Double Play XVII

By Cruise

Chapter 23

            “I would love to it’s one of my favorite songs.”  Cass smiled taking Dakota’s hand as ‘Brilliant Disguise’ by Bruce Springsteen played.  Her heart fluttered from Dakota’s contact as she led her to an open spot on the deck, her heart quickening when the taller woman stood before her and placed her hands on her waist.

            Dakota smiled when Cass put her hands on her shoulders.

            “What? You aren’t going to do a show for me?” Cass teased with a grin.

            Dakota snickered.  “If you’re a good girl, I might do one later for you.”  Smiling flirtatiously, she began to slow dance with her.  Dakota’s heart raced wildly when Cass moved closer.  

            Cass’ warm green eyes stared into Dakota’s sparkling blues.

I wanna read your mind

To know just what I’ve got in this new thing I’ve found

So tell me what I see when I look in your eyes

Is that you baby or just a brilliant disguise?

            Cass inhaled deeply and held her breath momentarily as Dakota seemed to be staring deeply into her soul.  ‘I hope what I see in those beautiful blue-eyes is not a disguise.  I want you for more than a one night stand.’  She slowly exhaled, trying to calm the butterflies in her stomach.

            Dakota was lost in Cass’ winsome gaze and tilted her head.  She paused, searching Cass’ eyes for approval and nervousness consumed her when Cass moved her hands down to her chest, stopping there.

            Cass could barely breathe in nervous anticipation from the lustful look in Dakota’s eyes.  She smiled feeling Dakota’s heart pounding her hand and felt a throbbing between her legs when Dakota’s warm breath brushed across her lips.

            Dakota slowly moved closer and gasped when her lips touched Cass.’  She kissed her lightly and broke the kiss, tentative that Cass would pull away like she had done before.  When Cass didn’t move, she pressed her lips against Cass’ once again.  Pulling her closer, she slid her tongue past Cass’ parted lips.

            Cass’ knees grew weak and she gasped when Dakota kissed her deeper.  She moved her hands up to Dakota’s face and held her, deepening the passionate kiss.  Moaning through the kiss, Cass moved her head to the opposite side when Dakota did the same, thrusting her tongue deeper.

            Dakota’s heart felt as if it were in her throat and warmth quickly swept over her.  Feeling Cass shiver, she slowly broke the kiss, watching intently as Cass slowly opened her eyes and looked at her.  Cass stared into Dakota’s eyes and moved her hands back to Dakota’s chest. 

            “Are you cold, you’re shivering?” Dakota asked softly.

            Nothing was registering with Cass.  She was captivated by the sea of blue before her.  Unable to speak, she inhaled after realizing she was holding her breath.

            “Let me get a jacket for you.”  Dakota moved to step to the side.

            Cass grew desperate and grabbed her shoulders to stop her.  “NO!”

            Dakota turned and stared at her surprised.

            “Just hold me.”  Cass said in a whisper gazing dreamily into the warm eyes before her.

            Dakota smiled endearingly and pulled her in for a hug.

            Cass moved her hands up Dakota’s chest and wrapped them around her neck.  Snuggling her face against Dakota’s neck, she closed her eyes.  ‘I’ve never reacted that way to a kiss before.’  She inhaled deeply trying to calm her thundering heart, enjoying the feeling of being in Dakota’s arms.  ‘I have the answer to my heart’s question.  It’s Dakota that I want to be with.’

            Dakota’s attempt to calm her racing heart was unsuccessful.  She held Cass tighter.  ‘You feel so good in my arms, right where you should be.  I love how you make me feel.’  She inhaled Cass’ scent and smiled, feeling a wondrous sensation course through her.

            Cass smiled ecstatically as Dakota gently rubbed her back.  ‘I can’t…no I won’t resist her anymore.’  She gently kissed Dakota’s neck.

            Dakota’s eyes rolled back and closed from the incredible sensation Cass’ kiss had on her.  She felt an ache between her legs and a flutter in her heart.  ‘I’m going to prove to her that she can trust me and that I’m a changed person.  I don’t want her to think I’m a player anymore.’  Opening her eyes after Cass moved she felt her heart race faster when Cass smiled at her.  Smiling charmingly, she asked softly, “Are you feeling better now?” Reaching up to Cass’ face, she pushed the errant strand of hair behind her ear and lightly stroked Cass’ hair with her hand.

            “Yes much better thank you.”  Cass smiled sweetly and reached up for Dakota’s hand.  Staring deeply into her eyes, she brought Dakota’s hand to her mouth and lightly kissed it.

            ‘She’s so different now.  I’m more taken by her than ever before.’  Dakota grasped Cass’ hand, moving it to the side and leaned in, kissing her deeply.  She broke off the kiss and sighed when she heard a noise behind her.  Dakota didn’t take her eyes off of her and lightly rubbed the back of Cass’ hand with her thumb that she still held.

            Perdone la interrupción, Senorita Dakota, pero el postre está servido.”  The waiter informed her tentatively.

            “Okay, thanks.”  She smiled still looking at Cass.  “Dessert is ready.”

            “You mean that wasn’t?” They both laughed.  Cass leaned in and kissed her tenderly.  She broke the kiss and stared at her.  ‘Please don’t hurt me.’  Smiling hopeful, she stepped back.

            Dakota led her by the hand to the table.

            “Ooh, fondue and I love white chocolate, but I’m sure you already knew that.”  Cass grinned teasingly as she looked at Dakota who smiled and nodded yes.

            Dakota held the chair and pushed it in when Cass sat down.  Dakota pulled her chair out and sat next to Cass.  She picked up a skewer and put a marshmallow on it, then dipped it into the warm chocolate.  “These are my favorite.”  Dakota grinned and placed the chocolate covered marshmallow on Cass’ plate.  “Try it, you’ll love it.” 

            Cass picked it up with her fork and placed it in her mouth.  Her eyes widened and a smile swept across her face when the delectable taste awakened her taste buds.  “Yum, that’s delicious!”

            “I told you.”  Dakota grinned and made another one.  She looked down at the item on her plate and glanced up at Cass tentatively.  “I take it from the kiss we just shared and from the fact that you are here that you and Mary are no longer together?” Staring at Cass, she held her breath hoping that Mary was finally out of the picture.

            Cass looked away briefly and smiled when she looked at Dakota.  “We are no longer together.”  She stuck her fork in Dakota’s marshmallow.

            Dakota sighed in relief and laughed.  “Whew… I’m glad.  Wow, aah I guess that was insensitive, but I’m happy you are no longer with her.”  She looked away smiling, trying to contain her happiness.

            “Me too.”  Cass said softly and smiled when Dakota looked at her.  She raised the fork to Dakota’s mouth, staring intently as Dakota slowly moved closer to the fork, gazing deeply into Cass’ eyes.  Cass’ mouth watered when Dakota opened her mouth and slowly licked the warm chocolate off the marshmallow.  Watching Dakota, Cass felt entranced and moved closer.  Lowering the fork, she moved to Dakota’s open mouth and was met by Dakota’s tongue which traced the contours of her lips.  She placed her hand on the back of the dark-haired woman’s neck and pulled her closer, pressing her lips against Dakota’s.  The sweetness of the chocolate lit up her taste buds when she slipped her tongue inside.  She gasped when Dakota pressed her tongue against her lips, licking off the remnants of their dessert.  Cass whispered through the kiss, “Your kiss is delicious,” and deepened it.

            Dakota moaned as Cass’ tongue roamed freely, exploring everything about her mouth.  They broke the kiss breathless and stared at one another smiling.  “You’re kiss is equally delectable.”  Dakota smiled flirtatiously and winked.

            Cass blushed and looked down at her plate shyly.

            “Have I ever told you how beautiful you look when you blush?” Dakota smiled romantically when Cass looked up at her.

            “No, I don’t think you have.” Cass giggled and looked away briefly, slightly embarrassed by the comment, then looked back at Dakota.

            “Wow, how could I have been so remiss?” Dakota laughed lightly.

            “I’m really not sure, but maybe you should do something about it.”  Cass laughed.

            “Okay, well.”  She moved closer to Cass.  “I think you are incredibly beautiful when you blush.  Well, actually I find you to be quite beautiful at all times.”  Dakota smiled flirtatiously.

            Cass giggled, blushing more.  “The feeling is mutual.”  Taking a strawberry, she dipped the tip into the chocolate and held it up to Dakota’s mouth who smiled seductively and slowly bit into the dessert, with piercing blue eyes staring at her.


            The pair sat back satiated.

            “I’m so full that I think I just might burst.”  Cass laughed as did Dakota.  Cass glanced down at her watch noting it was one a.m.  “Wow, I was having such a great time that I didn’t realize how late it is.”

            Dakota glanced down at her right arm, checking her watch.  “They are right on schedule actually.  I promised mom we would be back by now.”

            “Where did she go?”

            “She went out dancing with her friends.”  Dakota laughed and stood up, reaching out for Cass’ hand to help her up.

            “Ugh, thank you.”  Cass slowly stood, keeping a hold of Dakota’s hand.  “You may have to carry me I’m so full.  I don’t think I can walk.”

            “And who is going to carry me?” Dakota chuckled and slowly walked over to the waiter. 

            Cass sighed disappointed when Dakota released her hand.  She watched as Dakota reached into her pocket and pulled out a bill, and then handed it to the waiter.

            Muchas gracias.”  Dakota smiled with her hand extended to him.

            Gracias, señorita, pero no puedo aceptar.  La señora no permite.”  He held up his hand to stop her from giving it to him.

            Okay, I understand that Dakota is the senorita and I believe the senora is her mother.’  Cass watched the interaction frustrated that she didn’t understand what they were saying.

            “Bueno, entonces no le decimos nada a la señora.  Es nuestro secreto.”  Dakota winked and placed the money in his vest pocket.  She grasped Cass’ hand in her own and turned to walk away.

            He sighed reluctant to accept the offering, but didn’t want to displease Dakota.  “Gracias, es usted.   Muy amable.  Que tengan buenas noches.”  He smiled excitedly when Dakota looked back over her shoulder with a smile.

            Buenas noches.”  She led Cass towards the ramp of the boat.  “He didn’t want to accept my tip; he said that my mother would be mad at him if he took the money.  I told him we wouldn’t tell her and that it would be our secret.”  Dakota grinned, looking at Cass.

            “Aah, that was very sweet of you.”  Cass smiled and squeezed Dakota’s hand tighter as they stepped onto the ramp.

            Que tenagn una noche maravillosa, señoritas.“  The captain smiled, standing near the ramp.

            Dakota glanced at Cass with a smile.  “He said for us to have a lovely evening.” 

            Cass smiled back and turned to him.  “Thank you.” 

            He nodded with a smile as he looked at her.

            “Capitán, por favor agradezca a la tripulación por mi.”  Smiling appreciatively, she shook his hand.  She stepped up onto the ramp and held her hand out for Cass.  Helping her up onto the ramp, she held her hand as they walked down.  “I told him to tell the crew thank you.”  Dakota glanced over at Cass as they walked across the marina.

            “Thanks for translating.  I suppose I need to learn some Spanish.”  She chuckled, enjoying the feeling of Dakota holding her hand.

            “Okay, seeing as how you made me learn aah, how did you put it?”  Dakota looked up trying to phrase it how Cass did and looked back at her with a grin.  “Oh, yeah Mainah talk.”

            Cass laughed and leaned against Dakota as they approached the street.  “You have the Maine accent down.”

            Dakota laughed.  “Let’s see… your first Spanish assignment is to figure out what I’m going to say.  Tu Hermosa sonrisa derrite mi corazón.”

            Cass looked at Dakota baffled.  “I really enjoy hearing you speak Spanish, but aah; I think you’re going to have to write it down for me.”  She giggled and raised Dakota’s hands to her lips, kissing it.

            Dakota’s heart fluttered from Cass’ kiss.  “Hmmm, I’m not so sure I should because you didn’t write it down for me.”  She smiled mischievously.

            “That’s not fair though, because my translation was only one word.”  Cass laughed and poked Dakota in the ribs.

“Okay, I’ll go easy on you this time.  When we get into the hotel I’ll write it down for you.”  She grinned and led Cass up the walkway to the hotel.

“Oh, you are too kind to me.”  Cass teased mockingly and both laughed.


The pair entered the hotel and Dakota walked up to the desk for writing materials.  She quickly jotted down what she had said to Cass in Spanish and handed it to her.

            Cass chuckled and clutched the paper in her hand.  She smiled when Dakota took her hand and led her to the elevators.  As they waited for the elevator, Cass’ heart raced uncontrollably at the thought of Dakota putting the moves on her when they reached the room.  ‘If she does, I’ll be powerless to stop her that’s for sure.”  She inhaled and sighed nervously as they stepped onto the crowded elevator.

            Dakota moved to the back of the elevator and leaned against the wall with Cass standing in front of her.  Dakota’s heart quivered from the hint of perfume she smelled from Cass.  The elevator stopped and Cass stumbled into her.  Dakota laughed and put her hands on Cass’ shoulders to steady her.

            “Sorry.”  Cass looked up and smiled.

            Dakota leaned down to her ear whispering, “I enjoyed it.”

            Cass closed her eyes and gasped quietly when she felt Dakota’s breath on her ear.  A tingling sensation quickly built up between her legs when Dakota’s hands slowly slid down her arms.  She inhaled deeply and grasped Dakota’s hands when they reached hers, holding them tightly.

            Dakota smiled, feeling her heart skip a beat from Cass’ touch.

            The elevator stopped and they stepped off.  They slowly walked to the room silently.  Cass pulled out the key and attempted to slide the card in, but had trouble with her trembling hands.  She inhaled and steadied her hands finally opening the door.  The pair entered the suite and Cass tossed the key on the table just inside the door.

            Dakota stood by the door staring at her.

            Cass smiled and walked in front of her.  “I had a wonderful time, thank you.”

            “You’re welcome.”  Dakota smiled, inhaling to steady her rapidly beating heart.  She pulled the smaller woman in and pressed her lips against hers.  Wrapping her arms around Cass, she felt instant warmth when Cass threw her arms around her neck.  Dakota gasped when Cass slid her tongue inside and deepened the kiss.

            Dakota’s hands slowly slid down Cass’ back and stopped on her backside.  Cass gasped when she felt Dakota grasp her and pull her closer.

            They broke the kiss breathless and smiled before continuing the deep, passionate kiss.  Cass’ sex ached for Dakota to touch her and her heart raced wildly at the thought of feeling Dakota between her legs.

            Dakota broke the kiss with a serious face and stepped back, breathless, raising Cass’ hand to her mouth.  Her eyes rose to meet Cass’ whispering, “good night,” and kissed her hand.  She lowered Cass’ hand and smiled with a wink before exiting the room.

            Cass stood dumbfounded starting at the closed door, panting heavily trying to catch her breath.  ‘I…I don’t understand.  She just left?’ She pushed her hair off her face and turned to the suite, tentatively walking towards the bed, confused.  She flopped back on the bed inhaling and exhaling rapidly.  ‘What the f…”  Her breathing leveled off and she sat up on the bed.  ‘I need a cold shower.’  She padded into the bathroom and started the shower.  As she undressed, insecurity crept into her mind.  ‘She’s Dakota Colby; she beds any woman that comes in contact with her, why didn’t she do the same with me?’  Climbing into the tub, she gasped when the cold water from the shower hit her overheated skin.  ‘Did I read her flirtations with me through dinner wrong? Why…’ She sighed and stepped under the cool water wetting her hair.


            Dakota stood in her room baffled by the fact that she had just left Cass standing there.  She walked to the bed and dove on top of it.  Rolling onto her back, she held her face with her hands.  ‘What in the hell was I thinking by leaving? I had a perfect opportunity to be with her.  I just left! I’m an idiot!’ Shaking her head in disbelief, she sat up.  She inhaled and blew out her breath forcibly.  Turning, she looked at herself in the mirror across from her.  ‘You have to prove yourself to her, that you are serious about being a changed woman.  Control yourself.  Date her and show her that you want this for longer than a one night stand.’  She stood up and walked out onto the balcony.  Leaning against the railing, she stared out into the darkness and closed her eyes, enjoying the cool breeze on her face.  ‘She felt incredible kissing me.  I’ve never experienced anything so beautiful.  I wonder if she felt the same thing.’

            Cass toweled off and draped the robe around her naked body.  She walked out of the bathroom and combed her wet hair back off her face.  Walking to the window, she stepped back when she saw Dakota standing there and peered through the opening in the curtains, watching her.  ‘What are you thinking Dakota? Did you feel the same as I did when we kissed?  It was so powerful that it made me shake.’  She stared at Dakota and leaned her head against the window, wishing she was in her arms.  ‘She makes my heart race uncontrollably and brings out feelings in me I never thought I could feel for another.’  Sighing longingly, she smiled enjoying the view of Dakota and stepped back when Dakota turned and walked back into the room.  ‘Good night beautiful.’  Walking to the bed, she lay down in the middle and stared at the ceiling.  ‘I hope she feels about me the same way I do about her.  My heart is with her, now I know for sure.’  She closed her eyes with their kiss heavily on her mind.


            Chad, Owen and Michelle arrived at the marina early Saturday morning.  The trio exited the car.  Michelle and Chad walked towards the ramp and stopped when they noticed Owen was not with them.  They turned back to see him talking with the blonde woman who had parked next to them.  They looked at one another and laughed.

            “He doesn’t waste any time hooking up huh?” Michelle grinned and looked back at Chad.


            “She’s hot I’ll give him that.”  Michelle looked her over appreciatively.  “Maybe I should go over there and hit on her.  Take her from him.”  She chuckled, looking at Chad.

            “I take it Brooke wasn’t receptive to you coming here with me?”

            The smile on Michelle’s face escaped her at the mention of Brooke’s name. “Nope, she was pissed, but I’m over it and when we get back I’m going to end it with her.”

            “That’s too bad.  I’m sorry I was the cause of it.”

            “Don’t be, it just wasn’t to be.  Things happen for a reason.  I have a feeling this is for the best.”  Chuckling, she moved in behind him.  “Let’s go get the hopeless stud.”  She grabbed onto his broad strong shoulders and jumped on his back.  “Give me a lift buddy.” 

            “Do I have a choice?” He laughed, looking over his shoulder at her.

            “Yes, I can kick you so you’ll go or I won’t.  You choose.”

            “Hmmm, that’s a tough one.  Even though I’m partial to kicking I think I’ll pass, it’s too early.”  He shared a laugh with Michelle.

            “Michelle glanced around the parking lot at the people there and leaned to his ear.  “Do you get the feeling people are staring at us?”

            He looked up at the people passing by who were watching them.  A guy approaching them was staring.  “I have a heavy weight on me.  Can you help me?” He laughed as did Michelle when the man looked away.

            They laughed harder as they walked up to Owen.  “Bro, let’s go man.”  Chad motioned for him to come with them.

            “Okay, so I’ll see you later tonight then Sylvie?” Owen smiled flirtatiously.

            “Absolutely.”  The woman smiled and blushed, before walking away.

            Owen, Chad and Michelle all watched the woman walk away.  They all inhaled and laughed when they noticed they were all thinking the same thing.  The trio walked towards the yacht.

            Michelle patted Chad’s shoulder.  “Okay, put me down I have to act civilized in front of your mom.” 

            Chad let go of her and she hopped down.  She smoothed out her clothing and stood next to him.

            “Don’t worry about it, my mom already knows you aren’t civilized.”  He glanced at her as they walked up the ramp.

            “Oh, you!” She playfully slapped him on the arm.

            “Hey, don’t you hit my bebé.”  His mother warned teasingly as she approached.  “Hi Michelle it’s so good to see you.”  She hugged her warmly, kissing her on the cheek.

            “Hola señora.”  Michelle hugged her in return and smiled when she broke the hug.

            “You know you don’t have to be so formal with me.  Call me by my first name or mamá! You’re family.”  She laughed and patted her on the face.

            “Okay mamá.” Michelle chuckled and watched as she moved to greet her son.

            “Hola bebé.”  She reached up and took his face in her hands, smiling adoringly.  “You get more handsome every day.”

            Chad blushed; giving Michelle a sideways glance, then looked at his mother.  He leaned down and kissed her on the cheek, hugging her tightly.

            “Ooh, I’ve missed you.”  She squeezed him tighter and kissed his cheek

            He broke the hug and stood up.  “I missed you too.”  He smiled and winked.

            “Aah, he missed his mommy.”  Michelle teased and pinched his cheek. 

            He laughed and nudged her with his hip, eliciting a loud chuckle from Michelle.

            “When are you two going to get married? You’re perfect for one another.”

            They looked at each other and burst out laughing.  Chad leaned to his mom.  “You seem to forget that she likes the ladies.”

            “I know that, but you still make a great couple, you’re made for one another.”  She patted his cheek and moved to greet Owen.

            Chad turned and stared at Michelle who did the same.  They stood silently. 

Chad chuckled.  “Can you believe her?”

            “I know, I think your mother has had too many mimosas already!” Michelle laughed nervously and walked away.

            Chad stood watching her.  ‘Maybe she hasn’t had too much to drink?’  He shook his head and his thoughts away as he followed Michelle. ‘Oh, don’t be stupid.’


            Dakota knocked on the door and looked up smiling when Cass appeared before her.  “Good morning.”

            Cass looked her over, enjoying how well-built Dakota’s arms looked through her red tank top.  She took a quick glance down at her black swim trunks, and smiled appreciatively of her muscular legs.  “Same to you.”  Cass smiled blushing, seeing Dakota in a different light after the previous night.

            “Are you ready?”

            “Is this outfit appropriate to wear?” Cass asked, motioning to her clothing.

            Dakota looked her over appreciating the short, tight navy blue shorts Cass wore and moved her eyes upward to the white tank top that exposed the lower portion of her abdomen.  “It’s perfect.  Do you have your bathing suit on?”

            “No, shit.  I was so nervous about what to wear and meeting your mom that I forgot it.  Hold on.”  She sighed and ran back into the room to her bag.

            Dakota chuckled and watched her grab the bathing suit, smiling warmly when Cass stood before her.  She took Cass’ face in her hands and stepped closer, looking deep into her eyes.  “Don’t be nervous she’ll love you.  I promise.”  Smiling reassuringly, she leaned down to kiss her.

            Cass’ heart picked up the beat when she felt Dakota’s lips on her own.  She sighed disappointed when Dakota broke off the brief kiss. 

“Come on.”  Dakota smiled and took Cass’ hand.

            Cass smiled and closed the door before walking away with Dakota.


            “So, bro did you get her number?” Chad asked when they stood next to Owen.

            Owen furrowed his brow while looking at his sibling.  “Of course, I can’t believe you even asked that.”

            “I asked because you were working it hard.”

            “Yeah, she was playing hard to get, but she saw it my way.”  He smirked arrogantly.

            Chad and Michelle laughed, shaking their heads at his arrogance. 

            “Hey, there’s Rex!” Chad said excitedly and walked down the ramp to greet him.

            “Dude!” When he saw his brother, Rex hurried over to hug him, dropping his gym bag to the ground.

            “Bro, how are you?” Chad laughed and hugged his brother tighter.

            “Excellent and you?” He smiled, breaking the hug, looking at his younger sibling.

            “REX!” Michelle shouted and ran up to him.

“Michelle!” He laughed when she jumped up and hugged him.  He lifted her off the ground.  “It’s great to see you.”

            “Same here.”  She laughed as he put her down.

            “Hey O! It’s good to see you man.”  He hugged his other brother and patted him on the back.

            “It’s good to see you to bro.  We’ve missed you.”  Owen smiled, hugging him.

            Rex broke the hug and looked between the trio.  “Where’s mamá?”

            “She went to wake up Wyatt.”  Chad nodded over his shoulder towards the yacht.

            “It figures that the baby is still sleeping.  Well, I suppose I should go say hello.” He smiled and reached down for his bag, then ran up the ramp.

            Michelle, Chad and Owen watched him run up the ramp, and then followed him on board. 

            Once on board Chad turned around.  “No freaking way.”  He was stunned by what he saw.

            Michelle looked where he was looking.  “Wow that is surprising.”

            Owen was too flabbergasted to say anything. 

            Chad opened the door and shouted, “You have got to see this, come quick!”

            Rex, Wyatt and their mother rushed over.  “What?” Rex asked when he exited the cabin.

            “Look at Dakota.”  Chad pointed to the parking area in front of the yacht as everyone stood side by side watching.

            “What is up with that?” Wyatt asked, surprised and wiped the sleep from his eyes.

            “It’s surprising to say the least.”  Owen said shocked.

            “Oh, what is so strange about your sister holding someone’s hand?” Their mother asked looking at her brood strangely.

            “Everything mamá, Dakota doesn’t do that.”  Rex said softly, amazed.

            “Oh, nonsense!”  She walked down the ramp to greet Dakota and Cass who walked up to her.

            “Hola mamá!” Dakota smiled cheerfully, squeezing Cass’ hand for reassurance and hugged her mother with her free hand.

            Cass watched anxiously as Dakota greeted her mother who was slightly shorter than her daughter.  Her mother was slender with black, wavy hair that fell lazily on her shoulders.  Cass was surprised that the older woman had brown eyes, unlike the rest of her children and was fascinated by her elegance.

            “Hola, my beautiful princesa.”  She hugged her daughter and kissed her.

            Cass inhaled deeply and slowly exhaled trying to steady her rapidly beating heart.  She squeezed Dakota’s hand tighter, growing more nervous. 

            Dakota smiled and squeezed her hand in return.  She broke the hug.  “Mamá, this is Cass and this is my mother Angélica.”

            “Hello Cass.  I’ve heard a lot about you in the past few days.”  Angélica greeted and held Cass’ hand, then kissed her on the cheek.

            Cass wasn’t sure what to do; she still wasn’t used to that type of a greeting.  “Oh, aah it’s a pleasure meeting you ma’am.”  She smiled when the woman looked at her.  ‘I see where Dakota’s beautiful features mirror her mother’s.’

            “Call me Angélica or mamá, just not ma’am it makes me sound old.”  Smiling, the matriarch put her arm around Cass. 

            Dakota released the hold on Cass’ hand when her mother whisked Cass up the ramp. 

            Angélica looked up at her family who was still staring.  “Basta ya, pórtense bien.”  She shooed them away with her hand as they approached.

            Dakota glared at her siblings from behind her mother’s back and flicked them a bird.  They snickered and dispersed when their mother stood before them.  “Pay no mind to them Cass sometimes they have no sense.”  She smiled cordially and patted Cass on the shoulder.

            Cass glanced at Dakota over her shoulder confused.  “What is she talking about?”

            “Oh, they are just being bozos.  Don’t worry about it.”  Dakota smiled and took Cass by the hand.

            Angélica stepped aside.  “Cass you already know Antonio,” she pointed at Owen then to Chad, “and Tomás,” then motioned to Rex. “this is Román and my bebé Andrés.”

            Wyatt grimaced embarrassed.  “Mamá!” He growled respectively in protest to the name.

            “Mind your manners.”  She warned with a smile.

            “Hello Cass it’s a pleasure to meet you.”  Rex greeted taking her hand and pulling her close to kiss her on the cheek.

            Wow, he’s very handsome.’  Cass shook his hand looking up at him.  He was a few inches taller than Dakota with a deep tan, a short spiked hair style, slender with a muscular build and thin dark sideburns that run along his jaw line, ending at a closely cropped goatee.   “Same here.”  Cass smiled, noting he looked the most like Dakota of all her brothers.  She released his hand and Wyatt shook it, and then kissed her on the cheek. ‘Again with the kisses.’  She smiled a bit overwhelmed.  “It’s nice to meet you Andrés.”

            “The pleasure is mine.  You can call me Wyatt.”  He whispered in her ear and smiled when he faced her.

            Rex stepped to Dakota.  “Hey baby sis.”  He grinned adoringly and lifted her into a tight hug.

            She hugged him tightly and kissed his cheek.  “Hey Rex.”

            He kissed her on the cheek and whispered, “She’s hotter than your description.”  He put her down and winked, laughing when Dakota punched him playfully. 

Dakota moved over to Wyatt.  “What’s up chiquito?” She smiled proudly and kissed and hugged him.

            “Hey little sis.”  Smiling teasingly, he hugged her.  “Holding hands huh? I almost didn’t recognize you.”  He chuckled when she pinched him.  “I’ve missed you.”  He kissed her cheek and released the hug.

            “Me too.”  She smiled and placed her hand on his cheek lovingly.  “You are more handsome than the last time I saw you.”

            Wyatt was the only brother without facial hair and a short haircut.  His dark, wavy hair fell to the top of his shirt collar and his build was slightly leaner than that of his brothers, yet muscular.  All possessed the same striking feature of Dakota’s, blue eyes.

            They are one beautiful family.’  Cass smiled watching Dakota talk with Wyatt.

            Wyatt blushed at Dakota’s comment and looked away.  Dakota chuckled and turned to Cass.

            “We just realized we didn’t greet you Cass.”  Owen said and stood on one side of her while Chad stood on the other.

            “We thought you would enjoy a twin sandwich.”  Chad grinned mischievously.

            “A what?” Cass looked between them confused.

            “NO!” Dakota called out, moving towards Cass, but it was too late.

            Chad and Owen wrapped their arms around each other engulfing Cass in a hug and both kissed her on the cheek.

            “Leave her alone you dork!” Dakota pulled their arms off Cass who was laughing.

            “It’s okay, I’m fine.”  Cass laughed more and patted Dakota on the stomach when she saw the menacing look on her face.  Her brother’s hid behind Cass laughing.  Cass looked around Chad.  “Hey Michelle!”

            “Hey!”  Michelle laughed and reached over slapping hands with her.

            “Let’s eat!” Rex suggested and walked inside followed by his siblings and Michelle.

            Cass and Dakota waited for the group to move inside.  “I’m really sorry you had to endure that.”

            “It’s fine, don’t worry.  You’re family is wonderful but why were they staring at us when we walked up?”

            Dakota looked away wondering whether she should tell the truth and looked back at her.  “It’s because we were holding hands.”

            “Why is that strange?”

            “It is for me.”  Dakota smiled slightly.

            “That’s right miss, I don’t have any girlfriends.”  Cass teased and laughed poking Dakota in the ribs.

            Dakota laughed and grabbed Cass’ hand that was tickling her.  She pulled her close whispering, “I wonder what they would do if they saw us kissing?” Dakota moved face to face with her, smiling provocatively.

            Cass smiled and felt her heart skip a beat as she moved closer.  “Let’s find out.”  She wiggled her eyebrows and kissed Dakota soundly.

To Be Continued...


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April 2005

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