Two Part Harmony

By Colleen

This is an alternate uber story. The physical descriptions of the two lead characters may remind you of two others we all know and love, but all characters in the story are from my own imagination. This story is an original work and is copyrighted by the author. It cannot be sold or used for profit in any way. Copyright 2007-2008.


This story depicts a loving relationship between two consenting, adult women and contains scenes of intimacy, but nothing too explicit. If you are under 18 years of age or if this type of story is illegal in the state or country in which you live, please do not read it. If depictions of this nature disturb you, you may wish to read something else.

There are a few bad words and some violence.

Feedback will be welcomed at coleen30@webtv.net

I have also created a group for discussions of this, past and future stories. Join us at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/colleens_corner

 

Chapter 12

Valentine’s Day started with breakfast in bed. Although they nearly argued over which one was going to cook. But their heated words soon broke into laughter and declarations of love, ending in a delightful compromise, the first of many in their relationship, they vowed. Each woman cooked the other’s favorite morning foods and they climbed back into bed and fed each other. And they promised that was the way they would handle everything in their life…together.

After breakfast, they made love until late morning. One shower later they headed to the airport for a flight to Colorado, where they were going to have a wonderful, romantic dinner at Sky’s favorite restaurant.

* * *

They touched down in the shadow of the mountains, but they had a couple of hours before the reservation, so with a suggestion from her lover, Sky drove them to an outdoor skating rink for some chilly fun.

With a deep blue, knit cap covering her head and dark glasses to keep out the bright sun, Sky didn’t expect anyone to recognize her as she glided across the frozen lake. And for almost forty minutes she was right. But as she and Kyra were heading over to grab a bench for a little rest, Sky heard a timid voice behind her.

“Miss Ramsey?”

Sky turned and looked down to see an adorable little blonde headed girl staring back at her with a combination of awe and shyness. The small girl held out a pen and a piece of paper. “My daddy said not to bother you too long, but could I have your autograph?”

Sky smiled and took a seat on the bench. She took the items and asked, “What’s your name sweetie?”

The girl grinned. “Samantha.”

“You are a very pretty girl Samantha,” Sky said as she jotted down a message and her name. “Have you had fun skating today?” she asked.

“Yes. My daddy brought me here for Valentine’s Day.”

“That’s great.” Sky handed back the pen and paper. “Here you go. Have a good day with your dad.” The youngster zipped back across the ice and excitedly showed her father her prize.

Kyra bent over and unlaced her skates, replacing them with her snow boots. As she pulled on the second one, she noticed that her partner had not moved to remove her skates. She looked to find Sky still watching the father and daughter. Kyra looked that way and saw the man hug his child and then tickle her into a fit of giggles. She turned her head and studied Sky’s pensive profile. “Is it hard,” she asked, “watching something like that?”

Sky sucked in a bit of frosty air. “No. I guess I just miss having good memories.”

“I’m very lucky,” Kyra said wistfully, “I have happy memories of two good fathers.”

Sky looked at her and smiled. “And I’m so glad that you do.”

* * *

Vineyard Valley was an authentic Italian restaurant full of Tuscan charm and warm ambiance. The couple was seated in a booth in a back corner shrouded by a screen of artwork, providing them plenty of privacy to talk and maybe even hold hands. All through the rich and scrumptious meal and over goblets of a fine vintage wine, the set of blue eyes and the set of green eyes rarely drifted apart.

“You look so incredibly beautiful tonight,” Kyra said. “I love you in that color.” Skylar was wearing a silk blouse in a deep plum color. That along with a pair of gray, wool slacks made for a vivid ensemble for the wintry month.

“And you are so sexy in that sweater, I am having a very hard time keeping my hands to myself,” Sky said, adding a sly wink.

When there was a lull in the conversation, Kyra’s thoughts drifted off into a very definite direction... a serious one that painted her face with emotional shades of blue.

Skylar allowed her partner a few quiet moments, but finally asked, “Is something bothering you honey? You suddenly got very somber.”

“Hmm. Oh, no nothing’s wrong. I saw that family over there and…I was just wondering something, but I wasn’t sure how to ask you.”

“You can ask me anything.”

“Do you…have you ever thought about…having children, being a parent?”

Sky was momentarily surprised by the question; it certainly wasn’t something she expected to hear. A brief grin graced her lips before she answered. “Well, to be honest I had never given it much thought before…probably because I’m so young and never had a partner. But lately…yeah I’ve had a few stirrings.” Kyra smiled at the declaration, obviously of the same mind on the topic. “Since we are on the subject, I need to tell you that it’s very important to me that…if one of us was to give birth to a child, I would want to know the father and make sure he had a very important role in the child’s life.”

“I absolutely agree,” Kyra said. “And if we decided to adopt, I’d still want to find a way to have a father figure for the child. That’s very important to me too. But I guess we won’t have to worry about that anytime soon. I don’t think we could hide a pregnancy or a child very well.” Her voice was tinged with resolved sadness even though her expression was light.

Sky reached over and took hold of her lover’s hand. “I promise you he won’t control our lives forever. We will make all of our dreams come true.”

Kyra squeezed her hand. “I know we will.”

As the chocolate dessert arrived, Kyra reached into her purse on the bench beside her and palmed a small box wrapped in red paper tied with a golden ribbon. After the waiter left she slid the package across the table. “Happy Valentine’s Day.”

Sky smiled. It had taken Kyra a little while, but she soon realized that this was a new smile. And it was exclusively for her. It was endearingly relaxed and just the tiniest bit crooked. And full of more joy and love than Kyra had ever seen in another human being. It was sexy as hell. And being on the receiving end of that grin was like being in the spotlight, bringing her all the fame she would ever need.

Skylar peeled away the bright paper and pulled the top off the box. Nestled on a pillow of black velvet was a single heart shaped, ruby stud earring. The indigo eyes snapped to her lover’s beaming face. “It’s beautiful,” she whispered heavily.

Kyra placed her palm over her chest. “I only have one heart to give and you own it…now and forever.”

Skylar removed the first earring on her left ear and replaced it with the new red one. “I’ll cherish it always.”

* * *

They spent the next morning at Silver Lake, visiting with their relatives. Jillian was so excited to show her sister the clay sculpture she had been working on. Art was one of the new activities that her pal had initiated and Jillian finally had something constructive to fill her days, besides just music. Although music was also a part of her program. Only it was used in a way for her to benefit positively from. She had also formed a bond with Sky’s mother, visiting her a few times a day, telling her stories and getting her hair brushed. The awkward, but gentle grooming still seemed to be the only activity that Gina Anderson would perform. But Sky was still encouraged that it was the first step to getting her mother back. She sat with her mom for a long time, telling her all about Kyra and their relationship.

It was a good day.

* * *

It was a boring day.

Skylar rambled around her big house all morning, the day after returning from Colorado. Being there alone was becoming increasingly depressing. She longed to see Kyra’s clothes hanging in the large master bedroom closet right next to hers. She wanted a second toothbrush in the bathroom cabinet and another pair of slippers beside her bed. She wanted Kyra to share everything with her. But no matter how much Skylar wanted it, she knew it was impossible. For now.

The tall singer grabbed a sandwich and a Coke, and went into her office. She picked up the phone and dialed her lover’s apartment. The call went unanswered after a dozen rings. Maybe she’s running errands. Sky chewed on her turkey sandwich as she flipped on her laptop. She had promised Kyra that she would make their dreams come true. And that was going to take a lot of work. Sky reached up and rubbed the ruby that was perched on her earlobe. Starting right away would make that happen one day sooner. Skylar let the cold drink slide down her throat as she tapped a few keys. She already had a private investigator checking into Bo’s life, hoping she could find something to counter his blackmail. But if that didn’t pan out, Sky wanted a backup plan.

About an hour later, someone was at the front door buzzing to be granted entry to the Ramsey estate. Sky smiled, anticipating her beautiful partner as she activated the camera controls. “Damn!” Sky shouted, “What does he want?” She practically stomped across the house to answer the door. “Make it fast Bobo, I’m busy.”

He followed her inside, dropping into the closest chair. “Aw Ramsey, when are you gonna start being nice to me? Didn’t you get my Valentine’s flowers?”

Skylar chuckled dryly. “Let me guess, a dozen black roses.”

“You wound me Ramsey.”

“Don’t tempt me,” Sky mumbled, picking up the ringing phone. “Hello.” The first thing she heard was a panicked sobbing.

“I didn’t…do it Sky. I swear…I would never hurt you.”

“Kyra, what’s wrong? Where are you? Are you hurt?”

“I’ve…I’ve been…a…arrested,” she explained with a terrified stutter.

“What? Why?” No immediate answer came, but Sky heard that her lover was on the verge of hyperventilating. “Listen Kyra, try and calm down. Take some slow deep breaths. That’s it. Whatever it is, we know it’s a mistake. Can you tell me now?”

Kyra took a final calming breath and explained. “They accused me of being your stalker.”

“That’s ridiculous!” Sky’s thoughts suddenly took off in a dozen different directions. “I’m gonna call a lawyer for you and I’ll be there soon. Are you okay?”

“Not until I see you, I won’t be.” Kyra kept her voice hushed from the prying ears of the police officer standing behind her.

“I’ll be there soon. You know.” I love you, Sky finished silently.

That was the only thing that gave Kyra any amount of courage to face the situation. “Yeah, I know.”

Sky ran to her office to find her attorney’s phone number, ignoring her uninvited guest. After she made the arrangements she looked up to see him standing in the doorway. “Did you know about this?”

“About what?” he asked innocently.

Sky gritted her teeth. “Kyra being arrested,” she said with restraint. “The police are saying she’s the one who’s been threatening me.”

He shrugged. “Makes sense to me. But yes, a detective has asked me some questions in recent weeks. I answered honestly.”

Sky pushed past him and ran through the house. “You are just as crazy as the police are,” she said as he followed. “Kyra wouldn’t threaten or hurt me.” Sky moved toward her car and Bo jumped in her way.

“Where are you going?” he asked urgently.

Sky was on the move again. “To help my friend,” she answered as the car door slammed.

Bo was suddenly hanging onto the window frame. “You can’t do that! She’s already tried to hurt you. How will that look in the press?”

Skylar gave him a deadly glare. “You know I don’t give a damn about that. Now let go of my car before I drag you out onto the street.”

He pulled back and she sped away with a screech of tires.

* * *

Skylar finally dragged herself away from the police station as dark was falling. She had only been allowed to see Kyra for a short time, and spent the rest of the hours talking to the lawyer she had hired to defend her lover. Sky was devastated at how frightened Kyra looked when she walked into that tiny, drab room. With a guard’s watchful eyes glued to them, she wasn’t allowed to offer the blonde any physical comfort. They did use their secret I love you signal several times during their talk and that gave both of them hope to endure the stressful circumstances.

The evidence against Kyra was rather small, but pretty obvious and the detective expected to find more. The police had arrived at Kyra’s apartment with a search warrant and found a box hidden in the back of her closet. Inside the box were several things that appeared to be used by the person who had been stalking Skylar. Tests were still being conducted on the items, but it was enough to have had Kyra arrested.

Skylar trekked to her kitchen for a much need shot of caffeine, in the form of cocoa. With mug in hand, she passed by the patio doors and did a double take. She didn’t want another confrontation, but at this point it was inevitable. “What are you doing back here?” she asked as she left the paned door open behind her.

It was a chilly night, but Bo had made himself a fire in the built in pit in the stone patio. He was slow in answering as he continued to warm his hands near the flames. “I’ve got a better question; why are you defending her?”

“Because she’s innocent. Now go home. I need to be alone.”

“Poor thing.” He got to his feet, but didn’t move away from the fire. “How often do you get what you want Cash?”

Sky took a drink of her hot chocolate, letting it slide slowly down her throat, hitting her empty stomach like a liquid stone. “Go home to your nice, soft, warm bed while my…friend spends the night in a cold jail cell.” She set her empty cup on a table and turned away from him, wanting nothing more then some medicine for her sudden headache and solitude.

But Bo was persistent. “I’ve seen the list of evidence they found in her apartment.”

“Then someone put it there,” she suggested. “Maybe you.” She was trying to make him mad enough to leave, but he rambled on.

“Me? I didn’t even know she had a damn apartment. I’ve only got a cell phone number for her. Listen to me; she had one of the missing scarves, half a bag of the same candy you received, drawings, perfume and…I can’t even remember it all, but it was all there.”

“Okay, Kyra wouldn’t use perfume,” Sky pointed out, “she’s allergic.”

“Well…maybe…maybe she used a mask,” Bo deduced. “She used gloves.”

The dark head shook back and forth, vigorously. “Why?” Sky asked simply.

“Why what?”

“Why would she be doing this to me? What is her motive?”

“Her motive? She’s crazy! She belongs in that swanky nuthouse right next to your mom and her sister.” In a flash of color and muscle, bone hit bone and Bo found his butt on the concrete. Rubbing his sore jaw, he nearly laughed. No one had ever landed a sucker punch on him before. Some part of him even respected her for it…for about two seconds. The door closed on him and the curtain was angrily drawn.

* * *

Early the next morning, Skylar stepped onto the front porch of her house, anxiously waiting for her lover to arrive. The lawyer had called with the news that bail had been paid and Kyra was being released. Skylar told him to bring Kyra to her as soon as possible.

It had been a long and restless night. Sleep had not come easily and when it did, her mind conjured up horrible images of the small blonde surrounded by dozens of incarcerated criminals taunting and poking at her trembling body. Or worse, visions of Kyra crouched in a corner of a small, cold cell sobbing and crying out for her lover’s help. Skylar was determined to keep those nightmares from becoming a reality. She had so many other, beautiful dreams to fulfill.

Kyra punched in the code, releasing the security gate. The tired blonde slipped inside, and as the barrier closed behind her she caught sight of her love. With a sudden, renewed burst of strength, Kyra broke into a jog up the slightly inclined drive. Sky moved a few steps closer, knowing her arms would soon be embracing the woman she loved more than life itself. Their eyes held as the distance between them shrank away. Just a few yards to go when a loud noise rang out, echoing off the surrounding hillside. Sky had instinctively ducked from any danger, but when the quiet returned, she turned back to the drive. Her face immediately paled with shock. “Kyra!” she yelled in terror. The little singer was on the ground, not moving. Sky ran to her side, her fear ratcheting with every step. Kyra’s green eyes were frozen open with pain and horror, but shifted when her lover’s face came into hazy view. No other part of her body moved. The upper right side of Kyra’s blouse was already soaked in blood. Sky stripped off her sweatshirt, leaving her in a short sleeved t-shirt, but the chilled wind didn’t faze her as she dropped to her knees, pushing the heavy garment against Kyra’s wound. With her free hand, she fumbled in her front jeans pocket for her cell, all the while talking to her fallen lover, promising that she was going to be okay. With the 911 call completed, Sky returned all of her attentions to her wounded mate. “The paramedics are coming,” she said, her own chest feeling heavy and every breath coming in a painful wave. “You’ll be at the hospital in just a few minutes and they’ll fix you right up.” Sky knew it was bad; she could feel the blood on her hands. But she wouldn’t bow to the terror that was racing her heart, or let it show on her face. At the moment, words were the only thing she could offer Kyra, and if those words or just the sound of her voice was offering a lifeline, she wasn’t about to let go.

Doubt hazed the fading eyes. Kyra’s lips moved, but only a ragged breath escaped. She feared this might be the last time she would see the beautiful face that had made her feel so alive and complete. At least she had known what true love was and if ever asked to describe it, was sure she would never have been able to come up with powerful enough words. But she was determined to utter, one last time, the only words that really mattered. Trying again, she finally mouthed, “I love you.”

Sky smiled, holding off the tears. “I know baby. I love you too. And I will for the rest of my life.” She caressed Kyra’s face. “And you are going to be right by my side to hear it until we’re old and gray.”

The corner of Kyra’s mouth lifted the tiniest bit at the wonderful possibility. Forever. Goodbye Skylar. The green eyes fluttered as Kyra continued the fight. But with one last glimpse, the lids closed and didn’t open again.

“Kyra! Kyra, stay with me!” Sky pleaded. Even in her panic, all of her senses were alert. What she saw was terrifying. Her future was leaching out right in front of her eyes. The image was at once moving in slow motion and high speed, and indelibly etching itself upon the folds of her brain, sure to bring more hellish visions in her sleep. Kyra’s blood was quickly coating her fingers as it soaked through to her hands. Sky pressed harder, knowing she was causing more pain, but the desperation allowed it…just this once. Skylar sucked in a breath and smelled…earth…wet earth. It had rained the night before. With another sniff, Skylar could tell it was on the wind again. She licked her lips and tasted it, the sweetness of last kiss she had shared with her beautiful Kyra. But she willed it not to be the final kiss. One breath. Another quick breath. Sky heard the hard, raspy gasps…and something else. Boots scraped across the cement behind her. She looked up, but not back just yet. A shiver went down her spine. She just knew whoever was back there had shot her lover…and was most likely her stalker. She took a deep breath, determined to meet her fate face to face. A turn of her head.

“Oh god Bo.” Sky blew out a momentarily relieved breath. “I don’t know what you’re doing here, but go down and open the gate; the ambulance should be…” Something drew her eyes from his unusually placid face, down his black clad torso where they stopped. A gun was clutched in his right hand. Stormy blue eyes popped back to his face. “You shot her? You bastard!” She wanted to jump up and strangle him, but didn’t dare release the pressure holding in the blood.

“I had to,” he confessed, “She was coming to attack you! What the hell are you doing trying to help her? Let her die.”

“I told you she is innocent.” Sky looked back to her lover’s face. “I’ll see that you pay for this Bo. And if she di…dies, I’ll kill you myself. Spending the rest of my life in jail would be better than spending it…” Alone.

“Oh, I won’t be going to jail Cash. I have a license to carry this gun. And I was protecting you from a deranged stalker.”

Sky heard the sirens coming down the street. “Just shut up and get the damn gate.” She wouldn’t bother bantering with him anymore. All that she cared about now was Kyra. Bowers pocketed the weapon and jogged down the drive to the waiting ambulance.
Sky’s arm was starting to cramp, but she was afraid to switch until the paramedics arrived. With her other hand she took hold of her lover’s limp hand. When she touched the piece of metal wrapped around the little finger, the tears that had been frozen in fear broke free and poured from her eyes in painful torrents. She slipped the jewelry from the digit and into her pocket, having every intention to replace it later. Sky had presented the symbol of her love only three days earlier.

After returning from the romantic Valentine’s dinner, Sky started a fire in the fireplace at her Colorado cabin. Kyra had stepped into the bedroom to change and when the tall singer turned around and caught sight of her lover standing in the doorway, she nearly swallowed her tongue. The little blonde was wearing a very sheer, very short negligee in a sizzling shade of burgundy. On her face she was wearing a very stimulating expression. Her beautiful, but usually cool, calm eyes were aflame with desire. And the smile on her face was sweet and sexy, and dripping with promises. They had begun their romantic relationship in that room and they were about to relive the moment. Kyra walked across the room and into Sky’s arms. Their lips met in a string of slow, but intense kisses.

“Oh god,” Kyra moaned. “I want you so much. I want you all the time. And I want to be sure that you know that.”

“I do baby, I do. And I want you just as much.” Sky took her by the hand and led them to the couch. After they settled in, Sky gave her another gentle kiss. “I do want to be with you sweetheart…but it’s not just about sex. Although that is incredible.” They both grinned.

“I agree.”

“I love sitting quietly with you, playing with you, seeing you smile and hearing your thoughts and dreams. I love how you pour your soul into the lyrics you write. I adore your gentle spirit. I love everything about you.” Sky reached behind the sofa cushion and pulled out a dark velvet box, but she kept it hidden as she finished her thoughts. “I want to make a life with you Kyra. I know we have to live under unusual circumstances right now, but I promise that it won’t be that way forever. Once we are free, I want to marry you.” Kyra started to cry, enormously happy tears. “Legalities don’t matter,” Sky continued, “ it’s up to our hearts.” Skylar opened the box to reveal a tiny ring. The circle was a woven design of two single strands, one rose gold and the other white, which came together, creating a whole entity. “Will you wear this as my promise of the time when we can make a public commitment?”

Kyra’s elation spread across her face as she answered, “Yes, I will.”

Skylar felt a warm trail down her cheek as she joined her partner, shedding tears of joy. She slowly slipped the promise onto Kyra’s left pinky finger. The style and placement would make it appear to be an ordinary piece of jewelry. “I’m sorry that it’s not a proper…”

“Please stop apologizing,” Kyra said. “I love you. This ring is perfect because you chose it for me. The rest doesn’t matter.” She leaned over and kissed the wet lips. “I will wear it with silent, but intense pride.” She stared down at the polished gold. “And I’ll never take it off.”

“I’m sorry baby,” Sky said to her unconscious partner. “You’ll wear it again. I promise.”

The ambulance roared into the courtyard and two paramedics jumped out, grabbed their equipment and dashed to the fallen woman’s side. It took just three minutes to determine Kyra’s condition, strap her to a gurney and take off for the hospital.

Sky had very reluctantly stepped aside when told it was okay. She had been so afraid to let go. But she would never really let go. Sky knew she wouldn’t be allowed to ride in the ambulance so she hadn’t even asked. She just stood there staring at the bloodstained concrete.

A police car had pulled in behind the ambulance, but the officer respectfully waited until the victim was transported. “Miss, can you tell me what happened here?”

Sky remained silent for a few seconds longer. “Yeah, I can tell you exactly what happened,” she finally said. Without turning her head she pointed to her left. “That bastard shot her.”

Bo was very careful not to make any move that could be considered threatening as the officer watched him. “Is that true Sir?”

Bo answered truthfully, confident in his innocence. “Yes.”

A hand settled on a gun. “Do you have the weapon on you?” the officer asked.

“It’s in my pocket.”

A pair of handcuffs appeared. “Put your hands behind your head and don’t move.” Bo patiently followed the instructions as another officer moved behind him and placed the restraints around his wrists.

Calmly, the manager explained, “My name is Bo Bowers and this is my client Skylar Ramsey. I have a permit for the gun in my pocket. The woman, Kyra McCall was arrested yesterday for stalking Miss Ramsey. She was released on bail this morning and came here to attack my client. I was just protecting her.”

The officer looked for confirmation from Skylar. “She was arrested yesterday, but I believe she is innocent. I arranged an attorney for her, I paid her bail and I told her to come here to my house when she was released. He is trespassing on my property.”

“All right, we’ll straighten all this out at the station.”

“Officer,” Sky said, “I want to go to the hospital with my friend. She has no other family nearby.”

“Okay. But you will have to make a formal statement later.”

Sky stepped away from the small group and made a call. “Gable, I…I need your help.” Her voice was weak and shaky.

“Sky, what’s wrong?”

“It’s Kyra…she was shot…at my house.”

“Oh my god! What? How? Never mind, I’ll be right there.”

Gable pulled into the drive about fifteen minutes later. Sky jumped into the car and explained what had happened as they sped off to the hospital.

“I can’t believe that son of a bitch,” Gable seethed. “We all know Kyra; she wouldn’t hurt anyone and definitely not you.”

“Of course not. Gable, when we get to the hospital can you tell them that you are her cousin? Otherwise they won’t tell us anything. I don’t want to call her grandparents until I know something definite.”

“Sure Sky; I’ll do anything for you, both of you.”

* * *

Once at the hospital they explained the situation and warned the staff that the press would probably be arriving soon; a leak was inevitable. After Sky scrubbed the blood from her hands, they were led to a private waiting area. The only information they were given was that Kyra was in surgery. So began the wait.

They talked as they waited.

She paced and cried on her friend’s shoulder, as they waited.

Sky had so much coffee until she was drowning in it, as they waited.

Skylar finally dropped onto the sofa next to Gable and put her head against the soft back. She hurt inside and out. Stiff from the tension, and with a throb in her head and an ache in her gut that she was sure would never go away, Skylar had never felt as horrible as she did now. Not even on the day that her father had attacked her. Although, she had realized with the help of a therapist, while she recalled the events of that night, if was more through the eyes of a viewer not an active participant. A coping mechanism.

The redhead searched her brain to try and find something to say to help her friend feel better. But there were no words that could do that. She looked over at the distraught singer and noticed the discoloration of her knuckles. “What happened to your hand?” she asked, hoping for a slight distraction.

Skylar automatically cradled the sore appendage. “Bo came to my house last night and tried to convince me that Kyra was guilty. He said something that really set me off and I socked him.”

Gable snickered. “I hope it was a good one.”

Sky gave a hint of a smile for the first time in hours. “It was; I knocked him on his ass.” She paused as her expression once again turned to stone. “But now I want to kill him.” Sky scrubbed her face and blew out an aggravated breath. “How can my life have absolutely fallen apart in the span of twenty-four hours?”

Finally the wait was over. A tall, forty-something woman wearing rumpled, green scrubs opened the door and approached the pair. Sky tried hard, but couldn’t read the surgeon’s expression. “Are you the family of Kyra McCall?” the doctor asked.

“Yes,” Gable answered to continue their cover story. “How is my cousin?”

“I’m Doctor Elise Pierce and I performed the surgery today. Let’s sit down and I’ll explain. She is in the ICU and her vitals signs are stabilizing.”

Sky’s knees nearly buckled with unbelievable relief. Gable wrapped an arm around the taller woman’s waist and guided her to a seat. Skylar’s hands were still a little shaky. Despite the good news, she knew it was a bad injury and she was still very concerned about her lover’s recovery…not to mention her legal problems.

“The bullet entered here,” Pierce explained, using her own body as a model. “It went through the collar bone, fracturing it. The bullet fragmented. One piece nicked an artery; that’s why there was so much blood loss. She’s had a transfusion and her levels are back to near normal. Another piece of metal nicked her lung and that’s what was causing her labored breathing, but that’s also been repaired and I don’t anticipate any future problems.”

Sky was taking everything in, but each mention of an injury was taking a tiny chunk out of her soul. The guilt was there. But she wasn’t going to let it consume her. Her every breath, every thought and every action had to revolve around her soulmate, supporting her in every way and showing Kyra her unending and unconditional love.

Doctor Pierce finished the details of Kyra’s surgery. “The final fragment did damage to the shoulder joint, which will require some physical therapy later on. But with no unforeseen complications, I expect a good recovery.” She finished with a compassionate smile, while something puzzled at her brain. The redhead was the relative, but the larger woman was definitely showing the more emotional reaction. The answer didn’t really matter; she was just glad that her patient appeared to have some fierce supporters. “I’ll send word as soon as you can see her.”

“Thank you Doctor Pierce,” Gable said, offering her hand. “We appreciate everything you’ve done.”

The brunette surgeon nodded. “If you have any questions just have a nurse page me.”

Once alone, Gable turned and hugged her friend. “She’s gonna be fine and you two are going to have a long, happy life together.”

“I, uh…I should call her grandparents,” Sky said, reassured, but still traumatized. There was so much to do. But only one thing to do first. She looked her friend in the eye, noticing that the shade of green was so much different than her lover’s. “Thank you Gable. It means so much that you were here for me.”

“And I will continue to be here for whatever you or Kyra need. We both know she’s innocent of those ridiculous charges; there has to be proof somewhere.”

Skylar agreed silently and reached for her phone. Gable stepped out to get Sky some nourishment, knowing it would be the last thing on the singer’s mind.

* * *

Gable returned to the private room about an hour later. Skylar was reclining on the sofa with an arm thrown over her eyes. The redhead quietly stepped over to a side table and deposited three Styrofoam containers, several cans of soda and two cartons of milk.

“I’m not asleep,” Sky mumbled, “just resting.”

“That’s good. But I bet you are going to say that you don’t feel like eating. But you should.”

“Yeah I know.” The tall woman hauled herself from the sofa and over to the table, where she reluctantly bit into a reasonably warm French fry. After the first few bites of the accompanying hamburger, she began to feel the tiniest bit better. Her short pity party needed to end and she needed to shift her efforts in another direction. “Mr. and Mrs. Maxwell will be arriving at the airport in a few hours; could you go and meet them? I don’t want to bring down a press frenzy on them.”

“Of course I can do that. And speaking of, the bees are starting to buzz at the doors.”

“Damn. I don’t want these people harassed.”

“The staff here knows how to handle it. It’s certainly not the first time a celebrity has been admitted here.”

“I know, but…”

“No Skylar, don’t take on that burden. You’ve got more than enough to handle.”

Skylar looked out the window at the news vans and trucks filling the parking lot. She was thankful for the tinted glass, hiding her celebrated image. She reluctantly agreed. “I guess you’re right.”

A nurse stuck her head in the room. “Miss McCall can have one visitor now.”

Gable turned to Sky, her back to the nurse. “Why don’t you go in and see Kyra and I’ll go get Grandma and Grandpa.” She gave her friend a little smile and a wink.

* * *

The room was scary. Monitors beeped and hummed. Bags of life sustaining fluids hung over the bed. Tubes. Needles. Wires everywhere. And in the middle of it all was the small blonde, made even tinier with her pale skin and thin hair, obviously haven been cleaned of the red stuff. She was swathed in bandages and blankets, but all Skylar wanted to do was to wrap her partner in love and protect her from what had become her cruel world.

Sky cautiously walked to the bedside and eased onto the stool that was there for short term visitors. She leaned close and whispered her words, even though they were alone for the moment. “Hey baby; I’m here.” Sky took Kyra’s left hand, careful of the attached IV. She desperately longed to replace the ring that belonged there. “I think they want you to wake up now,” she said. “But I just want you to do whatever you need to do to get better. And I’m going to be right here to help you.” She paused and simply watched Kyra breathe.

Suddenly the breath hitched.

Blue eyes flicked to the many monitors, but no alarms sounded. Sky looked back to the weary face and saw a twitch. “Kyra? Sweetie, can you here me?” A moan was the first answer. “That’s it baby. Let me see those beautiful eyes.”

A few more seconds. A few more grimaces. “Sssky?” The simple word was slurred and rough.

“That’s me.”

“Where?”

“You’re at the hospital.”

The information took a little while to sink in. A hand caressed her face. The warm touch was achingly and soothingly familiar. “I’m not dead?” Kyra asked.

“Absolutely not. I promised you, didn’t I?”

The pain laced, green eyes finally blinked open. The orbs rotated and she weakly clutched the fingers under her hand. “I love you.”

Sky smiled, even though her eyes glistened with mixed emotions. “Oh I know it,” she said happily. “And I love you…more than anything in the world.”

Kyra’s jaw trembled. A pain raced through her upper body, but the one in her heart rivaled it. “I’m sorry about…”

“Shhhh. We’ll talk about that much later,” Sky assured, “once you’re feeling better. And we’ll get everything straightened out. I wish I could be here twenty four seven, but I think they’ll be in here to evict me soon. But I’ll be back just as soon as they let me.”

Kyra was just about drift off to sleep again, hopeful that her nightmares would turn to sweet dreams of her lover and a better future. “I’ll be waiting.”

* * *

The next few days were stressful and busy. Sky talked Kyra’s grandparents into staying at her house, and she had arranged a car and driver to take them back and forth to the hospital. Among the three of them, they tried to make sure Kyra was never alone. Gable also visited several times with flowers and well wishes from the other band members. They had all pledged their support of their wrongly accused co-worker. When she wasn’t at the hospital, Sky was using all of her resources and energies to prove Kyra’s innocence. She hired two private detectives and brought on an entire team of lawyers.

Bo had been cleared in the shooting, just as he promised. He smooth talked his way around the situation and in the end the police believed his claim of protecting his client. Sky had raged upon hearing this and had argued with the officers in charge until her voice was raw. But the letter of the law had been upheld. Personality, or lack thereof, didn’t seem to matter. Although there had been a question that if Kyra had meant to hurt Skylar, then why didn’t she have a weapon. When Bo had been told of the items Kyra had on her when she arrived at Sky’s house, he was quick to point out one in particular. A black scarf.

“There,” Bo said, “one of the scarves she stole. Obviously she intended to strangle Sky with it, just like the doll she sent.”

Skylar was in the room at the time, but quietly held her tongue until he finished his accusations. “Excuse me detective,” she addressed the officer in charge of the case, “does that scarf have my signature in silver ink on the bottom.” He checked his fact sheet and answered affirmative. “I gave that to Kyra last year,” Sky continued, “right after I hired her. The scarves that were stolen did not have my signature yet.”

“That doesn’t mean a thing,” Bo pointed out, “she still could have used it to kill you.”

“Let’s see, it’s winter and she had a scarf in her pocket. Wow. And don’t forget her shoelaces Bobo,” she said sarcastically. “Maybe she was going to use those too.”

“Why the hell, do you keep defending her?!”

“Because she’s my friend! But you wouldn’t know anything about that!”

“All right; that’s enough!” the detective shouted. “I’ll question Miss McCall about it this afternoon.” He told Skylar not to talk to Kyra before then.

Sky found out when he was going to be at the hospital and arrived shortly after. He had to wait until Kyra returned from some tests before he could see her, so Sky followed him to her room. But he made her stand behind him. Detective Burns asked Kyra some other questions and then about the scarf.

Groggily she explained, “It was a gift. Sky gave it to me just after I started to work for her…last spring.”

Sky smiled from her place by the door.

“And why did you bring it with you to Miss Ramsey’s house?”

“I didn’t even know it was in the pocket of my jacket.”

Burns nodded and said goodbye. A few seconds later, he met Skylar in the hall.

“Well,” she said, “does that clear her?”

“Since you had refused to apply for a restraining order against her and admitted that you invited her to your house, I doubt that we’ll press any further charges. But the original stalking charges still stand.”

“As I said before, she was framed. And I will prove it. But thank you.”

* * *

Unfortunately, Sky had little time to play host to Mr. and Mrs. Maxwell. She knew they didn’t mind; they were only concerned for their granddaughter, but it still bothered her. Three days into their stay, Mrs. Maxwell came into the kitchen for a cup of tea. It was a little after nine at night and she stopped at the large double doors at the back of the house to peer into the winter sky at the crisp crescent moon. Mary took a few sips of the warm beverage before heading back to her room. She heard some notes of music coming from the sun room, and although she didn’t want to intrude on Skylar’s privacy, she wanted to have a talk with her granddaughter’s friend. Stopping in the doorway, the grandmother waited just a moment before making her presence known.

Skylar was seated in a chair, leaning forward with her arms resting on her bent legs and her head lowered. At the end of the long, frustrating day, tears of sorrow and anxiety poured from her burning eyes. From the moment Kyra had opened her eyes in that hospital room, Sky had denied herself those tears. She had to be strong to help her lover recover from her wounds. She had to be relentless in her quest to clear Kyra of the ludicrous criminal charges. She had to be tough in the face of the press and wear her compassionate, but somewhat distant mask. She was prevented from sharing her powerful grief with anyone. Their secret had to be protected. Her mother had to be protected. And now her soulmate had to be protected. And Skylar felt like she was the only one on Earth who could do all those things successfully.

Sky was wearing a pair of faded, almost white jeans and a coffee stained sweatshirt; a pleasant appearance was the very last thing on her mind. A CD player was on the ground at her bare feet, her duet with Kyra on permanent repeat. The brunette looked up when she heard the knock on the door. She lowered the volume of the music and jumped to her feet, not even bothering to hide her tears. “Mrs. Maxwell, can I help you with something?” The older woman gave her an odd, questioning look. Skylar finally realized her poorly chosen words and she gave a little chastised smile. “Mary.”

“I think I should ask you that question?” the older woman said as Sky gestured for her to take the seat next to her. Mary listened a few seconds longer and said, “The two of you sound very good together.”

“I love listening to her. Kyra is extremely talented.”

“Yes, she is. And I’m glad she found you,” Mary said with a smile.

“Even though I nearly got her k…”

“Dear, you did not pull the trigger on that gun.”

Skylar started to disagree, but she was so tired that the protest died on her tongue. She just released a long breath and reluctantly accepted that one truth. “I haven’t even been able to think about making music since I saw her…”

Mary took a sip of tea and stated, “You love her.”

Skylar paused and looked the woman straight in the eye. “She’s my best friend; yes I love her.”

The gray head tipped to one side. “But…it’s…more.”

“I…don’t…”

“It’s alright Skylar. We understand. I’ve seen it in your eyes since we got here. And it’s written in these tears.” Mary reached up, presumptuously and wiped away the salty evidence. “As one who has loved the same person for well over forty years, I recognize the signs. And I hear it in Kyra’s voice every time she talks about you.”

Skylar wasn’t about to lie to the sweet woman. “I do love Kyra. I am in love with her. And I want to spend the rest of my life with her.”

Mary smiled. “I am very happy for both of you.”

“Kyra hasn’t told you because, for reasons I can’t talk about right now, we have to keep our relationship secret. I am doing everything I can to change that and give her the wonderful life she deserves.”

“I believe you. And I will keep your admission in confidence.” A bit more of the tea disappeared before Mary asked, “Are your grandmothers alive dear?” Mary asked.

“One yes. But she lives out of the country and I don’t get to see her much.”

“Could I apply for a surrogate role?”

Sky smiled. “I’d like that.”

Mary set her cup aside, stood and held out her arms. “I believe you could use a grandmother’s hug.” Skylar stepped into those welcoming arms and soaked in the long missed maternal love. “Welcome to the family,” Mary said. “Now, I’m going to exercise my grandmother’s rights and tell you to go to bed and get some rest. I know someone who’ll be waiting for an early morning visit.”

“Yes…grams.”


To be continued…

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