’t stand a wimpy sandwich. And since that’s about the only thing I can make without poisoning myself or anyone else, I have tried to raise it to an art form."

After Chad swallowed his first bite he said, "Well this is a masterpiece. Although cooking is my hobby and I like to experiment, sometimes you just can’t beat a good, simple sandwich."

Jamie grabbed a couple of napkins and a bag of potato chips from the cabinet and returned to the table. "You’re good looking and you cook too and you’re still single?"

Chad laughed at the unintended, reverse bit of stereotyping and blushed slightly. He knew Jamie wasn’t flirting, but the compliment still felt good. "Yeah well, I might be single for some time to come. There aren’t that many available ladies around here it seems. And the ones that are, are still too young." He shrugged a shoulder and his eyes took on a lonely quality. "I was engaged a few years ago. We were very happy and we had a wonderful time together. We were compatible in all areas, but there was just something missing. And the more we talked about a wedding and…forever, the more uncomfortable we both became. We mutually decided to end things then and save the pain that would have come later. Just before I left Texas, I heard through a friend that Emily was getting married. I really hope it works out for her this time. I also decided that’s how I’ll know when it’s the right one; the thought of forever will feel like bliss and not a jail term."

Jamie sipped her cola as she thought about her blonde partner. Her expression remained neutral. She knew immediately what it felt like at the thought of spending forever with Erin.

"You know," said Chad. "When I first saw Erin she kind of reminded me of Emily."

 

* * * *

Jamie warmed her chicken dinner in the microwave, went into the living room and started the VCR. She was only able to talk to Erin briefly around two o’clock. The author was going out to dinner with some people connected with the movie, including two of the movie’s stars. Jamie had heard about the talk show she was about to watch, but she had never seen it before. The opening animation was cute and when the thirty-something female host appeared from behind the curtain, Jamie thought, well she looks pleasant enough. This should be much better than yesterday’s fiasco. The brunette spoke briefly to an audience member then told a few humorous stories about her personal life before introducing Erin. And she knows the order of importance for her guests.

Jamie smiled again as her partner appeared on the screen. She looked good; beautiful as always, but Jamie suddenly realized that there was something missing. It wasn’t something Jamie remembered, but she was just suddenly aware that the unique luminescence that made Erin shine was gone. Jamie prayed that that spark was only temporarily misplaced and that together they could find a way to bring it back.

The interview meandered from comments on the movie to talk of Erin’s trip to Ireland. During a commercial, Jamie fondly remembered the fun they had there. She suddenly had an idea; something she hoped would help perk up Erin’s spirits. Jamie made herself a mental note to check the Internet once the program was over.

The show continued with the introduction of the main star. Lisa Morgan was a new comer to the movie world. Noah Factor marked only her second job and her first starring role. The twenty-one year old actress was tall with long, straight black hair and blue eyes. The attractive young woman had an athlete’s build and was perfect for the role. Jamie had another revelation, a rather embarrassing one at that. She looks like me. Well if I was ten years younger and still had long hair, but…When she had read the book during her recovery, Jamie had never made the connection to her own appearance, but with a blush to her cheeks it became apparent. She planned on asking her lover just why that was.

Several scenes of the movie were shown and Jamie found herself anticipating its release later in the year.

Jamie flipped off the VCR and then the television as the end credits began to roll. She hopped up the stairs and soon her computer sprang to life and was quickly connected to the Internet. Her favorite search engine brought up a mere three hundred and eleven suggestions for the selected topic. "Okay," she muttered to the screen. "Might as well start at the top." The first three sites were interesting, but did not have anything that caught her attention; not that Jamie knew exactly what she was looking for. She only knew that she wanted to find a special present for Erin’s upcoming birthday.

The push of another key brought her back to the search page where her blue eyes scanned down to the next name on the list. Once there she laughed out loud. "You have got to be kidding. How could a search for Irish gifts bring up an obviously X-rated web site?" Still not believing her eyes she read the title again. "Sexy Irish Lasses with Sexy Irish Asses." She shook her head at the absurdity of it all. "Sorry, but I have no use for you. I have my own…" Ring. Her cell phone interrupted the thought. "Hello."

"Hi Honey."

"Speaking of sexy Irish lasses." Jamie finished the rest of the title in her mind, because it certainly was true.

"And who was speaking of such things to you?" Erin asked, feigning jealously.

Jamie laughed. "No one my sweet. I was just thinking of you right before you called."

"Okay, I’ll buy that."

As she continued the conversation, Jamie checked out the next relevant site on the list. "Well, you sound in a much better mood than last night at this time."

"Yeah, I had a good day. I had some great food, met some really nice people and I got a kiss from the cutest guy."

"Oh, tell me more, especially about this guy and this kiss."

"Well he’s the silent type, but not shy. He made me laugh and he has big brown eyes."

"I thought you were partial to blue eyes?" asked Jamie as she glanced across the page of Irish clothing.

"Well of course I am, but this is a special case. When he put his arms around me I melted. Oh and did I forget to mention that he is two years old."

Jamie laughed again. "Well, boyfriends like that I can handle."

"I thought you could make that exception. So what did you do today?"

"Just the usual. I had lunch with Chad."

"Oh yeah?"

"Yeah. He had to come and look at the Brackman horse and then I asked him to stay." Jamie hit the button for the next link. "But most of all…"

There was a long pause.

"Jamie. Jamie are you still there?"

The dark-haired woman’s thoughts were currently spinning around the items of yellow, white and pink staring back at her from the computer screen. "Huh? Yeah, yeah I’m here. Sorry."

"Is something wrong?"

Jamie finally pulled here attention back to the phone. "No nothing’s wrong." She scrambled for an innocent fib. "I thought I heard somebody at the front door, but I guess not. So, I’ll be there to pick you up in the morning. And remember if you need to, call me from the plane."

"I will. Don’t stay on the computer all night."

Jamie grinned. "How did you know that’s what I was doing?"

"Just a hunch. See you in the morning. Love you."

"Love you too Rin. Bye."

Jamie set the phone back on the desk and swiveled her chair back around. The Anne Geddes screen savers flashed across the screen. The baby bumble bee, the baby ladybug, the baby on a cloud; they all appeared and faded away as she sat there contemplating what was behind the cute images. It wasn’t really what she set out to find, but it had definitely caught her attention and would certainly make a statement. A slow smile slid across her face as she pictured it on her green eyed partner and the joy on that angelic face. "Yeah. Yeah that’s what I want."

For the next hour, Jamie debated over the dozens of styles and colors. It had to be the right one. It had to be perfect. Once she had made her final decision, she chose the size, filled out the form and sent it off with the push of a button. "That was easy," she said. But the clenching in her stomach and the sweat on her temple spoke differently. Her brow furrowed. "I don’t know…maybe…maybe I should have gotten the more elegant one…or the other color…" Jamie took a deep breath, placed both palms against the oak desk and pushed herself to her feet. "No. I made the right choice. No more debate." Jamie gave a determined nod. "She’ll love it." The tall woman flipped the light switch on the way out of the room. Suddenly she stopped in the darkened doorway. "Or maybe not."

 

* * * *

Jamie tapped her booted foot against the highly polished marbled floor as she checked her watch for the third time in half an hour. She watched through the big window as plane after plane touched down and the hundreds of passengers filed through the terminal. But she had yet to see the only passenger she was interested in. Erin’s plane had been delayed to due a storm in the east and Jamie had been bugging the woman behind the counter for over an hour. The gray-haired woman visibly cringed the last time the grim-faced, six-foot woman marched up to her station.

"We certainly have bad luck with planes," Jamie commented to herself as she headed off to a Starbucks. Her journey was halted when the voice over the P.A. announced the arrival of the flight from New York. She turned on her heels and headed back to her former spot. "Finally."

Ten minutes later, she saw the top of a blonde head that looked very familiar. As the crowd thinned and a burly young man in a UCLA t-shirt stepped around a corner, Jamie saw her weary looking lover. But that frown suddenly flipped when the green eyes caught sight of the jean clad vision heading her way.

Jamie wrapped one arm around the blonde’s neck while liberating Erin of her carry on bag with the other. "I missed you Sweetheart," she whispered in an ear before placing a gentle kiss to her temple.

A hearty bear hug followed. "I missed you too. I can’t wait to get back home."

They made a tiny detour for lunch about an hour outside of L.A., but soon they were driving under the Sheridan’s Stables sign.

The four legged blonde rose from her sleeping spot on the front porch as the big truck came to a stop. Artemis greeted her human with a dozen doggie kisses as Jamie carried in the bags.

Once inside, Erin kicked off her shoes and scampered into the kitchen for a glass of milk. Jamie snuck up behind her just as she lifted the glass to her lips, where the cold, white liquid sloshed over the rim. Jamie gently spun the shorter woman and slowly cleaned up her mess before easing lower and engaging in a mind-blowing kiss.

Erin pulled away, wide-eyed. "Wow, am I really glad to be home. That’s something you really can’t do over the phone."

"It wasn’t a totally bad trip though, was it?"

Erin shrugged and smiled. "No. I had one good day and one bad day. But please tell me I don’t have to go away again."

"Rin, you never have to go anywhere that you don’t want to," said Jamie as she wrapped her partner in loving arms.

Erin landed another smoldering kiss through which she said, "Good. I’ll just hibernate here. And maybe we can do something about jogging those memories of yours."

Jamie eased out of the embrace and gave a half-hearted smile. "Yeah. Look, why don’t you get unpacked and maybe take a nice long, hot bath. I’ve got a few things to do in the barn. I’ll be back in time to help you with dinner."

Erin was left in a daze at the sudden change in moods as Jamie fled through the back door.

 

Dinner that night was a quiet affair, neither having much of a need to converse. A few hours of television brought them some welcomed laughs and took them to an early bedtime. Snuggled together, they shared a few slow, sweet kisses. No further expression of love was needed on the solemn September night. It was there; it was always there, surrounding them, binding them together. But it wasn’t always enough to protect them from the cruel hand fate had dealt them.

 

More to come soon.


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