~Of Love And Betrayal ~

Erin O'Rielly
the sequel to Possibilies

© June, 2003
eorielly@yahoo.com


Disclaimer and Acknowledgments

This is an adult story that primarily features stories involving women. If it is illegal in the state, province, or country in which you live; or if you are under the age of 18, please leave the site and find something else to read.

There are consensual sexual relations between adult women, which may be graphically explicit.

There are elements of strong language, violence, physical and/or mental, as well as some emotional hurt and discomfort in the story.

The events portrayed in this story are fictional and any resemblance to actual events and/or people is purely coincidental.

The poem, To The One Away, is by Sara Teasdale and is acknowledged in this story.

Acknowledgment:..Thank you for all your help Alice and Packie.

Dedication:..This story is for two special ladies, Vi and Carmen.

Author's Note:..This story was written in three parts. The first part is from Kiley's viewpoint. The second part is from LJ's viewpoint about the same events. The last part is from both their viewpoints. The reading of the first story Possibilities may help in the understanding of the characters in this story.


Prologue

Many people go through life with the feeling something is missing. They can look around them, see their families, jobs and possessions, and wonder why they aren't happy. Happiness relies on making a total commitment to the life one is living and for some that is difficult.

LJ Evans thought she found happiness when Kiley Wilcox came into her life. They pledged their love for one another and promised that love would last forever. She didn't realize there was a difference between wanting and committing. Can she let her previous life's priorities go and become a 'we'?

Kiley Wilcox finally discovered what real love was when LJ came into her life. She knew in her heart this was forever, but could the old doubts ever completely disappear? What will happen when she realizes that the choices she's made will not sit to well with others?

Is their love strong enough to survive temptations and public opinion? Will their relationship bring them the fulfillment they both long for?


~ Of Love And Betrayal

~

Part One

"Damn you! Damn you to hell!" Kiley sobbed as she pounded LJ's chest. "Why, why? How could you do this to us?" she asked as she collapsed against the taller woman.

Wrapping arms around her love, LJ whispered as tears coursed down her cheeks. "Please forgive me."

* * *

Kiley

Prejudices and Suspicions

Sliding down onto the floor, crying, as the dust retreated with the truck, Kiley thought back to the events that brought her to this point. She found it hard to believe how her life had become unraveled in less than an hour. How could LJ profess her love, but do this? Could there have been a clue that this was coming? Her thoughts wondered back over their lives together...

For the first time in her life she was truly happy, blissful, in fact. The smile on her face, the spring in her step and the joy she found in life all reflected the tranquility she felt. LJ Evans had turned her world upside down and all around. The very thought of the woman sent her senses into hyperspace...she had found true love and it was hers!

The move to Rhodes End was hectic, but worthwhile as it was one step in sealing a committed bond. Allie was in a new school and appeared completely happy with the situation. In fact, she had taken to calling LJ mom, much to the delight of both LJ and Kiley.

Most surprising of all to Kiley, was her parent's acceptance of the relationship, as they became an integral part of the new family. Before his heart attack, Carl was a well-known architect and eagerly accepted the opportunity to design the addition to the house. Dorothy, ever the doting grandmother, continued to be there for Allie when she came home from school.

What Kiley didn't fully comprehend was the fact that not everyone was as accepting and understanding of her relationship with LJ. That fact slapped her in the face with one phone call...

As Kiley came in the door from work, the phone was ringing. Answering it she heard...

"Mrs. Wilcox, this is Pam Green, Allie's teacher."

Alarmed, Kiley asked, "Is something wrong."

Laughing the teacher responded. "No, no nothing is wrong I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your daughter in my class. She is delightful and frequently challenges me with her endless questions."

Kiley laughed also, "That would be our Allie. Thank you for taking the time to call me, Mrs. Green. Since this is a new school I did wonder how she was adjusting."

"She's doing just fine. I did want to share with you something she said today...if that's all right with you."

"Of course, go ahead." Allie said as a sense of trepidation filled her mind.

"We had just finished our science lesson about fossils and Allie came up to my desk."

"My LJ is an archeologist and has lots of fossils she could show us."

"Really, Allie, who is LJ?"

"My mom!" Allie said.

"Allie, I thought your mother's name was, Kiley." The teacher asked, confused by the comment.

"She's my other mom." Allie wondered why the teacher was so dense.

"Oh, your step-mom. I didn't know you had a step mother, Allie."

"Noooooo, she's my mom, too!"

"Oh, I see, I will have to call your mom and ask her to show us the fossils. Now go and finish up your assignment."

Kiley spoke cautiously. "Allie is quite outspoken, isn't she."

"Mrs. Wilcox, I thought you should know what Allie is saying at school. Perhaps you should caution her as to what she says about her home life."

Kiley was fuming. "Am I understanding you correctly, Mrs. Green, you want me to tell our daughter to lie about her mothers?"

"No, not at all, I think you have misunderstood me, I would never tell anyone to encourage their child to lie!"

"Oh, I think I understood you completely, and I will be having a conversation with the principal about your comments."

The teacher began to sputter. "What I was trying to say, albeit poorly, was that this is a small, close knit community and everyone is in everyone else's business. I wanted to spare Allie any sort of recriminations."

"Are you threatening me?"

"No, I'm not, I am worried about your daughter and what will happen when other students find out...well, not so much the children, their parents." She took a deep breath and continued. "I have first hand experience, and the people in this town can be very vicious."

Pausing, Kiley gathered her thoughts. "Are you telling me you are a lesbian?"

"No, something much worse around these parts, I'm Chicano. I think your daughter is wonderful and I am sincere in my desire to keep her, and you from facing what I have."

"Thank you for your concern, I understand what you are saying." Kiley's mind was whirling.

"You're welcome. If it is at all possible I would like to see some of the fossils your partner has."

"Right, I will let you know. Mrs. Green, I'm sorry for earlier, thank you for calling. Bye."

The incident shook her to the core; this was her child and she would protect her at all cost. Did that cost mean giving up LJ? Did it mean she would have to chose between her child's happiness and her own? Her heart ached at the thought for she knew what living a shallow existence entailed. LJ had shown her what joy and happiness were...could she just give that up?

She heard the familiar sound of the old truck as it pulled up outside the house. The thump of boots on the porch and the creaking of the screen door meant only one thing...LJ was home. Turning, Kiley's face filled with a smile as she saw the goofy look on LJ's face. Just then a whirl screamed by her as Allie jumped into the waiting arms.

"Mom, can you come to my school and be my show and tell? Please, please...I drew you a picture, too."

"Slow down, squirt." LJ laughed as she kissed and hugged the girl before setting her down on the counter. "Now, what is this about school?"

"I told my teacher you could come and bring fossils cause you're a arcologist."

"Archeologist, Allie, not arcologist."

"Will you come? I would have the best show and tell of everyone. Please." She begged.

Laughing, LJ lifted Allie, kissed her again and then placed her on the floor. "Tell you what, why don't you go do your chores and help Ben feed the horses while I talk with your mom."

"Okay, but don't look at the picture till I get back!" Allie was shaking her finger as she spoke. "I got to go and help Ben...bye." She said as she flew out the door.

Laughing, LJ walked over to Kiley and hugged her. "Do you have any idea what she's talking about?"

Kiley stood on her tiptoes as she gave her lover a kiss. "I sure do, let me tell you about the phone call I had..."

"There you have it. What do you think? I'm afraid I was a bit hard on Mrs. Green. LJ, is our daughter going to be an outcast because we love each other? Am I that naïve? "

"I certainly hope Allie is not the target of prejudice. But, it sounds to me like I am going to be a show and tell for her." LJ laughed as she pulled Kiley in for a kiss. "We can't stop people from talking, but we can prepare Allie. You may be a bit naïve, but everything will work out, I promise."

Kiley leaned into the woman, thankful for having her in her life. LJ was right, they couldn't stop people from talking; it would be necessary to talk with Allie and prepare her for the ugliness of the world. What a sad lesson to learn at such a young age. She mused.

* * *

It would be five months before LJ and her group headed out for the site in Peru, yet planning had already begun. Kiley resented the intrusion into her domain and the amount of time that LJ needed to spend making the arrangements. Students and their professor visited often as preparations were made for an expedition they hoped would be as fruitful as the year before.

Dr. Maxine Dylan, who worked at the University as an archeology professor, or something like that, accompanied the students. Kiley really didn't know her title and was just as happy being ignorant on the subject. According to LJ she was quite good at what she did and had collaborated with the excursions for the past five years. Apparently she provided the work force in the form of her best students and graduate assistants. LJ was very excited about the group this year since they were especially talented.

From the first moment she saw the professor Kiley didn't like her. She oozed sensuality and seemed to stalk LJ, ready to pounce and devour her. Maybe that was the reason LJ always seemed to steer the woman away from her. It was clear to Kiley that there was a definite connection between the two women.

"LJ." Kiley said sweetly as they shared lunch in the workroom.

Looking up from her book, LJ smiled. "What is it, baby?"

"What's up with this Dylan woman? For some reason every time she's here, I feel like I need to protect my territory." Kiley spoke cautiously as this was the first time she had ever asked about prior relationships.

"Your territory? Is she coming into the workroom and bothering you?" LJ's voice seemed to be laced with irritation.

The tone of her partner's voice told Kiley to back off. "It's nothing...I'm just being irrational."

Closing her book with a loud thud, LJ's eyes pierced her. "If the woman is bothering you I want to know! I will not have any of those people harassing you. Is that clear?"

Kiley's stomach was doing flip-flops as she realized she had hit a very sensitive nerve. Reaching over she put her hand on top of the larger one. "It isn't anything, really. She just has an air about her...like she is the queen or something like that." It was time for her to diffuse the situation. She would not press the issue, sure that in time, LJ would tell her all the details.

LJ's eyes seemed to be searching hers, looking for any deception. Kiley held her gaze and struggled to keep her true feelings hid.

"She can be like that." LJ finally said. "Just let me know if she does anything to offend or upset you." There seemed to be true concern in her voice.

Kiley smiled. "I will, my love. We'd better clean up, they should be here anytime now."

The afternoon had been particularly hectic with twelve students wondering around her workroom. This was the first time they had come into her workspace and Kiley hated the intrusion. Her ears perked up when she heard the mention of LJ's name.

"I thought Dr. Dylan was good looking, but Dr. Evans is one hot babe!" One student exclaimed.

"Yeah, did you see how close they were standing together? From what I hear they are quite vocal in camp." Winking, the man continued, "Know what I mean?" Wholehearted laughs and snickers could be heard as the two moved away.

Kiley's heart fell as her stomach churned. Her world was crumbling around, as her mind was flooded with thoughts of betrayal and lies. Is that why LJ doesn't want me around? Are they still lovers? Her thoughts were interrupted by a loud crash.

Hurrying toward the sound she saw a student standing speechless, with one of the artifacts she labored to piece together laying on the floor, shattered.

"What the hell do you think you're doing? Do you know how long it took to put that together?" She screamed as she pushed the kid away before stooping down to pick up the pieces.

"I...I...I'm sorry." The girl cried.

"It's a bit late for apologies!" She spat out.

The girl stood there trembling as she saw LJ enter the room.

"What's going on here?"

Kiley didn't need to look up; she knew the voice. "This idiot just managed to wipe away two solid weeks of work." She said as she recovered the last of the pieces.

LJ turned to the student. "The others are getting ready to leave, why don't you join them." Crouching down, she looked into Kiley's eyes. "What's going on? You have been on edge all day, that's not like you."

Kiley sat down on the floor. "What's the matter?" She growled as she held out the pieces. "Look at this! These idiot kids come in here and think they can do anything they want! The result is weeks worth of work gone!" Her face was red with anger. "Do you have any idea what goes on here, or are you too busy with Dr. Dylan to notice?"

LJ took the pieces and set them on the table before sitting down next to Kiley. "I love you." She said as she took her partner's hand. "Do you want to tell me what is really bothering you?"

"Are you deaf? I said these kids are driving me crazy."

"They'll be with us in Peru, so you'd better get use to them now."

Kiley tilted her head as her eyebrows scrunched together. "Us? Am I going with you?"

LJ let out a hearty laugh. "Of course you're going. How could I exist there without you?"

Arms were enclosed around her lover's neck as Kiley kissed the tempting lips. "You really mean it, I'm going with you?"

Standing up, LJ offered Kiley her hand, helped her to her feet then hugged her close. "Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee; for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge..." LJ asked, "Do you recognize that?"

"Yes, Ruth." A tear of happiness coursed down her cheek

"We are one, Kiley, in heart and soul for all time. I'm not letting you go, ever."

She buried her face in the strong shoulder and heard, "I love you." Here in LJ's arms, hearing the words of love and commitment, Kiley knew she was loved. Nevertheless, in the back of her mind, the student's words continued to swirl.

* * *

Collapsing on the bed, sweaty bodies sighed in complete satisfaction. LJ had been very attentive and loving ever since the incident at the museum. It seemed to Kiley, that LJ was going out of her way to prove how much she was love. They had made love every night and morning since. Each time the intensity level was ratcheted up a notch leaving her craving the woman again.

LJ rolled over and kissed her cheek. "What do you say, is it time we start thinking about adding to our family? Let's have a house full of kids." Her arm slid over the naked body next to her.

Kiley, still filled with the haze of their love making, found it difficult, at first, to comprehend what LJ was saying. "What?" she said. Then it dawned on her what she just heard. Her eyes opened wide. "Do you really mean that, a baby? Oh, yes, yes, I want that so much, Lucy."

"I can't think of anything more perfect than sharing my life with you and our children." Came the soft words.

"If we get the ball rolling now we can seriously pursue baby making when we return from Peru." Kiley said as they lay together snuggled under the soft sheet.

"Good idea and we can even give it a try now...from what I've read it rarely works on the first try."

Lifting herself up to look directly at her lover, Kiley smiled as she stroked the ebony hair. "I want the father to be tall with dark hair and blue eyes like yours. Our child should look like you, Lucy." Then she smiled. "And, if it's a girl, I want to name her after you...Lucinda Jane Wilcox Evans. That has a nice ring to it, don't you think?"

LJ pulled her down for a kiss. "Whatever you want, Baby."

"Really? Hmm, I want you."

"You already have that, Love. Shall I show you?"

"Oh, yes, please do." Kiley giggled as she positioned her body on top of LJ's. A baby. She thought. "I love you, Lucy." She said, as she once again was falling into the endless abyss of love for the woman.

* * *

Taking a seat and looking around the doctor's office, she didn't see her lover. Kiley wanted LJ there with her when she met the doctor that would perform the artificial insemination. The old fear found its way into her consciousness...she's probably with that Dylan woman. Her stomach churned as she tired to get a grip on her emotions. LJ hasn't given me any reason to think this way. It was nothing more than the conjecture by two immature kids. Wasn't it? Trust, Kiley, trust what you know.

She was brought out of her musings when the nurse called her name. Looking hopefully towards the door she was disappointed to see it wasn't LJ.

"I have someone who is suppose to be here with me, when she arrives will you bring her to where I am?"

"Certainly, dear. Nothing to be nervous about, Dr. Gaston is a very nice woman." The nurse said as she showed Kiley into the doctor's main office.

Sitting down, Kiley looked around the room and noted the various diplomas on the walls. A picture on the desk made her think it was the doctor with her husband and sons. The door opened and Kiley turned to see a round woman, who was probably in her late forties, with graying hair enter the room.

The doctor sat down and opened a folder. "Mrs. Wilcox, I am Beth Gaston. I see you are interested in insemination. May I ask if your husband infertile."

Kiley nervously laughed as she wished LJ were there. "No, he passed away several years ago. I would like another child."

"Ah, we have many women come to us for the same reason. Some are hearing their biological clock tick and want a child before it's too late. You know it will be difficult to raise a child on your own, do you have family in the area to help you out?"

"Oh, yes, I will have lots of TLC." Kiley couldn't help the smile that lit up her face as a knock on the door was heard and LJ entered. "There you are. Dr. Gaston, please meet Dr. Evans."

Reaching her hand out, Beth shook LJ's. "I am glad to meet you, Dr. Evans, are you Kiley's family doctor?"

LJ looked quizzically at the doctor first, then Kiley. "I'm not a medical doctor, I'm a PHD."

It was Dr. Gaston's turn to be surprised. "Oh, I just assumed...why are you here then? To support your friend?"

Kiley realized the confusion and spoke up. "I'm sorry, I think I mislead you. LJ is my partner."

First LJ received a glare, then Kiley. "Partner...you're lesbians?"

Kiley laughed nervously again, no one had ever asked her that question. "Yes."

Closing the file Dr. Gaston spoke coldly. "That of course changes everything! At this practice we do not cater to the likes of you."

Kiley saw red! "Excuse me! The likes of you! A moment ago you were ready for the syringe, now we're not good enough? Who the hell do you think you are?"

She completely ignored LJ who stood up, offering her hand and saying, "Let's go, we're wasting our time here."

Green eyes shot a look that could kill. "Not until I have my say!"

"Please keep your voice down." The doctor chastised.

"I will not! Tell me, Doctor, what exactly do you object to? The fact that we love each other, or that we are both women."

"I don't need to tell you anything, Mrs. Wilcox, but since you asked, I will. You are deviants who should be ashamed of yourselves for wanting to subject an innocent child to such a horrible lifestyle."

"You know nothing about our life or how we live it."

"I know you will corrupt the child so it will lead your lifestyle. I will not be a party to that!"

"You bigot!" Kiley screamed.

She squirmed as LJ put her hand under Kiley's arm and forced her out of the chair. "We are leaving now, there is no talking to a closed mind. You can't understand when you refuse to see."

Kiley wasn't going that easily so she gave one parting shot "You will hear from my lawyer, you won't get away with this!"

Rage, still within her as she turned to LJ once they were out in the hallway. "Why did you make us leave? I wanted to scratch that bitches eyes out!" The feisty blonde woman exclaimed.

Kiley willingly went into her lover's arms. "Baby, you can't make people understand when they won't listen. She has her mind already made up and you aren't going to change it."

Kiley sobbed. "I know I am new to this, but I don't understand this attitude. We love each other, what's wrong with that?"

"Shh, there's nothing wrong with our lives. Small minded people think in small ways, Love, and we can't ever change that. We need to live our lives and let our love lead the way."

"I'm not a sicko deviant, LJ...am I?"

She felt LJ hug her closer and kiss her head. "If you are then I am too. Can't think of better company, can you?"

Smiling Kiley looked up into the eyes she loved. "No, I can't. What are we going to do? Do I have to sleep around to get pregnant?" All their hopes for children and strengthening their bond seemed to be lost.

LJ laughed as they headed for the elevators. "Darling, she's not the only doctor and the only one you sleep around with is me. Once we get outside I'll make some calls, okay?"

"You're so good to me." Kiley said as she stood close to her partner in the crowded elevator.

Leaning over LJ whispered. "You make it easy." Then gave the ear a quick kiss as the elevator doors opened.

Kiley stood nervously on the sidewalk as she watched LJ talk on her cell. She held her breath as LJ closed the phone, oh please, oh please, oh please. She prayed.

"We're all set up with an appointment at one. What do you say we get some lunch before we go?"

"Sounds good to me, for some reason I'm really hungry."

"Chewing out a bigot will do that to you." LJ said laughing as they headed down the street.

Not caring what anyone thought, she took LJ's hand as they walked; she loved her and was proud of that love.

* * *

Commitment And Family

The construction was well underway and the family had moved into their alternate home. Carl and Ben had become fast friends who would spend many a day supervising the building or riding horses out to the various caves in search of arrowheads.

LJ had approached the Andrews about moving out to the ranch when she and Kiley went to Peru. In fact, she offered to let them move into a house on another property that she owned several miles away.

"Why, LJ that is mighty kind of you, but we can afford our own home." Carl noted.

"No, that's not what I meant at all! You are both out here all the time and I was thinking that it would be easier on you if you lived closer. My grandmother left me this ranch and two other smaller parcels that both have houses. I rent the land out, but at the moment the houses are vacant."

Carl patted his wife's hand as he smiled at this woman who could at one minute, be selfish and hard as nails, and then be profoundly generous and soft. "Have you spoken with Kiley about this? She may not want us so close."

LJ let out a hearty laugh. "You don't really believe that, do you? Family is everything to your daughter."

Just then Kiley entered the room having heard most of the conversation. "If you two won't willingly move, I will have to kidnap you and do it for you." She said as she walked over and kissed her parents. "LJ is right, family is everything. Wouldn't it be nice if we could go back to the time when families all lived in the same location? Kids got to know their grandparents and the value of family. I can't think of anything more wonderful."

"Looks like you don't have a choice, Mom and Dad. You know as well as I do, once she sets her mind to something it's a done deal." Standing up, she hugged Kiley then spoke again. "Would you like to go and see the houses? I am sure they are in need of a good cleaning and painting, but they are solid and have all the modern conveniences."

"Shush, LJ, I wouldn't consider an outhouse as modern." Kiley said laughingly.

"Hey, we have plenty of catalogs and corncobs in them...that is a convenience." LJ added.

"Corncobs!" Dorothy exclaimed. "That could be mighty rough on the rear end." Laughing she added. "I prefer leaves."

LJ's face took on a serious expression. "You know that is very rude, Mom, I think Jacques Penne` and his catalog would be very hurt."

A silence filled the room as each one tried to figure out what set LJ off. Then an uproarious laugh was heard.

Carl and Kiley were perplexed as they looked at the laughing Dorothy.

"Don't you get it? Jacques Penne`." She said as she wondered if the two of them were truly dense. "JC Penny? Catalog? Outhouse?" She laughed even harder as she saw the light bulbs going off.

Tears of laughter were soon running down everyone's cheeks as they all went outside and into the car. They just had to see these houses now.

* * *

Laying on the examining table Kiley looked at LJ who was staring out the window. "We don't have to do this now if you are having doubts."

She saw LJ turn around and smile lovingly. "No, this is what we planned. It is fine."

To Kiley that wasn't a rousing response. "Are you sure? You sound hesitant."

"Yes, I'm sure...it's just that I don't know."

Kiley sat up and swung her legs over the side of the table. "Will you please hand me my clothes?"

"What are you doing?"

"Babe, if there is the slightest doubt in your mind then we won't do this. We can't bring a child into the world that only one of us wants."

"No, lay back down, that's not what I meant! Kiley, I've never been around babies, never even held one and I don't know if I will be able to help you."

Laying back down Kiley laughed. "You are something else. I promise you that after one day you will be an expert."

Dr. Ellen Britton entered the room. "Hello, Ladies, are you ready to make a baby?"

"Let's do it." LJ said. "Even though we know it probably won't happen now we will give it the old college try."

Looking at LJ, Kiley noticed the goofy look on her face. Something else was there too...it had been there for weeks. She'd seen the look before...when LJ was trying to digest and solve a problem. What is going on now, LJ and why don't you open up to me and let me help?

She saw the way Dr. Dylan and LJ interacted and it was obvious to her a history existed between them. Her mind flashed back to the first time she saw LJ sitting on the table at Rusty's. The look on her lover's face that night, as she watched the singer, she knew now, was one of deep sexual desire...lust. She had never seen that side of her partner and wondered why not. It wasn't that LJ didn't desire her...she did, but it was different from the way she looked at the singer.

"Yep, let's do it." Kiley finally said as she held LJ's hand.

* * *

Rolling over, Kiley brought her arm up to hold LJ only to find the bed empty. Flu had hit her hard and she had spent a good deal of the night in the bathroom. LJ had been wonderful, holding her head and wiping her face with a cool washcloth. Looking at the clock, she saw it was close to seven thirty, before she closed her eyes again.

Then they opened wide. "Shit!" she said as she sat up only to have the room spin around her. Steadying herself, she grabbed her robe and headed for Allie's room. Finding the room empty, she began to panic as her mind whirled and her nauseous stomach churned.

Heading down the hall she looked in the kitchen and family room all the while calling out Allie's name. Just then, the door opened and in walked her two loves laughing.

"Where have you two been, I have been worried to death about you?"

A whirling Allie ran to her mother and hugged her legs. "Mommy, Dolly had her baby and I got to pet him. His name is Chester and he is so cute...can I have him for my own?"

Kiley let out a small laugh as she looked at LJ standing in the doorway with what seemed to her a look of complete fulfillment and love. As she began to speak, she felt the now familiar feeling, and then ran for the bathroom.

As her head rose, LJ was there with the wet washcloth. "Baby, I was hoping you were feeling better. Want me to get you some juice or anything?"

"Oh, god, no! The last thing I want now is something to eat. Would you mind getting Allie ready for school?" She said weakly.

"Let's get you back to bed and then I'll take care of Allie and take her to school before I go to work."

"I can't go today...I'm sorry." She mumbled as she crawled in bed.

LJ pulled the cover up around her partner then kissed her cheek. "You take care of yourself, that's more important than work. I'm going to call Mom and have her check on you later." Once again she kissed Kiley. "I'll be back before we leave. Try to get some sleep."

* * *

Dorothy arrived at the house, walked in, and moved quietly towards the bedroom. Peeking inside she saw her daughter lying on the bed with her knees up to her chest. Moving over to the bed she felt her daughter's head. Green eyes opened and gave her a curious look. "Hey, sleepyhead how are you feeling?"

Closing her eyes Kiley sighed deeply. "Like a truck ran over me."

Sitting on the bed, Dorothy picked up the phone and dialed. "I'm calling the doctor so we can get to the bottom of this..."

Five minutes later she hung up. "Get yourself up, showered and dressed; you have an appointment in an hour. I'll go make you a cup of tea."

Kiley blinked as her mother left, then began to lift herself up as the phone rang. "Hello." She managed to squeak out.

"Hey, babe, how are you feeling now?"

"Hi, its good to hear your voice. I think porcelain and I are becoming best friends." She managed to say while she felt churning again in her stomach.

"I think I'll come home and take you to the doctor, maybe he can do something to help you."

"Just a minute." Kiley said as she dropped the phone and headed for the bathroom. Several minutes later she returned. "Don't know where it's all coming from." She said, trying to laugh, but failing. "One step ahead of you, I have an appointment in an hour. Mom is taking me so you don't need to come home."

"Are you sure, I can meet you there."

"No, you're getting down to the wire for sending supplies ahead and need to be there. I'll call you when I get home, okay?" She then felt the swelling coming again. "I need to go now, I love you. Bye."

"Please take care of yourself. I love you. Call me. Bye."

An hour later, Kiley and her mother sat in the doctor's office hoping for medicine to help with the flu. In the back of Kiley's mind, she knew what was happening, but she was afraid to speak the words.

Later, arriving home, Kiley quickly began gathering items for a basket of food to take to LJ's office. She couldn't wait to see the look on her partner's face when she told her the news.

* * *

Kiley's heart was breaking as the time came near for LJ to leave. It is always difficult to be the one left behind and this time it would be particularly hard. Circumstances due the pregnancy prevented her from accompanying her partner to Peru. Although she understood, she found it difficult to accept.

The night before LJ's departure, they held each other close as each shed tears.

"I will miss you so much." Kiley sobbed.

Lifting up Kiley's chin, LJ wiped the tears away. "We've already been through this, you can't go. I'll be back as often as I can...besides it is only two months. Time will fly by for you, I promise."

Kiley knew her fears were unfounded, but she couldn't help voicing them. "How can I compete with those that will be there with you? I will be a distant memory and they will be real." She said softly.

"You are my life. Don't you know that? You're always on my mind and in my heart. I could never forget you or discard you for anyone else." LJ held up the hand on which she wore the ring Kiley gave her. "Eternity...nothing less."

Looking into the blue eyes brimming with tears, Kiley kissed her cheek. "I love you so much. Eternity...nothing less." Her lips moved down the cheek to the red lips of her lover. "Make love with me, Lucy. Never let me go."

When they woke in the morning they were tangled in each other's arms, as they were one. It was closing in on the time for them to part and each was reluctant to let go. Their eyes were filled with tears as they searched for words to say.

A knock on the door was ignored as LJ gently ran her fingers over Kiley's cheek. "I love you as no other. You're everything, my life, my partner, my lover, the mother of our children and my other half. You make me a better person, I have never known such tenderness or love as that you bring to me. You will always be here..." She placed Kiley's hand on her heart. "And here." The hand then was placed on her head." The brimming tears finally began to fall. "I love you, never forget that."

Kiley gently wiped the tears away. "You are wonderful. I love you so much. Come back safe to me my love."

The knocking on the door became insistent as they heard Allie. "Hey, I'm hungry are you ever going to wake up?"

One last kiss, then they began the day.

* * *

"Arrrugh! Damn it all to hell!"

Racing over to his daughter, Carl asked, "What's the matter, Baby?"

"What's the matter, you ask? It certainly would be nice to get these contractors to help me instead of hindering me all the time!" Kiley screamed out. "It's as if they think I am some idiot that can't tell time!" Her face was red with anger.

Carl put his arm around his daughter and pulled her in close. "Why not let Ben and I take care of the contractors and you do the decorating part. After all, we are familiar with all the terminology and have done some building in our time."

Kiley wrestled herself out of her father's hold. "Excuse me! What exactly do you mean by that remark? What, I'm a woman therefore I don't know about the manly things? Give me a break!"

"Exactly what is wrong with you, young lady? I don't deserve that tone!"

"Well, you wouldn't get that tone if you would treat me like an adult with a brain instead of your 'little girl'."

Carl couldn't believe the manner in which she was speaking to him. Looking her straight in the eyes he spoke in a low ominous tone. "I'm here helping you out because you and LJ asked me. Yes, I do know more than you do on this particular subject. If you would like to go it alone it won't be a problem, but if you want my help, then I better never hear that tone from you again. Is that clear?"

Realizing she was taking everything out on her dad and what an ass she had been, she bowed her head. "Daddy, I'm sorry. I don't know what gets into me these days. You're right, you and Ben need to handle the contractors."

Carl once again pulled her in as Dorothy, who had been close by listening, came over to them.

"Hey, Sweetie, being pregnant is the pits, isn't it?" Dorothy quietly asked.

Turning to her mother, Kiley collapsed on her shoulder in tears. "Why isn't she here with me?" she sobbed.

Carl patted her on the back as he kissed her head. "I'll go see what Ben's up to. It will all work out as it should, Kiley." He walked away leaving the two women alone. Mothers were much better handling this type of situation.

"Come with me, Sweetie, let's get a cup of tea and see if we can find a solution for you." Dorothy wrapped her arm around Kiley's shoulders and led her to the kitchen in her temporary house.

"Mom, I don't know what to do. I miss her so much...my life is so empty without her here."

"Kiley, she has only been gone a little over a week...you need to get yourself together for your unborn child. Didn't you know that this is what LJ needed to do during this time?"

"Well, yes, I knew, but I never thought it would be this difficult. I don't know what I'm going to do. What if something happens to her...or...she finds someone else?"

"Sweetheart, why would she find anyone else? She loves you, you're having a baby with her and I have never seen any two people more suited for each other." Dorothy got up as the teakettle began to whistle.

Kiley's mind flashed back to the night when LJ picked the slut Cassie over her. She had never seen the side of her lover she was sure the likes of Cassie had. She wasn't foolish enough to think LJ wouldn't have needs out there in the wilds of Peru. The question was...is LJ's love for Kiley strong enough.

"Mom, I think I'll go to Peru." Her mind was made up!

Dorothy turned and looked at her daughter in amazement. "Why on earth would you do something stupid like that? Does your baby mean nothing to you?"

Kiley's green eyes turned emerald. "Woman having babies travel all the time, what makes you think I am any different? I need to see LJ and be with her, it's as simple as that. If you can't understand, Mother, then you are the stupid one!"

She placed the mugs of tea on the table before sitting down, her eyes squarely on her daughter. "Would you like to tell me what really is going on? I don't believe for one moment you are so insecure that you need LJ that badly." She cautiously put her hand over Kiley's and was surprised when she wasn't rebuffed. "Please, let me help you." Dorothy said softly.

Tears were flowing down Kiley's cheeks as she searched for the words that would explain her fears. She bowed her head and began to speak softly. "LJ has been gone for ten days...she called me when she arrived...I haven't heard from her since. She told me she would come back every two weeks..." She raised her head as watery eyes focused on Dorothy. "I don't think she will..." There was a long moment of silence as she turned her gaze out the window. "I don't think I will ever see her again."

Dorothy moved her chair next to Kiley's so she could comfort her. "Are you saying you don't trust her? "

"I don't know." Came the soft reply.

"Has she done something to make you think you can't trust her?"

"Not really."

"Do you love her?"

"More than I ever thought possible. Maybe that's the problem, I love her too much." Glazed eyes stared out the window. "I'm not sure she loves me as much."

"Why do you feel that way?" Dorothy was having a hard time understanding the problem, because from her point of view, it was obvious how much LJ loved her daughter.

When there was no answer another question was asked. "Do you know how to get in touch with her?"

"Yes." Came the defeated reply.

"Then I suggest you contact her and talk with her about this." Taking Kiley's chin in her hand she turned the face towards her. "If you keep this inside and say nothing then you will never know the truth; you will have convicted LJ with your imaginings. She deserves better, Kiley, and so do you. Talk with her; if she doesn't know there's a problem she can't fix it. You will give her that chance if you truly love her."

Kiley's eyes continued to look blank as she listened to her mother speak. "I'll think about it. I'm tired, do you mind if I go take a nap?" Getting up, she kissed her mother, then went into the bedroom and closed the door.

Dorothy watched her daughter go as she sighed. "Fasten your seatbelts, we're in for a bumpy ride. Who said pregnancy was beautiful."

* * *

Sitting in the sun on a lounge chair, Kiley read a book of poems by Sara Teasdale. One caught her eye...

To One Away
Sara Teasdale

I heard a cry in the night,


 A thousand miles it came,


Sharp as a flash of light,


 My name, my name!

It was your voice I heard,


 You waked and loved me soŚ


I send you back this word,


 I know, I know.

She knew LJ loved and missed her, but as the days went by she grew increasingly desperate to see her. Traveling to Peru was out of the question, she knew that, besides, she was as big as a house and probably would need two seats.

Picking up her phone she dialed the number LJ had given her in case of emergencies. This was an emergency! The babies were very active and she wanted to share the joy with her partner.

A voice said, "Hello, can I help you?"

"Yes, I'm trying to get a hold of Dr. Evans. Do I have the right place?"

"Dr. Evans is here, I will get her...it may take some time."

"Thank you, I'll wait." Kiley's body shook as she waited to hear the one voice that would calm all her fears. She was sure the babies were doing flips as they kicked her.

"This is Dr. Evans."

"Lucy, is that really you?" Kiley cried.

"Kiley? Is something the matter?"

"Nothing is the matter, I just needed to hear your voice and know you still love me." There was no stopping the tremble in her voice as she spoke the words.

"I love you, Kiley, you're my one and only. Don't you know that?"

The tears were flowing freely now. "I know you do, but you are there with all those young things and that Dylan woman. Why wouldn't you want them instead of the house I have become." She sobbed loudly.

"Kiley, you're the one that I love."

"The twins are so active and you're not here to experience it with me. Why would you want to be, how can we compete with what you are doing there? How can I compete with that Dylan woman? Just promise me one thing, Lucy."

"I will do anything you ask, Kiley."

"Will you not leave me until after the babies are born?"

"Leave you? I'm not leaving you Kiley, what on earth has given you that idea?"

"Don't spare my feelings, Lucy, I know you don't want me anymore."

"Baby, I need to take care of things first, but then I will come home to you."

"Oh, Lucy, you are such a silly goose. Why would you do that? You have your job to do there and it's very important. Besides, it is only another month 'till you're home for good." Kiley's lilting voice sounded happy.

"What's going on with you? One minute you're crying and now you're laughing. I don't understand...do you want me to come home or not?"

"Silly, of course I want you to come home, but you have your job to do there. You will be home soon enough. Oh, here's Mom, say hi to her." Kiley handed the phone off to her mother.

"Hi, LJ, I see you've been talking with Kiley." She said laughingly. "Quite an experience isn't it?"

"Mom, what is going on with her? One minute she is crying the next laughing...I'm confused."

Dorothy tried but couldn't contain her laughter. "One word, LJ, hormones. It has been a bumpy ride."

"I should have known. Is she being awful?"

"No, it is rather amusing. Oh, she wants to speak to you again. Bye, sweetie, I love you."

"Okay, Mom, thanks, I love you too. Bye."

"Lucy, I need to go now, sauerkraut is calling my name. I love you. Bye, babe." Then she made several kissing sounds.

Laughing LJ, replied. "Bye, my love, talk to you soon. Are you having hotdogs with the sauerkraut?"

"Lucy! Hotdogs, gag city, no, I'm having pumpkin pie with it. Bye, I love you."

* * *

Homecoming

The day was finally here! LJ was coming home!

Kiley hurried around the house straightening up. She had changed the beds, swept the floors, dusted and made LJ's favorite dessert. Glancing at the clock she had another two hours until she had to leave for the airport. Pacing back and forth she needed to find something to occupy herself. Flicking on the television she tried to watch some talk show but had no patience for the ridiculousness of some people.

Grabbing her keys she squeezed her enormous belly in behind the steering wheel. "God, I can't believe how big I'm getting. Wonder if Lucy will find me disgusting?" Reaching down she slid the seat back further. Wondering how much more room she had she lifted the release again and found herself sliding into the backseat. Now, she was in a dilemma for the seat was so far back that she couldn't reach the floor to help go back forward. Struggling she grabbed the steering wheel and pulled herself forward only not to go anywhere. Stupid lift the lever at the same time. Finally she was able to make headway when she finally was back to where she wanted to be.

Arriving at the airport she parked the car and went inside, finding a seat by the entrance to the gates. She would sit there and watch people go by until LJ arrived. She began looking at the women and comparing them to LJ. There was no doubt in her mind that her woman was the most beautiful one around. The very thought of Lucy caused arousal to stir inside of her. Then she began to fantasize about how she would feed Lucy dessert as she ravished her body.

"Excuse me, Miss. Are you alright?" A voice out of nowhere spoke to her.

Startled, Kiley looked up to see a distinguished looking man. "Yes, I am fine. Why do you ask?"

"Oh, pardon me. You were gyrating and I thought there perhaps was a problem with the baby."

Kiley felt the fire erupt on her face. "It's hard to find a comfortable position sometimes." She said with a smile. Oh my god, I need to get laid. She thought to herself hoping no one else noticed. Looking around, she was aware of eyes darting away when she looked up. Once again her face reddened as she wished there was a hole she could crawl into. Then she heard music to her ears...LJ's plane was landing.

At last the passengers began making their way past the checkpoint. Kiley stood as close to the front as she could watching for the one person that made her heart soar with love. Fortunately, LJ was tall so it was easy picking her out of the crowd. A broad smile crossed her face as her eyes homed in on her lover. Finally LJ saw her and their eyes locked.

Kiley moved through the crowd until she was in front of LJ, then flung her arms around LJ's neck. "God, how I have missed you." She whispered in LJ's ear.

It didn't matter to Kiley who was watching or what people were thinking, her love was home and that was all that mattered.


Part Two

"Damn you! Damn you to hell!" Kiley sobbed as she pounded LJ's chest. "Why, why? How could you do this to us?" she asked as she collapsed against the taller woman.

Wrapping arms around her love, LJ whispered as tears coursed down her cheeks. "Please forgive me."

L J

Memories and Family Ties

She stood there in shock...how had her grip on life gotten so out of control. Kiley was everything she ever wanted and yet she stood there damning LJ to hell. Shaking her head in disbelief she wondered back over their lives together...

* * *

For LJ, life had a weird way of teaching her lessons. She was stripped of her first love, Holly, as a freak accident took her life. At the same time, her family, except for her grandmother, disowned her as a deviant of nature. After that, she devoted her life to her work, feeling that relationships weren't worth the time. Her liaisons, and there were many, brought her sexual relief which was all she wanted out of such affairs. A good hard, hot and physical fuck was all she needed until Kiley Wilcox came into her life.

Once the small, blonde woman arrived, LJ fought her feelings until she realized she couldn't resist falling in love. What resulted was a ready-made family that included a mother and a father and a daughter. For the first time in many years she knew what unconditional love was and embraced it wholeheartedly.

Moving her new family out to her grandmother's ranch, Rhodes End, was a defining moment in her life. She completely committed to Kiley as her life partner, wanting or needing no other woman. Together they would forge a life together on the ranch with love leading their way.

Ben offered to leave when the move began, but LJ would have none of that. "Ben, you're an integral part of our family and this ranch. What would I do without you? Please stay and continue doing what you do best...running this ranch."

The older man's face lit up as she spoke. He loved the ranch and really didn't know what he would do if he left. "Well, Missy, I do think you will need help with that 'lil one. She is a handful that's for sure. I would be honored to stay here."

"Good, I am glad to hear you say that. Kiley's dad, Carl will be drawing up plans for additions to the house, so there will be a lot more activity than you might be used to."

"That Carl Andrews is quite a character. One day he came out here and persuaded me to go out for a ride looking for arrowheads. I had feed to unload, but off I went with him." Ben was laughing as he remembered the incident. He bowed his head as he kicked at the dirt before he spoke again. "Your grandmother would be so pleased that you're living here and happy. She worried over you all the time."

LJ was at a loss for words. The mention of her wonderful grandmother tugged at her heart. Now it was her turn to bow her head and kick the dirt. "Thanks, Ben. You miss her too."

"Everyday Miss LJ, she was one special lady."

"I know, thank you for staying here...you are one of the family, please don't forget that." Then in an uncharacteristic gesture she hugged him.

Yes, Kiley Wilcox certainly had made a profound impact on LJ Evans.

* * *

LJ really didn't mind the longer drive to and from work for it gave her time to go over the day's events. The drive home was made even more pleasurable knowing she was headed home to her family.

Parking her truck outside the house, LJ sat there for a moment enjoying the feeling of home. Opening the screen door she heard it creak and smiled...home, she thought. Once inside she saw Kiley and once again fell in love with her. Then she saw the small girl fly around her mother heading for her. Holding out her arms she lifted the child high up in the air before she settled close to her.

"Mom, can you come to my school and be my show and tell? Please, Please. I drew you a picture, too."

"Slow down, squirt." LJ laughed as she kissed and hugged the girl before setting her down on the counter. "Now, what is this about school?"

"I told my teacher you could come and bring fossils cause you're a arcologist."

"Archeologist, Allie, not arcologist."

"Will you come? I would have the best show and tell of everyone. Please." She begged.

LJ's heart filled with happiness. She loved this child. "Tell you what, why don't you go do your chores and help Ben feed the horses while I talk with your mom."

"Okay, but don't look at the picture till I get back!" Allie was pointing her finger at LJ as she spoke. "I got to go and help Ben...bye." She said as she flew out the door.

Her eyes then caught the green ones she adored. Her feet moved effortlessly in the direction of her love. Drawing her arms around her beautiful lover, she breathed in Kiley's unique scent. "Do you have any idea what she's talking about?"

Her reward was a kiss before Kiley spoke. "I sure do, let me tell you about the phone call I had..."

"There you have it. What do you think? I'm afraid I was a bit hard on Mrs. Green. LJ, is our daughter going to be an outcast because we love each other?" Am I that naïve?"

LJ hoped she could shield Kiley and Allie from narrow minded bigots, but it seemed as though they were right there in her own backyard. "I certainly hope Allie is not the target of prejudice. But, it sounds to me like I am going to be a show and tell for her." LJ laughed as she pulled Kiley in for a kiss. "We can't stop people from talking, but we can prepare Allie. You may be a bit naïve, but everything will work out, I promise."

She would write a note to the teacher accepting the offer to come and show the class her fossils. It would be the best damn show and tell ever and she would win the respect and admiration of the kids. At least she could show the younger generation that lesbians weren't deviants, but regular women who were very interesting. Maybe their parents were narrow-minded, but their kids wouldn't be.

A week later, LJ arrived in Mrs. Green's classroom loaded down with an assortment of dinosaur bones and other fossils. Sitting on the floor, with eighteen children surrounding her, an animated LJ told them tales of finding fossils and what to look for. When she showed them a picture of a T-Rex then produced a jawbone with teeth from one, the kids were in awe. Even more exciting for them was touching and holding the fossils. She had one more surprise for the class...

"Did you all enjoy Dr. Evans coming to our school?" Mrs. Green asked.

A rousing 'Yes' came from the class.

"What do we tell Dr. Evans, class?"

"Thank you." All eighteen replied.

LJ had a goofy smile on her face as she looked at Allie and winked. "Mrs. Green, thank you for inviting me to your classroom. I have something for the class and each student." Walking over to her bag, she took out something that looked like a part of a pillar. "This is part of a Brontosaurs leg that I would like to give you, Mrs. Green. For everyone in the class, I have a small fossil. Now, you need to promise me you will take very good care of them as they are very old."

"Yea!" sounded as they gathered around LJ once again.

The day had been remarkable for LJ. Her interaction with children, until then, was limited to her time with Allie. She found them to be refreshingly honest, curious, happy and interesting. The most pleasant reward of the day was the look in Allie's eyes when she stood next to the tall woman and looked up at her before she left. She was proud of LJ and wanted everyone to know that she belonged to her.

Later that night, as they snuggled on the porch swing, LJ told her love all about the day. The smile on her face never left as she related the antics of the kids.

"Lucy."

"Hmm?"

"Thank you."

"For what?"

"Going to the school and being Allie's show and tell."

"Allie is my daughter, I will do anything for her and you, I love you both."

Leaning closer to LJ, Kiley kissed her cheek. "I never knew what happiness was until you came into my life. I love you and will do anything for you."

Taking the smaller hand in hers, she kissed it tenderly before she stood up. "Come to bed, my love, and be my show and tell." Then she scooped up a giggling Kiley.

"What are you going to show me first?" Could be heard as she kicked open the screen door before heading towards their bedroom.

* * *

The work at the museum escalated as they readied for travel to the site in Peru. Everyone was hopeful that the expedition would be as fruitful as the year before. Students from the university, along with their professor, visited as LJ conducted the classes necessary for a successful dig.

"Lover, I'm back." The woman purred as she passionately kissed LJ.

LJ just sat speechless, as she stared into hazel eyes full of lust.

Dr. Maxine Dylan worked at the University as director of the archeology department. Her body was taut with long shapely legs. Her auburn hair pulled back in a ponytail that fit through the school's baseball cap she wore. She was an exceptional archeologist and had collaborated with LJ's excursions for the past five years. She provided the work force in the form of her best students and graduate assistants. This year's crop was especially talented.

For LJ, Max was the ultimate fuck, primal, heart pounding, hot sex. Now, here she was in her inner sanctum tempting her once again. All she needed to do was move close to her and LJ would become wet with arousal. Visions of remembered nights of heated, unbridled passion would drive her over the edge. Max knew too well the effect she had on LJ and would take every opportunity to rub up against her creating instant electricity.

When she was with Kiley, they made love...tender, passionate, committed love. LJ loved Kiley with all her heart and soul and wanted to spend the rest of her life with her. In the past months with Kiley, she totally forgot about Max, but here she was and she found herself drawn to her again.

Gathering her faculties, LJ scowled at the woman. "That's some entrance, Max. Next time remember where you are and who might be around before you pull that stunt again!" She barked.

In typical Max form, she laughed, and then moved in again. When LJ moved to avoid another kiss, Max took a step backward and gave her a once over.

"Playing hard to get, Lover?" she said as her eyes focused on LJ's crotch. "We shall see how long that lasts." Laughing once again her eyes moved to the beautiful face before her. "My students will be here soon, do you have a room ready for them?"

At first, she was going to get Kiley to show them the room, but on second thought, decided it would be a bad idea. LJ didn't want the likes of Max Dylan coming on to Kiley...and she knew she would. Nor did she want Max to know of their relationship, for she would use the opportunity to come between them.

Kiley, on the other hand, didn't need to know about LJ's past relationship with Max, it would serve no useful purpose and only upset her. LJ reminded herself of her love and commitment for the blonde and vowed to be true.

Later on when her class was done, Max returned to LJ's office area. "Well, Lover, looks like we are all done for today." She said as she moved in on LJ. "What do you say we get together tonight for some research and old times sake." She said as she ran a finger along the ridge of LJ's breast.

Swiping the hand away, LJ glared at the woman. "Stop that! I'm busy tonight."

Max moved in so close there was no space between them. "Too busy for my sort of research? LJ, I'm amazed. I know how you like my explorations."

Inside LJ was trembling. Her body craved the woman's touch, desired what only she could make it feel. Moving away LJ took a deep breath. "I'll check the work room to make sure all your students are out of there." She walked quickly away trying to distance herself from the old familiar feelings. She could hear Max in the background, laughing.

Once in the corridor, LJ heard Kiley's voice raised in anger. Entering the room, she saw a young girl standing there as Kiley scolded her.

"What's going on here?"

"This idiot just managed to wipe away two solid weeks of work." Kiley said as she picked up pieces of pottery.

LJ turned to the student. "The others are getting ready to leave, why don't you join them." Then she crouched down and looked into Kiley's eyes. "What's going on? You have been bitchy all day, that's not like you."

Kiley sat down on the floor. "What's the matter?" She growled as she held out the pieces. "Look at this! These idiot kids come in here and think they can do anything they want! The result is weeks worth of work gone!" Her face was red with anger. "Do you have any idea what goes on here, or are you too busy with Dr. Dylan to notice?"

LJ's heart raced when she heard Kiley mention Max. Shit! What do I do now? Confess all or play dumb? Sitting down next to Kiley, she took the pieces and set them on the table. "I love you. Do you want to tell me what is really bothering you?"

"Are you deaf? I said these kids are driving me crazy."

"They will be with us in Peru, so you'd better get used to them now."

LJ saw Kiley's face light up. "Us? Am I going with you?"

That had been her plan all along, but now with Max here, she wasn't sure it was a good idea. Nevertheless, she needed Kiley with her and she would sort it out. "Of course you're going. How could I exist there without you?"

LJ felt a sense of calm as Kiley hugged her and kissed her lips. This was real; this is what she needed, not a night of unbridled passion, but lasting, committed love. "You really mean it, I'm going with you?"

LJ stood up and helped Kiley to her feet then embraced her. "Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge..." Hugging her closer LJ asked, "Do you recognize that?"

"Yes, Ruth."

"We are one, Kiley, in heart and soul for all time. I'm not letting you go, ever." As she held Kiley, her mind flitted back to the auburn beauty. "I love you."

* * *

Max would constantly taunt LJ with her words and actions. The smoldering hazel eyes gazing at her with unbridled lust would set LJ on fire. She would make every effort to have others around them, but she always seemed to find herself, at some point, alone with Max.

Every night she would hold Kiley close and show her how much she loved her. In the morning when Kiley would roll over and snuggle close, LJ would love her again. Never did she want Kiley to feel she unloved or unwanted and she would do all she could to make that happen.

LJ lay on her back catching her breath. Their lovemaking had reached new heights as her love for Kiley overwhelmed her. She had been trying to think of how to strengthen their bond and finally found the way. LJ rolled over and kissed her lover's cheek. "What do you say, is it time we start thinking about adding to our family? Let's have a house full of kids." Her arm enclosed over the naked body next to her.

Kiley, looked at LJ as if she were trying to comprehend the words. "What?" She asked. "Do you really mean that, a baby? Oh, yes, yes I want that so much, Lucy."

"I can't think of anything more perfect than sharing my life with you and our children." Came the soft words.

"If we get the ball rolling now then when we return from Peru we can seriously pursue baby making." Kiley said as they lay together snuggled under the covers.

"Good idea and we can even give it a try now...from what I've read it rarely works on the first try."

Kiley was like a small child full of wonder. "I want the father to be tall with dark hair and blue eyes like yours. Our child should look like you, Lucy." Then she smiled. "And, if it's a girl, I want to name her after you...Lucinda Jane Wilcox Evans. That has a nice ring to it, don't you think."

LJ's heart filled with absolute love for Kiley. How wonderful her life had become and she swore to herself she would never do anything to jeopardize their relationship. "Whatever you want, baby."

"Really? Hmm, I want you."

"You already have that, love. Shall I show you?"

"Oh, yes, please do." Kiley giggled as she positioned her body on top of LJ's.

* * *

LJ was running late as she sped the old truck down the roadway. She and Kiley had an appointment with a doctor in their quest to have a family. She was already five minutes late as she parked in a space on the street. Dashing into the building she ran up the four flights then quickly looked for the doctor's office.

"Hi, I'm supposed to meet, Kiley Wilcox here. Is she already meeting with the doctor?" LJ asked the receptionist.

"She is waiting for you. Go through the door and I will take you there."

"Thanks."

The woman quickly knocked on the door then opened it to let LJ inside. Instantly her eyes met Kiley's, their gazes full of love for one another.

"There you are. Dr. Gaston, please meet Dr. Evans." Kiley smiled with love and pride.

The doctor reached out her hand to shake LJ's. "I am glad to meet you, Dr. Evans, are you Kiley's family practice doctor?"

LJ wondered what this woman was thinking. "I'm not a medical doctor, I'm a PHD."

It was Dr. Gaston's turn to be surprised. "Oh, I just assumed...why are you here then? To support your friend?"

LJ looked at the woman again wondering if she was playing with a full deck. Then Kiley spoke. "I'm sorry, I think I mislead you. LJ is my partner."

First LJ was glared at, then Kiley. "Partner...you're lesbians?"

Kiley turned to look at LJ then back to the doctor before answering. "Yes."

Hearing the cold tone and watching the doctor close the folder; LJ knew what would come next. "That of course changes everything. At this practice we do not cater to the likes of you."

What LJ didn't expect was Kiley's explosion. "Excuse me! The likes of you? A moment ago, you were ready for the syringe, now we're not good enough. Who the hell do you think you are?"

Understanding this type of person LJ got out of her chair. "Let's go, we are wasting our time here."

Again, LJ didn't expect Kiley's reaction. "Not until I have my say!"

"Please keep your voice down." The doctor chastised.

The two women verbally sparred until LJ put her hand under Kiley's arm and forced her out of the chair. "We are leaving now, there is no talking to a closed mind. You can't understand when you refuse to see."

Although her partner protested leaving, LJ persisted, but she was unable to stop Kiley's parting shot. "You will hear from my lawyer, you won't get away with this!"

"Why did you make us leave? I wanted to scratch that bitches eyes out!" The feisty blonde woman exclaimed.

LJ wrapped her arms around Kiley. "Baby, you can't make people understand when they won't listen. She has her mind already made up and you aren't going to change it."

A sobbing Kiley responded. "I know I am new to this, but I don't understand this attitude. We love each other, what's wrong with that?"

"Shh, there is nothing wrong with our lives. Small minded people think in small ways, Love, and we can't ever change that ever. We need to live our lives and let our love lead the way."

"I'm not a sicko deviant, LJ...am I?"

Hugging her closer, LJ kissed the blonde head. "If you are then I am too. Can't think of better company, can you?"

"No, I can't. What are we going to do? Do I have to sleep around to get pregnant?"

LJ laughed as she and Kiley headed for the elevators. "Baby, she's not the only doctor and the only one you sleep around with is me. Once we get outside I will make some calls, okay."

"You're so good to me." Kiley said as she stood close to her partner in the crowded elevator.

Leaning over LJ whispered. "You make it easy." Then gave the ear a quick kiss as the elevator doors opened.

Once outside, it took LJ about ten minutes to arrange an appointment for them later in the day. "We're all set up with an appointment at one. What do you say we get some lunch before we go?"

"Sounds good to me, for some reason I am really hungry."

"Chewing out a bigot will do that to you." LJ said laughing as they headed down the street.

* * *

Once approval for the plans occurred, and before building began, the family needed to move into another house on the property.

"Well, we have two choices on where to live. Want to check them out and decide which you like?" LJ said as they walked across the yard.

"I'm not sure there will be much of a contest, remember, I have seen them before."

"I know, but you never looked at them with the idea of living there."

Kiley let out a wonderful laugh. "LJ, you don't seriously think we would consider living in this shack. Do you? Wasn't it a bunk house or something at one time?"

Draping her arm over her partner's shoulders, LJ laughed too. "Hey, this place has fond memories and probably stories to tell." A fond smile crossed her face as the past floated into her memory.

"Before my family moved up north, I would spend the summer here with my grandmother. She was quite a woman." LJ said softly. "I can still remember her sitting on a horse. She would reach down for my hand, pull me up, hold me close and take me out for dinner with the cowboys. She must have been in her sixties at the time." A misty look came to her eyes. "Those were the happiest days of my life. After we moved I didn't see her as much, but we would always talk on the phone."

Then she went quiet until Kiley asked, "Tell me more please, she sounds wonderful."

Looking down at the beautiful woman, LJ saw the sincerity in her eyes. "When my parents disowned me she was the only one who would speak to me. After Holly's death, I came here and she warmly welcomed me. She never asked what happened or why my folks hated me; she was just there to support me. After the experience with my parents, I was hesitant to tell her I was gay."

Blue eyes drifted around the ranch. "When I received my doctorate she was eighty-four and in poor health. Nevertheless, she boarded a plane and came to support me; she was the only one. It was then that I found out she knew all along what had happened." A bright smile crossed her face. "It didn't matter to her, she loved me anyway...unconditionally. She told me that I needed to stop and smell the roses and rejoice in the now. She passed away shortly after that, and for the first time in my life, I felt alone. The one person that loved me no matter what was gone, and it broke my heart." Blue eyes looked distant and sad.

"You're not alone anymore, Lucy, and you never will be." Kiley whispered as she hugged the taller woman.

"I still feel her in the house, Kiley, I see her everywhere, the memories flood my mind. God, how I miss her...I wish you could have met her...I never knew what she meant by, rejoicing in the now, until I met you." Tears streamed down her cheeks as she tried to wipe them away. "Enough of this stroll down memory lane, it is best to leave the past where it belongs."

"Oh, no, Lucy, never forget your past, it is your connection to who you are. You see and feel your grandmother here because she is reaching out to you, letting you know she is still there for you. I think she is very happy for you and pleased that you are living here."

"Do you really believe that? I'm not so sure."

Kiley took LJ's hand and placed it over the taller woman's heart. "Look in here my love, and you will know. She has never left you, nor has her unconditional love. Don't you feel it?"

How she loved the woman in her arms. "Yes, I do. Thank you for helping me in remembering her love. I love you so much, Kiley, thank you for coming into my life and loving me."

"My pleasure, Love, and thank you." Kiley turned to the shack. "Now, as to our living conditions...not here, okay."

Laughing LJ took Kiley's hand as they headed to the other, much nicer house.

* * *

LJ stood at the window watching the traffic go by and wondering if she could do this. They were about to make the first attempt of a pregnancy for Kiley. So much had happened in the past few weeks that she didn't know if she could handle this too. Bringing her out of her musing was a familiar voice.

"We don't have to do this now if you are having doubts."

Kiley was so in tune with her moods and thoughts. LJ turn around smiling lovingly. "No, this is what we planned. It is fine."

"Are you sure? You sound hesitant."

"Yes, I'm sure...it's just that I don't know."

Suddenly she saw Kiley sit up and ask, "Will you hand me my clothes please?"

"What are you doing?"

"Babe, if there is the slightest doubt in your mind then we won't do this. We can't bring a child into the world that only one of us wants."

"No, lay back down. That's not what I meant! Kiley, I've never been around babies, never even held one and I don't know if I will be able to help you." That was the truth in part, but not all of it. How could she tell Kiley about her feelings for Max? It wasn't feelings as much as desire...she didn't understand the hold Max had on her, but it was there, intense and growing.

"You are something else. I promise you that after one day you will be an expert."

Dr. Ellen Britton entered the room. "Hello, Ladies, are you ready to make a baby?"

"Let's do it." LJ said. "Even though we know it probably won't happen now we will give it the old college try."

"Yep, let's do it." Kiley finally said as she held LJ's hand.

"LJ, do you want to do the honors?" Ellen said with a smile.

"Me? Really? I would love to." LJ said as she walked to the end of the table.

"Just push this and when you are finished I want you to turn out the lights and then cuddle with Kiley for a half hour before she gets up."

After Ellen left the room, blue met green as the sperm was introduced into Kiley. Keeping her gaze on her lover, LJ moved around and kissed the ruby lips before she wrapped arms around her. "We may have created a child in love. May our love for each other and our child last for all time."

There was no doubt in LJ's mind that Kiley was her salvation and her life. Max Dylan would never enter into the equation for there was no place for her in either of their lives.

* * *

In Sickness and In Health

The night had been difficult. Kiley had the flu or something and had spent a good portion of the night in the bathroom. LJ had finally fallen off to sleep when she felt a small hand shaking her. Opening one eye, she saw Allie standing there. Turning her head slightly, she noted the time...six AM.

"Hey, Squirt, why are you up so early?" She said wearily.

"Want to play with me?" The small child whispered.

LJ's eyes were protesting being open. "Sweetie, go back to bed for a little bit, then we can play."

"But, Mom, I'm all dressed." Allie said a bit louder.

"Shh, shh, your mommy is sleeping, she doesn't feel well."

Pathetic eyes looked at her. "Okay." She said with her head bowed. "I'll go play by myself." Then she turned and headed out of the bedroom.

Closing her eyes again, LJ welcomed the moment to sleep. Unfortunately, those sad eyes filled her mind and once again, she opened hers. Slipping out of bed, she headed out to find her daughter and play with her. She found Allie sitting alone, on the couch, in the family room.

"Allie, why are you up so early today? School doesn't start for another three hours." LJ asked as she sat down next to her daughter.

"I couldn't sleep anymore, I'm too excited."

"Excited about what?"

Allie looked at LJ as if she had lost her mind. "Sara." She said. "My friend Sara is coming over today." She said emphatically as her eyebrows raised to emphasize her words.

"How could I forget...we've heard about Sara for a week?" LJ mumbled as a smile crossed her face. "Tell you what, I will get my jeans and boots on and then we can go out and see if Dolly has had her foal yet."

"Really?" The child squealed as she hugged her mother.

"Shh, remember Mommy is sleeping. I'll be right back." With that, she ruffled Allie's hair as she got up.

Once outside, the two headed for the barn where LJ saddled her horse and mounted him. Reaching her hand down for Allie, she lifted her up, set her on the saddle securing an arm around her. "Let's go see what we can find." She said as they headed out towards the ridge and the other horses. A sense of deja vous filled her heart. Kiley was right; Gram is with me always.

The early morning air was warm with a light breeze as they trotted across the fields. Stopping the horse LJ pointed in the direction of the woods. "Look, a herd of deer." She said softly.

Turning her head, and looking up at this woman she adored, Allie whispered. "Can we go and see them?"

"If we get any closer they will run away. Do you see the two babies?"

"Let's get one for my pet." The child begged.

Lightly tapping the horse, LJ guided him towards the ridge and the herd of horses. As they topped the hill, they saw six horses grazing on the lush grasses by the pond.

"Look, Mom, Dolly had her baby!" Allie shrieked.

Dolly, a large chestnut, was standing while her foal suckled. From the looks of the young horse, LJ calculated it was several hours old. Slowly they made their way down the hill until they were close. LJ dismounted then gave her hand to Allie pulling her into her arms. Cautiously, LJ made her way towards the mother and foal. Allie, for once, was speechless.

"Hey, Dolly, look what you did." She cooed as she patted the mother's head and continued running her hand along the horse until she reached the foal. "Allie, I am going to put you down. I want you to stand quietly, okay."

Allie nodded her head as she was lowered to the ground. She was in awe of the miracle of birth.

"Look at you, little one." LJ said softly as she approached the foal. Gently she touched the skittish horse's head. "I'm not going to hurt you, little one." She ran her hands over the baby while she hummed softly. This one was chestnut too, but unlike its mother, it had white socks. "Come here, Allie."

Allie made the few steps to where the foal was. "Can I touch it?" She whispered.

"Sure you can. It's a boy...what do you think we should name him?"

Carefully Allie petted the small horse. "He's kind of wet."

"Yep, remember what I told you about being in his mommy?" LJ watched as her daughter gently hugged the baby. Her mind was recording everything and locking it away as a wonderful memory to be revisited repeatedly.

"Chester, when you get bigger I can ride you." Looking up to her mother, she asked. "Can I keep him?"

LJ laughed. "Not right now, squirt, he needs to stay with his mother. Speaking of mothers, do you think we should head back and check on yours?"

"Can't we stay longer? Chester needs me to pet him."

"Not now. We need to go back and check on your mother then get you ready for school. You're going to need to change your clothes and have breakfast."

Reluctantly Allie agreed and after goodbyes, headed back home. LJ felt alive and wide-awake. What an amazing way to start a day. She thought as she hugged Allie closer to her.

* * *

As preparations for Peru proceeded, LJ worried about Kiley who had been out sick for the second day. She didn't seem to be getting over the flu very fast. That caused concern since Kiley needed to start her shot schedule before they left.

Picking up the phone, she dialed the familiar number. "Hey, babe, how are you feeling now?"

"Hi, its good to hear your voice. I think porcelain and I are becoming best friends." She managed to say.

"I think I will come home and take you to the doctor, maybe he can do something to help you." LJ heard her partner retch.

"Just a minute." Kiley said. LJ could hear her in the bathroom throwing up again. "Don't know where it's all coming from." She said, trying to laugh, but failing. "One step ahead of you, Love, I have an appointment in an hour. Mom is taking me so you don't need to come home."

"Are you sure, I can meet you there."

"No, you are getting down to the wire for sending supplies ahead and need to be there. I will call you when I get home, okay. I need to go now I love you. Bye."

"Please take care of yourself. I love you. Call me. Bye."

Just as she hung up Max came over and hovered. "What do you want now?" LJ said testily.

Max slinked so close that her breast was touching LJ's arm. "Lover, why are you always so up tight? You need to relax. Why not join me tonight and I can rid you of all that tenseness." She said with a lusty tone.

LJ moved away. "Get real! Now, unless you have something important to say, please leave."

"Lover, if I didn't know better, I'd think you had someone else, but we both know no one can satisfy you like I do." She said, as she once again moved in on LJ. "Alas, I do have business with you, we seem to be missing about six tents. Now, that won't be a problem for me cause, I can bunk with you, but others might complain."

LJ sighed. "There is no way I am sharing anything with you! I will take care of the tent situation. Now, go away!"

Laughing, Max gave LJ a quick kiss. "We will be sharing everything once I get you in the jungle, Lover. You always come to me...this time won't be any different."

LJ shook her head. "If you won't leave, I will." Then she pushed past the woman.

Max continued to laugh. "Remember, I know you, Lover. You can't resist." She said as she followed the woman of her desires out of the room.

Several minutes later, the phone rang, LJ sighed knowing it would be Max trying once again to lure her into a date. "Yes!" she said gruffly.

"LJ? Is everything all right?" Kiley asked.

LJ's face glowed. "Hey, how are you feeling?"

"Much better, the doctor gave me some meds to stop the geyser stomach. It should be all gone soon...I hope." To LJ her voice sounded happy and relieved.

"That's great, babe, I'm relieved. I have to admit I was worried about you." LJ closed her eyes as she released the breath that she had been holding since she last heard Kiley's voice.

"Listen, Mom is taking Allie and I have a basket full of goodies. Would you be interested in an intimate picnic with me?"

The smile crossing her face was one of pure pleasure. "Now, that sounds like the best offer I've had all day. I will be here waiting for you, love."

"Be there in thirty minutes, babe."

A genuine sense of relief came over LJ. The fear that she had been feeling for the last few days was finally lifted. Kiley, the love of her life, was on her way...how wonderful life was!

* * *

Hearing the familiar footsteps, LJ's heart skipped a beat. She caught a glimpse of Kiley as she walked past the various aisles before she turned up the one towards her.

"From the size of that basket you have enough for an army." She laughed as she took the basket from her lover.

"Hey, I haven't eaten in days and I'm hungry. In fact, I don't think you've had much either." She said as she stretched up to kiss the waiting lips. "Mmm, maybe we should eat the food later." She said as she wiggled her eyebrows suggestively.

"Woman, have you no shame, this is my place of work." LJ replied as she pulled Kiley in for a deeper kiss. "Have I ever shown you my sketches?"

Kiley shook her head.

"Well then, step this way, love and I will reveal all to you." LJ took the smaller hand and the basket then led them to a small room in the back of the tombs.

Opening the door, Kiley saw a small room with a dresser, a chair, a desk and a twin bed. "What's this?"

LJ's face lit up. "It's my home away from home. When I get really involved in something and it gets late I just crash here."

Kiley looked up into the blue eyes. "I bet more than that has happened here." She said jokingly, but not really.

LJ put the basket on the desk then took the blonde into her arms. "I have never brought anyone else here, Kiley. You are the first and only." Then they kissed before LJ picked her up and laid her gently on the bed. She then undressed her lover and herself before lying down next to Kiley.

"Make love with me...I need to feel you close to me." LJ whispered as she began to run her fingers lightly over the hungry body.

Fingers and lips touched everywhere as they explored the depth of their love for each other. Calling out the other's name, they reached one peak after another until they collapsed together, satisfied.

Kiley lazily traced a finger over LJ's abdomen. "Lucy, I have something to tell you."

A smile crossed her face. "You do, do you? Is it bigger than a bread box?" She said laughingly.

She gently slapped LJ. "Silly, this isn't twenty questions or a game, this is serious."

Noting the tone LJ focused on her partner. "What's the matter?"

Kiley kissed her beautiful lover. "Nothing's the matter, in fact it is very good...Mom." She watched as LJ digested the comment before her eyes opened wide.

"Mom? Do you mean?" She said as she pulled Kiley to her. "We're having a baby! WOW! That's wonderful." Realizing how tightly she was holding Kiley, she released her. "Are you okay? When? This is fabulous. Thank you, thank you, my love."

* * *

LJ was floating on cloud nine ever since Kiley told her about the baby. She took to insisting her partner ride to work with her. Every half hour she was either calling or checking on Kiley to make sure she was comfortable and happy. No matter how she tried, she couldn't shield her lover from all events.

It was early one morning when the two women carried some of the restored items to the display for exhibition. Crossing the atrium, they chatted and laughed knowing this would be their only chance to be together for the day. The students and their instructor would once again be coming to ready for the sojourn to Peru.

Seemingly out of nowhere, a woman appeared, startling both Kiley and LJ. She was a tall woman, probably six one, dressed in a red decorated skirt with a bright yellow full blouse. Wrapped around her waist appeared to be a scarf with large bird feathers dangling at one end. Her hair was a long, curly gray with streaks of black throughout. Her eyes, almost black in appearance, seemed to twinkle with delight.

Kiley was the first to speak. "May I help you?"

The woman turned to Kiley and gave her a brilliant smile. "Oh yes, I am looking for someone called Robert Ludlow."

Kiley laughed lightly. "His office is hard to find. If you go back over there and down that hall you will see the director's office, you'll find him there."

First, the woman turned her dark eyes in LJ's direction, and then they set on Kiley. She seemed to be in a trance as she slowly swayed back and forth. Then she reached out and placed a hand on Kiley's belly.

LJ moved to get the woman away from her love, but stopped when the woman began to speak.

"You are with child. They are healthy and bring you much joy."

"They?" Kiley asked

"Yes, there are two." The woman's eyes drifted over to LJ then back to Kiley. "Great sadness will come your way soon...love will be the answer."

Then she moved over to LJ. "Betrayal destroys...love repairs. The road back is paved in love."

The two lovers looked at each other mystified by the woman and her words. When they looked back to the woman, she was gone...it was almost as if she had never been there.

"That was weird. Wonder who she is?" Kiley remarked.

LJ scanned the atrium for the woman. "I really don't care...I didn't like the idea of her touching you!"

"She's gone. Now, shall we get these put up before the kids arrive? Now, that's scary."

* * *

As the time grew closer for Peru, it became apparent to both women that Kiley would not be able to travel with LJ. Although the doctor said it was nothing to worry about, Kiley had been having some spotting which caused great concern.

A sense of sadness began to invade their otherwise happy home. At night, they would hold each other closer and their goodbyes lingered. LJ, wanting to take every opportunity to spend time with both her girls, limited her overtime at work.

It was the drive to and from work, that LJ cherished the most. She could completely captivate Kiley's time and would frequently reach over and hold her hand. Often her mind would drift to the time when she would be gone.

"Babe, you do know that I will miss you. Don't you?" LJ nervously asked.

Kiley gave her a brilliant smile. "Of course you will, my love, I am inside your heart and soul and under your skin. That kind of thing you never forget."

As they sat waiting for a light to turn, LJ patted the seat next to her. "Come over here and sit next to me, please."

* * *

The Jungle

The retreating downpour left the jungle floor damp and the air saturated making it feel like a sauna. It seemed as though every flying insect for miles around descended upon the camp, buzzing around everyone's head. Normally these conditions wouldn't bother LJ, but now, she was soaked and lonely. Being at the site and uncovering relics was no longer a challenge; her heart was elsewhere.

Sitting on a mossy rock, she surveyed the area. She was sure that the temple they were uncovering would yield many treasures. The diversified team was first rate, the best they had ever assembled. She could not ask for more, yet, for the first time in her life she didn't want to be there. She wanted to be at home with her family. A smile crossed her face as she thought of Kiley and Allie...home and family what wonderful words, she thought. She had only been gone a week, and the thought of spending another seven there was unbearable. She recalled the last night she held Kiley in her arms...

Sitting on the porch swing Kiley leaned into LJ. "I already miss you, can't you stay here?"

"You know I can't. I have responsibilities and this is what I do...my career." LJ pulled Kiley closer.

Kissing her lover's cheek, Kiley purred, "Please stay, I will make it worth your while, Lucy."

LJ growled. Only Kiley could get away with calling her that. "You will, will you? Hmm, what did you have in mind?"

"Well, what about this?" she cooed as she nibbled on an ear. "Or, this?" the neck was next. "Bet you'll like this" she said as her fingers grazed over a breast. "What ever you want, Lucy, just ask."

"You certainly know how to get to me." LJ moaned.

"I know everything you want and need lover, stay with me and I will show you." Kiley tried not to whine. "Why don't I come with you?"

LJ gently circled the expanding abdomen. "Our baby needs you to stay here. Sweetie, what would we do if something happened to you or our child?"

Kiley put her hand over LJ's. "You'll miss so much of the pregnancy. I need you here with me."

LJ's eyes captured the green ones as she sighed. "Guess we didn't plan this very well, did we. How about I try to get back here every two weeks or so."

Kiley's face brightened. "Really? You can do that?"

"I will do my best." She said smiling. "Can't have my best girl all stressed out while she's pregnant."

Wrapping her arms around LJ's neck Kylie spoke. "I love you so much. I've seen all those grad students and their professor mooning over you so I bought you this..." She slipped a ring on LJ's finger. "I had it engraved with hieroglyphs so all those brilliant people will know you are taken." A small laugh escaped.

Holding her hand up she looked at the engraved ring.

"Eternity." Hands gently grasped Kiley's face. "And beyond, my love."

Lifting her hand to her face, she kissed the ring. "I'm so lonely, Kiley."

"What's the matter, lover? Why are you sitting over here all on your own?"

Startled, LJ looked up to see Max Dylan standing over her. "Don't call me that!" She said, irritated by the women.

"Lover, I know what you want and need."

"Not this year, Max, or ever again"

Max laughed. "You know as well as I do, that before we go home we'll get together; we always do. Don't fight it, Lover."

"What do you want, Max?" The very aggravated LJ, asked harshly.

"LJ, you never change, do you?" Max laughed harder as she shook her head. "Do you think we'll find this one not looted?" She asked, as she looked towards the temple. For the moment, the subject needed to be changed, but just for the moment.

"Not sure yet, we've only uncovered half of it. We probably won't know the answer to that until next year." LJ looked up at the woman. "Don't you have something to do?"

"Sure do." With that, Max bent over and gave LJ a big sloppy kiss as her hand grabbed LJ's crotch. "See you later, Lover." As Max walked away, her uproarious laughter could be heard.

Swiping her hand across her mouth, LJ tried to remove the woman's kiss. Her eyes then drifted over to Max as she was engaging one of her student's in a lesson. Max certainly knew how to fulfill her needs. Fiery passion was an understatement.

Just the thought caused an arousal that LJ was unable to control. The woman's body was long, taut, and screaming out to her. Closing her eyes, she could picture the perfect breasts and the way that body craved LJ's touch. She began anxiously shaking her leg as the old, familiar feelings of want and control began taking hold. Looking down at the ring on her hand, she shook her head and then stood up. Sliding the ring off her finger, she read the inscription, Eternity, then put it in her pocket as she walked towards the excavation area.

* * *

The night was sultry as LJ paced back and forth in her tent. Again, she was unsuccessful in reaching Kiley. Dressed in only a tank top and shorts she was sweating profusely in the oppressive heat. Looking through the netting doorway, she watched Max move around in her tent. The familiar feelings attacked her libido as she felt the need reach epic heights. She wanted what Max could do to relieve the pent-up feelings. Turning away she muttered, "I need to get laid."

Sitting at her desk, she began shuffling through her notes in an attempt to concentrate on something other than her increasingly wet clit. Her eyes drifted to the photo of Kiley, Allie and herself at Rhodes End. Closing her eyes, she could remember the touch, the feel, the smell and the taste of the beautiful green-eyed woman. God, how she needed her now! She was unable to make it home after two weeks, which had Kiley crying when she told her...

..."Baby, I can't help it, there isn't any way to get to Cuzco right now. I'm lucky to get a call out."

"This isn't fair!" Kiley sobbed. "I miss you so much, please come home to us, LJ, please." How she hated begging, but she needed her lover with her.

LJ's heart cried out for Kiley, if only there was a way to leave here. "I love you. How's that baby of ours?"

"Oh, how I wish you could have been here for the ultrasound, it was awesome. I sent you a copy..." She paused for a moment wondering if this was the right time to tell her. She hoped they could be together for the news, but now it looked like that wouldn't be happening anytime soon.

"You did! That is great I hope it gets here soon." A goofy smiled crossed LJ's face as she thought of their child.

"LJ, I need to tell you something..."

"Is something wrong?" Her heart sank.

"No, everything is wonderful...we're having twins!"

LJ's eyes open wide. "Twins like two babies?" She was awestruck.

"Yes, silly, and the doctor said..."

"Kiley, Kiley can you hear me? Kiley, I love you!" She shouted hoping she could still hear her. An attempt to reconnect failed causing LJ to shed a tear.

So engrossed in her thoughts she didn't hear Max come into her tent.

"Hey, Lover, need some company?"

Taken off guard, LJ turned and smiled seductively until she realized whom it was. "Max, get out of here." She ordered.

Max, of course, was unaffected by the retort as she walked towards the desk and LJ. "Nice picture." She said as she snatched it off the desk. "Is this the chick you are trying to be true to? Hey, she works at the museum with you, doesn't she? Bet you two have a grand time amongst the relics." An uproarious laugh was heard. "Does she know your fondness for hot, heavy and very physical sex?" The look on LJ's face told her she hit a nerve. "I thought not. I know just what you like and how you like it, Lover." She cooed in the nearby ear as she leaned across the desk to replace the picture.

The breast was there in her face, tantalizing her...calling her name to take it and make it hers. She could feel an incredible arousal that shouted to be satisfied. So tempting...she could feel the nipple against her tongue. She closed her eyes as she imagined Max naked, fulfilling her every desire. She could ravage her repeatedly and Max would cry out for more.

Heat began to raise as Max moved in closer, her lips grazing her cheek. "Lover, you are trembling. I know what that means and what you need." Reaching over again she placed the picture face down. "Let me satisfy you. I know what you need." She cooed as her lips hovered over LJ's.

LJ was helpless to stop the woman's advances; she wanted her, there was no denying how much she craved her touch. Leaning into the hovering lips, she eagerly took them in a hard, hungry kiss. Her body was exploding with desire as she stood up and took the woman in her arms. "God, Kiley, I've missed you so much." She murmured.

"I can be Kiley, if that's what you want, Lover." Max whispered as her hands traveled under the tank top.

Suddenly, LJ pulled back and looked at the woman in her arms. It wasn't Kiley! "Get out! Get out of here now, and don't come back!" she shouted as she pushed Max towards the entrance to the tent.

Max laughed as she left. "You can't go that long, Lover, soon you'll be mine again."

LJ was trembling, knowing that Max was right. What was she going to do? How much longer could she resist Max's advances? "Kiley, I need you so much." She sobbed as she disrobed and slid onto her cot. Slowly her hand drifted between her legs; she needed relief or she would give into Max. As her fingers slid inside, she closed her eyes as she pictured Kiley there by her side.

* * *

Several students had been carefully digging with LJ in a new area. Her instincts told her a significant find was about to appear. She felt the shivers down her spine in anticipation of what was to come. As she was sweeping away an area, she heard...

"Dr. Evans, there is a phone call for you."

Turning her head towards the man, she asked. "Who is it, I'm busy!"

"Not sure, some woman." Tom replied.

Instantly LJ was on her feet, heading for the phone.

"This is Dr. Evans."

"Lucy, is that really you?" Kiley cried.

"Kiley? Is something the matter?" Panic filled her as her mind went over a number of scenarios of why Kiley was calling.

"Nothing is the matter, I just needed to hear your voice and know you still love me." Noting the tremble in the voice, LJ's mind flashed back to several nights before when Max came to her tent. Did Kiley know? Did Max call her? "Why would you doubt my love?" She felt sick to her stomach with the thought of losing Kiley. "I love you, Kiley, you're my one and only. Don't you know that?"

"I know you do, but you are there with all those young things and that Dylan woman. Why wouldn't you want them instead of the house I have become." Kiley was sobbing.

"Kiley, you're the one that I love." LJ was confused wondering what her partner had heard.

"The twins are so active and you're not here to experience it with me. Why would you want to be, how can we compete with what you are doing there? How can I compete with that Dylan woman? Just promise me one thing, Lucy."

Kiley's reference to Max was not lost on LJ. Dread consumed her as she spoke. "I will do anything you ask."

"Will you promise not to leave me until after the babies are born?"

"Leave you? I'm not leaving you, Kiley. What on earth has given you that idea?"

"Don't spare my feelings, Lucy, I know you don't want me anymore."

LJ looked out at the jungle, the temple and all the people there; none of that compared to her life with Kiley...she would leave here for good. "Baby, I need to take care of things first, but then I will come home to you."

"Oh, Lucy, you are such a silly goose. Why would you do that? You have your job to do there and it is very important to you. Besides, it is only another month 'till you're home for good." Kiley's lilting voice sounded happy.

LJ shook her head at the change in Kiley's demeanor. Scrunching her eyebrows together she asked, "What is going on with you? One minute you are crying now you are laughing. I don't understand. Do you want me to come home or not?"

"Silly, of course I want you to come home, but you have your job to do there. You'll be home soon enough. Oh, here's Mom, say hi to her."

"Hi, LJ, I see you've been talking with Kiley." She said laughingly. "Quite an experience isn't it?"

LJ wasn't sure what to say, this was one strange call. "Mom, what is going on with her? One minute she is crying the next laughing...I'm so confused."

"One word, LJ, hormones. It has been a bumpy ride." She said laughing.

This time it was LJ's turn to laugh as she let out a breath of relief. "I should have known. Is she being awful?"

"No, it is rather amusing. Oh, she wants to speak to you again. Bye, sweetie, I love you."

"Okay, Mom, thanks, I love you too. Bye."

"Lucy, I need to go now, sauerkraut is calling my name. I love you. Bye, babe." Then she made several kissing sounds.

Laughing LJ, replied. "Bye, my love, talk to you soon. Are you having hotdogs with the sauerkraut?"

"Lucy! Hotdogs, gag city, no, I'm having pumpkin pie with it. Bye, I love you."

Laughing, LJ heard the phone disconnect. As she walked back to the site, a sense of sadness filled her. She was missing all of the wonders of Kiley's pregnancy. Something needed to be done about the situation, and soon.

"I will find a way, Kiley." She said as she saw Max approaching her.

"Lover, come see what we just found!" Without missing a beat, she took LJ's hand and pulled her towards the dig.

* * *

Staring into the chasm that they had created in the jungle floor, LJ couldn't believe her eyes...a human skeleton. Grabbing a brush and trowel she laid down on her stomach and leaned into the pit. Carefully she brushed away dirt while many of the students observed.

"Cara, why is this significant?" She asked one of the students.

"We can date the site by the age of the bones." Cara replied.

"Why isn't this body mummified, Hank?"

"The jungle conditions are too harsh, Dr. Evans." He replied

"What if the bones are only two hundred years old, David?"

"We would have to assume this person was here for other reasons."

"Good. Now, talk among yourselves and come up with as many scenarios as you can concerning this person and why they might be here." Added Max before she lowered herself to the ground next to LJ.

LJ felt the woman next to her and tried to squelch the tremble inside. She continued to clear dirt away as she looked "for something that didn't belong there." She could hear Holly's voice guiding her search. Then she saw it. A glint of gold caught her eye as she brushed away dirt from what she thought was a hand. Carefully she grasped the object and lifted it upwards.

"What have you found there, Lover?" Max said as she inched closer to the object of her desires.

Turning it repeatedly in her hand, LJ smiled as she recognized it as one of the gods of fertility. Her thoughts went to Kiley and the bizarre conversation she had with her earlier. Perhaps this is a sign she thought as she sat up holding the relic in her hand, gazing at its beauty.

"I don't think I have ever seen one of these in gold before." She said to no one in particular.

Of course Max was the only one nearby and she responded as she took the object from LJ. "Is there more there, Lover? That might solve the puzzle of looter or builder."

Laying back down LJ continued the exploration of the bones and anything that might be nearby. Soon the students came back and Max went to continue her lesson. Once alone, LJ took the idol and held it in her hand. Reaching in her pocket, she took out her ring and placed it on her finger. She was done for the day and no longer had to worry that it might get lost.

* * *

The following week was filled with amazing discoveries. The hours were as long as the days were hot. Frustration once again set in for LJ as the mysterious symbol kept showing up. The area around the bones proved to be a treasure trove as they determined the person had been a looter.

LJ tossed and turned late into the night. The air hung heavy, making every movement a reason for profuse sweating. Getting out of her bed she took her shorts and t-shirt off, put on a light robe and shower shoes, picked up a bag and a towel, then headed for the showers.

Since it was late into the night, the solar heated water was tepid and cooled her sticky body off. Bending her head back she let the water run over her face and down her body reveling in the cool feelings. Shutting the water flow off she turned only to find Max standing in front of her naked.

"What the hell are you doing here?" LJ barked.

"Now, Lover" she said as she trailed a finger down her own breasts and began circling the taut nipple. "I'm here to take a shower and satisfy your needs." She began squeezing the nipple. "I see how you watch me and hear your breathing increase when I am near you. I know you want me." Then she reached over and took each of LJ's nipples between her fingers and twisted then pulled them.

LJ's hands encircled the woman's wrist as she dislodged them from her breasts. "Get real! I want nothing to do with you and am tired of the stupid little games you keep playing. Go find someone that cares." She spit out as she tried to push past the woman.

Max smiled broadly as she began to laugh. "Lover, it won't be long now!" Then she placed her lips on LJ's and began kissing her until the once unwilling lips opened and their tongues began to duel for control. LJ was lost in the kiss, until she realized what she was doing. Pulling away she quickly donned her robe and headed hurriedly back to her tent.

* * *

The rains came and refused to stop. LJ tried to spend the time going over the artifacts they found and decipher what she could. She had been unsuccessful for four days in a row to complete a call to her love. She longed to hear Kiley's voice and dreamed of the moment when she could hold her again.

She paced the small tent feeling like a caged animal. Looking out of the netting, she watched the rain beat against the already saturated ground. Across the way she saw Cara, one of the students, enter Max's tent. From her vantage point, she could see the two women hug and then kiss for a long moment. Her mind drifted back to another site at another time...

Max Dylan breezed into the camp, self-assured and full of sex appeal. Everyone watched her and from the looks on their faces wanted her too. She was on the fast track to become the director of archeology and needed to be part of a well-funded dig. LJ Evans was the target and Max pulled out all the ammunition to make sure she got what she needed. Everyone in the archeological world knew of LJ and her reputation for always discovering unique sites with great significance.

It was as if Max had investigated LJ and knew all about her by the time she arrived at the site. She immediately latched onto LJ and made it clear that she wanted her sexually. Their first meeting was filled with sparks and fire. LJ was instantly attracted to the woman as Max was to her. They entered into a hot raging out of control affair in the wilds of Peru during their first dig together. Neither woman seemed to care what anyone there thought as their sexual encounters were often and at any time of the day.

During that expedition, they became a couple until the final week when Max began talking about moving in together to continue the passionate affair. Permanence wasn't what LJ wanted; sex was the only thing she required from the woman. Granted, Max was one fantastic fuck, but that was all the appeal she had for LJ. No way did she want to live with her or share anything on any other level.

Pissed off was an understatement when Max realized that as far as LJ was concerned it was nothing more than a sexual escapade. No amount of badgering or crying would change LJ's mind, so Max settled for whatever attention she could get. LJ would satisfy her needs with Max; although she suspected Max still wanted more, she seemed content with the situation.

Once they returned to civilization Max pursued her without success. It wasn't until Max came to the understanding that sex was all they would ever share that LJ would have anything to do with her. Over the years, they had liaisons while out in the field, but at no other time.

This was the first time she and Max didn't share a tent. As she watched her former lover with another, she felt pangs of jealousy. Turning back to her work she tried to concentrate on anything other than the woman her body now craved.

"Hey, Lover, I saw you watching me with Cara. Were you jealous?" Max seemed to appear out of nowhere.

LJ looked at the woman standing in her tent. The tight shirt she wore left nothing to her imagination nor did the spandex shorts. "Get out of here, Max. I am not interested in your games tonight." She said wearily.

Max took several long strides before she stood face to face with LJ. "Lover, I know you want me, that you can't deny." Then she lightly kissed the waiting lips as her hand went inside LJ's shorts and nimble fingers stroked the saturated center. "Just what I thought I would find, Lover." She whispered as she withdrew her fingers then sucked on them. "Mmm, just as I remember." Then she turned and left.

LJ just stood there trying to squelch the fire Max had started. She heard the rain smack against the small tent as lightening filled the sky. It was so damn hot and the heat rising inside her would not cease. A rage began building as she looked across the campground at Max's tent. Tearing the netting aside, she walked with determination towards her prey.

Entering Max's tent, LJ went to the woman, picked her up and threw her on the cot. She ripped off Max's clothes before taking hers off. Then she took the woman with such force that the cot collapsed, but that didn't deter her from her course. Repeatedly she took Max as she took LJ. Finally, she was satiated for the weeks of torment by the woman. Standing up, she put her clothes back on and left Max laughing.

"I knew you would come around to my way of thinking, Lover." Max called out, before she laughed again.

LJ headed for the showers and ran the water over her body as she tried to scrub the woman's scent off her body. Back in her tent, she fell to the ground and began to cry uncontrollably. How could I have betrayed Kiley like that? So close to going home and I couldn't wait two days. I feel like the scum of the earth. "Oh, Kiley please forgive me." She sobbed as she picked herself up and picked up the photo of her family. What an idiot I am!

* * *

The next day was bright and sunny and everyone was finally able to emerge from their tents. LJ was besieged with the stares and snickers of the others in the camp. Max winked at her as they passed each other, but didn't say a word. Heading for the communications tent, LJ picked up the phone and dialed a familiar number.

"Rob, this is LJ, we need to talk..."

"Lover, what are you doing, moving in with me?" Max snickered.

LJ shot darts of hate in Max's direction. "I'm getting out of here. From now on, this is your site and your dig. When you get back call Rob Ludlow at the museum, he has a job offer for you." She said with her teeth clenched. "Now, get out of here!"

Max moved in on LJ and began stroking her cheek. "Now, Lover, you know you can't leave here or me. I'm under your skin." Then she moved in and began nibbling on LJ's ear.

LJ took a deep breath then slapped the woman. "You're wrong, Max, I can leave and will leave! You no longer have a hold over me. Get out of here!" She demanded.

Max snickered as she touched her cheek. "That's where you're fooling yourself, LJ, I will always have a hold on you. Know why? Cause I know the real you and how to satisfy you...I'm your weakness." Leaning in she kissed LJ's lips before leaving. As she did, she said, "Till we love again." Then she laughed.

LJ continued packing as she mumbled to herself. "Stupid, stupid, stupid."

* * *

As the plane circled for its final approach, LJ looked out the window as she saw the familiar landscape. How will I act towards Kiley? She asked herself. Should I tell her the truth or carry my guilt alone? She wondered. Telling her would only hurt her and I don't want to do that ever. But, I have hurt her...I betrayed her love. A lone tear flowed down her cheek. Oh, Kiley, my love, I'm so sorry. Will you ever find it in your heart to forgive me?

She felt the plane descend then land on the tarmac as the brakes were applied. As the craft made its way to the gate, LJ took a deep breath as she made up her mind. She wouldn't tell Kiley, for there was no reason to do so, unless it was to alleviate her own guilt. She was back where she belonged and wanted to be...with her family whom she loved and needed. Max was a lapse in judgment that Kiley never need know about. Besides, it would never happen again, she was certain of that. As the plane came to a halt and the passengers began to disembark, LJ stood up and headed towards Kiley and her future.

Finally leaving the restricted area, LJ scanned for Kiley and wasn't disappointed as she saw the shining green eyes focused on her. Her heart picked up a beat while her pace increased, eager to hold the beautiful blonde in her arms.

Kiley flung her arms around LJ's neck. "God, how I have missed you." She whispered in LJ's ear.

LJ melted into Kiley as she was once again grounded...she was home.


 

Home and Happiness

The drive home was quiet as LJ watched her love maneuver the car towards their home. The pregnant woman absolutely glowed with happiness, yet there was something else there...an inner peace and strength of purpose. Kiley met the challenge and won. A sense of sadness came over LJ for she realized that she had met the challenge and lost miserably. It was then that she vowed to do everything to make it up to Kiley for her betrayal.

"You are so very beautiful. I missed you more than I ever could imagine possible. When we get home I have a surprise for you." LJ said quietly.

"Oh, Lucy, you are so full of it! I look like a beached whale, there is nothing beautiful about that." Kiley laughed.

"Well, you are my beached whale and I think you're beautiful."

Kiley turned to look at LJ then laughed. "So you think I resemble a whale do you? I hate to tell you this, sweetheart, this whale will get bigger." She winked as she once again watched the road. A smile crossed her face, "I love you, Lucy, welcome home."

As they drove up the old dirt road towards the house, LJ's heart skipped a beat as she looked over at Kiley. This place, Rhodes End, was where they would reside with their children, but she know knew that her home was Kiley. Perhaps someday, she would forgive herself for her indiscretion, but now she needed to make sure Kiley knew she was loved and wanted.

"Is Allie here?"

As she parked the car, Kiley looked into the blue eyes. "No, she's with Mom and Dad. I thought we might have some alone time, if you don't mind."

A sly smile crossed her face as she licked her lips. "Hmm, do I mind?"

Laughing, Kiley smacked LJ on the arm. "Lucccyyyy!"

"Come on, Love, I need a shower and you are a wonderful back scrubber, if I remember correctly." She then leaned over and kissed her lover.

"Sounds good to me, but first you need to get the can opener and pry me out of this car." She said laughingly as she patted her abdomen.

Walking up to the small house LJ looked back at the ongoing construction. "The house is coming along nicely. When do they think it will be completed?"

"They're on the inside now, it will be about another month, I think."

"Good just in time for us to fix up a nursery." LJ beamed as she gently caressed the bulging abdomen.

Opening the door, Kiley motioned LJ to enter. "Oh no, Love, you first, can't have the mother of our children bringing up the tail, can I?"

Kiley closed the door and bolted the lock; no way was anyone coming into the house and disturbing them. Then she turned to the object of her desires and held her as close as she could. "I have been dreaming of this moment since before you left. Please never leave me again, my love, I don't like the feeling of being apart from you at all." Reaching up she kissed a cheek, and then taking LJ's hand they went into the bathroom. "I do believe you said something about needing your back washed." She purred as a lustful look crossed her face.

Slowly LJ removed her lover's clothes kissing every part as it was exposed. Gently she caressed Kiley's cheek capturing the green eyes with blue. "You are so beautiful. Never in my life did I ever see such a vision of loveliness. You make me humble and so very grateful that we found our way to each other. Let me love you."

Soon two naked bodies stood in a stream of spraying water as their bodies clung to each other and their lips kissed passionately. Slowly LJ moved back then, with soap in hand, began to lather Kiley's body, paying particular attention to the luscious full breasts.

Never before had Kiley felt so loved and adored. Any doubts she had about her appeal or body were wiped away while lover washed her body. Smiling she began to run the soap over LJ's body. The slick smooth feel of the soap against the skin brought feelings of pure lust and passion to her mind and body. Rubbing her soapy body up against the equally silky one had them both gasping for breath. The warm water ran down over their bodies as they discovered each other again.

Nimble fingers slid easily along taut muscles as Kiley rubbed an inner thigh while she worked her way towards her lover's center. Slowly she entered not wanting the moment or LJ's pleasure to end. Closing her eyes, she smiled as she felt long tapered fingers cautiously enter her.

"I won't hurt the babies, will I?" LJ whispered.

"No." Came the strangled reply. "Please don't stop."

Then, the two lovers began to probe and penetrate each other as they moved as one. The warmth of the water, the silky smooth soapy bodies adding to the intensity they felt as nimble fingers worked their magic. As they clung to each other, a shattering climax flowed through and around them. There was no distinction between where one began and the other ended; they were one.

LJ patted the water off the woman she adored then carried her into the bedroom. She laid her carefully on the bed before she slid in beside her. "I love you, Kiley, and only you. My time in the jungle made me realize that you are the only one I want. I was so lonely without you that I've vowed never to be without you again."

Kiley held her love's face in her hands as she kissed the red lips. "You were never without me, love, I was always there with you, didn't you feel me?"

"Yes, I could feel you there; I would talk to you. I'm so sorry." She said as tears began to flow.

"Sorry, why on earth are you sorry, Lucy?" She said as her thumb wiped away the tears.

LJ closed her eyes as she gathered her courage then, realized a confession would only hurt this wonderful sweet woman. "I'm sorry I left you here alone with the pregnancy and the house." She said as she pulled Kiley in close. "I promise you it will never happen again." Then she gently kissed the swollen belly. "Hello, little ones. I'm your other mom. I have been away, but I am here now and promise you I will always be here for you. I love your mommy very much and together we will give you a happy, loving life." Looking up at the woman of her dreams she smiled. "I love you so much."

Kiley couldn't help the tears of happiness that flowed. "Why don't you come up here and show me how much."

"Be right back." LJ said as she got out of bed and walked out of the room.

Kiley watched the naked body as it left and a new sense of arousal filled her body. How she loved and adored LJ. Then she saw the beautiful, passionate woman return and once again, she could feel a tightness envelop her center.

Smiling, LJ crawled back beside her lover. "I had this made for you." She said as she held Kiley's hand and slipped a ring on her finger.

Looking down at her hand, Kiley saw a ring exactly as the one she had given LJ. A tender look of absolute love crossed her face. "Eternity." She said, before pulling the woman towards her for a passionate kiss. Lips began to explore the supple body paying homage to the love she felt. The talented tongue investigated all the spots she knew would pleasure her lover. She could feel LJ respond to her as she began tasting the copious amounts of nectar. Slowly her tongue slid over the wanting clit before she began sucking it into her mouth. Her fingers gently slid inside as she orally pleasured LJ.

"Oh my God!" LJ screamed before she moved around and began to minister to her lover in the same way.

Kiley slowed down as she drifted into the feel of LJ licking her clit. It wasn't long before they were both moving as one as the tempo of their lovemaking increased. Fingers pumped furiously while lips and tongues smacked until both were shaking, holding off their orgasms until they could no longer wait. Then, a simultaneous explosion rocked each body as they came over and over again until they were both satiated.

Kiley, who lay wrapped in LJ's arm, slept peacefully. While watching the amazing woman sleep, an errant tear coursed down her cheek. What she had done with Max could never compare to what she had just felt with Kiley. Why was I so weak? Two days, I just needed to hold out two more days. She sighed as she asked herself again...why? There wasn't an answer and probably never would be. She would learn from the lesson, and make sure that Kiley would never feel anything but love and devotion. Our lives together will bring us complete fulfillment. She vowed, as she too drifted off to sleep.

~ ~ ~

Carl and Dorothy Wilcox accepted LJ's offer to live in the house on another one of her properties. They were overwhelmed when LJ showed up there, two days before she left for Peru, and presented them with the deed for the house and two hundred acres.

The mile drive down the dirt road was bumpy, but the two women could care less as they beamed, being together once again. Pulling up in front of the house, they were immediately greeted with the shrill scream of happiness from their daughter as she ran for the old truck.

"Mom, you're home!" She squealed as she tried to open the door.

LJ couldn't help but laugh as her heart soared with the sight of their daughter. "Squirt." She said as she opened the door and Allie jumped up into her arms.

Allie's arms immediately went around LJ's neck burying her face in the broad shoulder. Strong arms surrounded the little girl as they each hugged each other as if it would never stop. Kiley sat next to them as tears of happiness rolling down her cheeks. The family was complete once again.

"I missed you so much, Mom, please don't leave us again. Mommy cried all the time cause she wanted you to be home." Allie whispered.

LJ looked over at her partner and saw the tears. A hand went up to the tearstained cheek and wiped them away. "I love you."

Allie pulled back and then moved in giving LJ a big wet kiss on the cheek. "Come on, Mom, see what Gram and Gramps bought me."

Looking over at Kiley, LJ laughed. "Should I be afraid?"

"This is news to me too. I will hold your hand so you won't be afraid." She replied as she opened the door and slid out of the truck.

"Kiley, will you please wait until I get around to help you?" LJ pleaded.

"I'm sorry, give me some time to get used to you being back, okay."

By that time, LJ and Allie had gone around the truck and each took a hand, walking the pregnant woman towards her waiting parents.

Driving back home, Allie was curled up in the middle as she used her mother's belly for a pillow. The day was full of watching the young girl chase the puppy her grandparents had given her. Fortunately, for her mothers, the dog would stay with the grandparents until after the house was completed and the babies were born.

Once LJ helped Kiley out of the truck, she gently picked up their daughter and carried her into the house. Standing the wobbly child up, she changed her into her pj's on before picking her up and placing her in bed. Bending down she kissed Allie's cheek. "Goodnight, squirt, I love you." She whispered before she left the room closing the door partially.

As Kiley watched LJ put Allie in bed, she was struck by the subtle changes in her lover. There seemed to be a deeper commitment and devotion in her every gesture towards her family. Even when they made love, LJ's emotions were more intense, more eager to please. It was so good to have her back where she belonged...back where all their lives were fulfilled.

~ ~ ~

Lifelines

The following week was Kiley's OB appointment and she didn't need to ask a second time if LJ wanted to accompany her.

LJ looked around the examining room remembering the last time she and Kiley had been there. That was when she had inseminated her partner and the miracle of life began for their children.

"Good afternoon, Ladies." Ellen Britton said as she entered the exam room. "LJ, it's good to see you again." She said as she smiled and extended her hand.

LJ shook the hand and nodded her head.

"How are you feeling, Kiley?"

"I'm doing okay, especially now that LJ is home." Her eyes rested on the love of her life. "I am getting as big as a house." Her laugh was contagious as the two others joined in.

Ellen began her examination, listening to the babies' heartbeats and measuring the swollen abdomen. "You're doing great and the babies sound good and seem to be developing nicely." Picking up the chart, she continued. "You are at the six month point, Kiley, I would like to see you carry them at least another ten weeks...we want to get them as big as possible."

LJ looked surprised. "Ten weeks! That's too soon, I thought pregnancies lasted forty weeks."

"Hey, LJ, it's okay, twins tend to come early." Kiley smiled at her partner.

Ellen smiled then looked at LJ. "That's right. We will keep an eye on her and if she starts showing signs of going into labor too early we will put her on bed rest." Turning back to Kiley she asked. "Kiley, breast or bottle?"

A beaming Kiley didn't hesitate. "Breast, most definitely breast."

"Good, I think that will be best for the babies. LJ, have you considered breast feeding too?"

LJ's brow furrowed as she skeptically looked at the doctor. "I'm missing one important thing, Dr. Britton, I'm not pregnant!" She exclaimed as she was sure the woman was nuts.

"Actually there are many adoptive mothers that nurse. The glands are there they just need to be woken up. If it is something you would like to try you could get started waking those glands up now."

It took LJ a moment to digest what the doctor said. "You're serious, aren't you?"

"Oh, yes, very serious. It would be a wonderful way to bond with the babies and make them your own." She said smiling. "I will give you the information and it will be up to you. There really isn't much too it." Then she made some notations in Kiley's folder. "Okay, Kiley, I will see you in two weeks." She said before leaving.

~ ~ ~

Kiley poured over the information as LJ drove. "Look here, it says all you need is a breast pump! You can do this, Lucy!"

"We'll see I'm not sure I would be the type."

"Oh, I can tell you would be the type." Kiley said with a sly smile. "Seems to me that is one of your favorites...or were you just faking it?" A laugh ensued. "No, you weren't faking, I heard moans, definitely moans."

LJ chuckled. "I love your mouth on my breast...a baby would be a bit different."

"Aw, won't you do it for me? Please." Green eyes batted as she pleaded.

"You're too much, you know I will do anything for you."

"Hey, turn down Lamar!"

LJ glanced over at her love. "Lamar...that's out of the way."

"Oh, I know that, silly. Threadgills has the best okra and tomatoes around, and I'm starving."

"We just ate an hour ago and we're supposed to have dinner with Mom and Dad tonight." LJ said as she shook her head laughing.

"Please, you don't want our kids to starve do you? Oh, they have great ribs and mashed potatoes with gravy. LJ, I'm starving! Turn here, please."

Flicking on the blinker, LJ turned onto Lamar heading for Threadgills as she thought...I'm going to be the whale when this is all over.

Walking down the long, narrow, wooden hallway, decorated with pictures of famous people, Kiley's stomach began to rumble as the twins began jabbing her in the ribs. "These kids know they're getting fed...here feel." She said grabbing LJ's hand and pressing it against her belly.

"Guess they are just like their mother, food is a spiritual experience." She said laughing.

"Did you know the Warrior Princess' sidekick used to wait tables here?" Kiley asked as they sat down at their table.

"Who?"

"Who, you need to get out more, Lucy. Xena the Warrior Princess!" Noticing the puzzled look, she added, "on television. You have no idea what I'm talking about, do you? We just walked by a life-sized poster of her, didn't you see it?"

Laughing, LJ shook her head. "No. Why don't you enlighten me?"

Kiley began explaining all about how Xena and Gabrielle would fight the bad people for the greater good. However, once the food came she became very quiet as she attacked it with gusto.

Kiley was attacking her fourth rib when LJ spoke.

"Kiley, I need to talk to you about something."

"Okay, shoot." Kiley managed to say while sucking on a rib bone.

LJ handed her a napkin. "Here, wipe your face, I can't have a serious conversation while your face is covered in barbecue sauce."

Taking the offered napkin, she wiped her face. "Sounds serious, what's the problem."

"I need to tell you about something that happened in Peru." LJ said softly.

Suddenly Kiley wasn't hungry anymore as her stomach began to revolt. She was filled with apprehension not sure she wanted to know what LJ was about to say. "Okay."

Taking a deep breath LJ began. "Once we got there I noticed how enthusiastic everyone was to be there. In the past I would have felt the same way, but I didn't this time at all." Picking up her beer, she took a quick gulp. "I've always been so passionate about my work that I thought it brought me happiness. It wasn't until I met you that I knew I was way off base...passion and happiness is you."

Kiley smiled and reached across the table to take her lover's hand. "I know exactly how you feel, Lucy, for passion and happiness for me is you."

"I called Rob before I left Peru and resigned my position. Dr. Dylan has taken over the site as her own. I want to be with you and our family...I sat there in that damn jungle and missed you so much...you are my home...you are where I want to be." She squeezed Kiley's hand. "I love you."

Kiley beamed. "I love you, Lucy. Wherever you go I will go...never again will I let you go off alone. I think the last two months proved to both of us that we belong together." She smiled broadly then winked. "Do you think I can get some more of those rolls? They're yummy."

~ ~ ~

At thirty weeks, Kiley began spotting and along with having Braxton Hicks contractions was confined to bed rest. It was up to LJ to oversee the final touches on the house as well as becoming Allie and Kiley's main caretaker.

Surprisingly to LJ, she really enjoyed taking care of her girls. She moved chairs and a table into their bedroom so they could keep Kiley from getting lonely. Of course, there were times when the pregnant woman tried everyone's last nerve...

"LJ!" Kiley called out irritated by the lack of attention.

Drying her hands off, LJ hurried into the bedroom. "What's the matter?"

"These pillows are hard as rocks, I thought I asked you to go to the store and get me softer ones!" She growled. "Don't go rolling your eyes at me! If I could get out of this bed and do it myself I would!"

"Kiley, those are the new pillows. You said they were wonderful when I brought them to you an hour ago." LJ tried to remain calm for she had already had too many up close and personal contacts with hormonal Kiley.

"Oh, love, that was so wonderful of you to get them for me. Have I told you how much I love you today?"

She tried, she really did, but LJ just couldn't help the deep sigh and the rolling eyes. The quick smile to cover up her indiscretions didn't work.

Kiley began to wail. "You don't love me anymore do you? I'm nothing more than a big tubby that you can't stand to be around. That's why you leave me in here all by myself all day." Copious amounts of tears were cascading down her cheeks.

LJ rushed over to her partner's side and tried to comfort her. She knew better, she really did, but the tears got to her.

"Get your hands off of me. All you ever do is think of sex! Well I have news for you, Lucy, you're cut off forever!"

Now, LJ was in a real dilemma...get up and move away or stay. If she moved, Kiley would begin to cry that she didn't love her. If she stayed, Kiley would begin to come on to her only to change her mind after she set LJ on fire. Clearing her throat, she spoke quietly. "Would you like some lunch?"

Green eyes pinned her, "What are you doing trying to fatten me up even more so these kids will each weigh twenty pounds and stay in there forever?" She clenched her jaw. "This isn't fun you know!"

LJ almost jumped for joy at that moment...the phone rang. Grabbing the receiver, she answered. "Hello." At last, a friendly voice. "Hi, Mom. Oh no, you aren't interrupting, let me give the phone to her." Handing Kiley the phone, LJ made for the door and retreated to the safety of the kitchen and the dishes.

~ ~ ~

The old truck created a dust storm as it drove up the dirt road to the house. The visit to the Safeway was a welcome respite for LJ, especially since Allie accompanied her.

As the truck came to a stop in front of the house, Allie asked. "Can I take them into Mommy now?"

"Sure can, Squirt, bet she smiles when she sees you." The words were barely out before Allie had the door opened and she was dashing for the house. LJ smiled at her daughter for she was such a delight.

Arms loaded with grocery bags, LJ struggled with the door until Dorothy appeared and opened it for her. "Let me help you."

"Thanks, Mom, how is she doing?" LJ asked timidly, worried that Dorothy had to undergo the hormonal Kiley experience.

Placing the bag on a counter, Dorothy answered. "Not too bad. She is beginning to nest so it shouldn't be long now. I bet when you go for your next appointment the doctor will say it is time."

"Ah, yes, nesting." LJ laughed. "We went through that yesterday...she had me cleaning; which I might add, wasn't close to good enough."

"It won't be long now, sweetie. I better say goodbye to her and get home, looks like rain." Dorothy gently ran her hand up and down LJ's back. "I'm glad she has you."

LJ smiled as she watched the woman go into the bedroom...with caution it seemed.

"Mom, come and see how the flowers look." Allie said in the typical child's loud voice.

"Did she like them?" LJ asked as she took the girl's hand and walked into the room.

"I loved them." Kiley beamed as she spoke. "They are beautiful, thank you." A hand went out asking for contact.

Going over to the bed, LJ sat down and kissed her partner. "How are you doing, my love?"

Kiley hugged LJ then pulled Allie closer to her. "I am feeling so good today. You two have been so good to me even when I haven't been particularly pleasant."

"Mommy, you are so funny when you are ordering Mom around." The child spoke innocently. "I think you confuse her."

Red began to creep up Kiley's face. "I don't do that...do I?"

LJ was in a jam here as she tried to calculate what response would have the least fallout. Taking a deep breath, she answered. "Just once in a while, love. It must be so difficult to be stuck in bed all day except for bathroom breaks. Mom said it wouldn't be long now." She stiffened as she waited for a reply.

"I'm sorry, I just can't help myself sometimes. Thanks for standing by me no matter what."

"Mommy, you are our mommy where else would we go?" Allie didn't understand why her mother would think otherwise.

"That's right, we are here because we love you." LJ said as she kissed the red cheek. Then she whispered, "Eternity."

~ ~ ~

Storms and Arrivals

Sitting on the couch, LJ was reading about breast-feeding, while the wind and rain blew against the house. Allie came running into the room and jumped in her lap. "I'm scared." She whimpered.

LJ pulled the child in close. "Why?" She asked.

"There is something hitting my window and I keep hearing coyotes howling. Will you sleep with me?"

She kissed the young girl's head. "Why don't we go see what is happening in your room." Standing up she carried her daughter into the bedroom.

"Squirt, it is just the rain hitting your window and the wind blowing, that's all. You're safe in here." She said laying the child back down in her bed and covering her up. "Now, go back to sleep, I won't let anything happen to you."

"Promise?" The small voice said.

"Promise."

Going into the kitchen, LJ took a beer out of the refrigerator before going back to her reading, eventually falling asleep. Sometime later, she woke up with a startle as the lightening of a fierce storm lit up the room as well as hearing the rain pelting the house. Turning on the television, she found it was not working, so she tried the radio. A tornado watch was in effect so she went and opened some windows slightly, just in case.

"Lucy!" Screamed Kiley.

Hurrying into the bedroom, she saw Kiley with a terrified look. "What's the matter?"

"My water broke! Help me, it hurts so bad."

A sudden crack of lightening made both women jump and the electricity flicker. LJ reached for the phone and her face became ashen. "The line is dead." She thought for a minute. "Okay, we can do this. How long between the contractions?"

"I'm not sure, a few minutes I think." A trembling Kiley replied.

"A few minutes! Why didn't you call me earlier?"

"I'm sorry." She cried. "I thought they would go away like before." Tears were flowing now.

LJ took her partner into her arms. "Shush, it'll be okay. Will you be alright for a minute while I get some things together?"

Wide green eyes met blue. "Don't tell me you're going to boil water." Then a small laugh ensued.

"Yep, just what I plan on doing. I'll be right back...call me if anything else happens." LJ hurried out of the room all the while hearing the wind whipping around the house from all directions. She quickly put some water on to boil and found scissors, plastic clothespins, string and dropped everything in the pot. Going into the bathroom she gathered an armload of towels and took them in the bedroom. "How are you doing?" She asked as she went to the bed.

"It really hurts."

"Remember to do the breathing. I'll be back in a minute." Then she headed for the kitchen.

She had heard the sound enough to know what it was...hail. Not a good sign, she thought as she ran into Allie's room. Kissing the child's cheek she said. "Allie, Allie, sweetie, you need to wake up."

Allie moved a little before she opened her eyes. "Why, I'm still tired." She whined.

"I need your help...Mommy is having her babies."

Green eyes went wide. "Really?" she said before sitting straight up and jumping out of bed.

"Slow down!" LJ commanded. "Come with me and help me carry things."

Allie frowned, but followed LJ into the kitchen.

Taking a deep breath LJ crouched down and put her hands on Allie's shoulders. "I need you to be strong for me now. The storm is getting worse and we can't leave here, so we must take care of Mom ourselves. It won't be easy. Do you understand me?"

Allie looked at her mom quizzically. "Shouldn't we be in with her?"

LJ smiled as she thought, keep it simple stupid. "Yes, we should. Here can you carry this for me?"

They both entered the room and found Kiley writhing in pain. Instantly LJ was by her side as was Allie.

"I'm here, baby, let's work on the breathing." LJ whispered as she lifted Kiley's back.

The wind continued to howl; the hail hit the windows...then, nothing...it all stopped leaving an eerie silence to fill the air. Kiley was breathing hard; a strong contraction came again then was followed by another a minute later. LJ was watching, she could see the top of a head begin to emerge.

"I can see the head, you're doing great!" LJ exclaimed as she began to pray that what she would do next was right. "Push hard on the next contraction, Kiley."

Suddenly a crack of lightening seemed to hit right outside the window. Everyone looked at the window. A scream pierced the air as Kiley bore down as the baby's shoulders emerged. LJ gently held the child, helping it along. With one last push, Kiley expelled it completely.

Taking the scissors, LJ cut the cord having tightly wrapped the string around it. For extra protection, she also used the plastic pin. Wrapping the baby in a towel she gently sucked out the mouth. Soon, a loud cry was heard making every face smile.

"Here you go, Mama, your new baby girl." LJ announced handing the small child to Kiley. "Allie, will you see if the phone is working yet?" The baby was small and she worried that she would need special attention.

"Can't I see the baby first?" Allie whined.

"Look quickly, then check the phone!" LJ didn't want the panic she was feeling to show, but she was having a hard time of it.

Kiley pulled the blanket back to show her daughter her new sister. "Isn't she beautiful? Oh, Lucy, look at her." Kiley's smile was short lived as she was gripped by another contraction.

LJ took the baby, wrapped her in another blanket then gently put her in a cradle. Positioning herself once again, she was surprised to see the next baby's head out. Another hard contraction started and Kiley bore down once again...the baby, it seemed to LJ, just slid out. Gently, she picked the child up and cut the cord after having tied it off then wrapped the slightly larger child in a blanket. A few tense moments occurred, the baby wasn't responding to the aspiration. Then a Boom caused by thunder was heard followed by a loud cry.

LJ handed the baby to Kiley. "Say hello to your son."

"Where's our girl? I want to hold her too." Kiley whispered.

Picking up the small infant, LJ carried her to the waiting mother.

"Mom, the phone still isn't working!" Allie said as she crawled up on the bed next to her mother.

LJ smiled upon the sight of her partner lying there holding their two newborns while their daughter looked on. Her smile was masking her fear caused by the still raging storm. The afterbirth hadn't been expelled yet and LJ knew that needed to happen. What she didn't know was how to go about making that happen.

Taking the babies, LJ placed them in the cradle. "Allie, will you come here and sit by them for me?"

Gladly the little girl came over and sat on the floor. "Should I rock them?

LJ smiled. "Yes, Squirt that would be a good idea."

Gently she picked Kiley up and placed her in a chair; then proceeded to clean her up and change her clothes. Moving over to the bed, she changed the linens, then picked her love up once again and laid her down. "How are you feeling?"

"Mom, they are sucking on their hands...they're hungry."

"Lucy, we need to feed them." Kiley said weakly. "Bring them over here so we can."

LJ knew it was important for her to remain calm and not let Kiley know her concerns for the babies, her lover and the weather. At least the lightening had slowed and now it was just pouring rain. She first picked up the little girl and handed her to Kiley, then took the boy in her arms.

"You're are going to have to give me some hints here, babe, I'm not sure what to do." LJ said as she exposed her breast.

Kiley tried to smile as she said. "Just do what comes naturally."

Nothing in her life prepared LJ for what she felt when this precious child latched onto her nipple and began to suckle. All else faded into the background as she was filled with unbelievable love for the small bundle in her arms.

The two women, holding their babies as they feed, bonded not only with the babies, but also with each other. The love and feelings of peace were incredible blocking out everything, but their world and their family, new and old.

"Lucy." Kiley whispered. "I don't feel good at all." Then she closed her eyes.

"Allie, do you think you can put the babies back in the cradle?" LJ said as panic filled her mind and heart.

The small girl carefully took the first baby, placed him in the cradle, and then did the same with the second. A bright smile filled her face. "Want me to rock them?"

"Sure..." LJ said distractedly. "No, wait, will you first see if the phone is working yet?" Kiley's breathing was very shallow and her skin felt clammy to LJ. Something needed to be done and done fast.

"The phone isn't working." Allie pronounced.

Getting up off the bed, LJ made a decision to find help. "Allie, l want you to listen to me it is very important."

Green eyes were intent.

"We need to get your mother and the babies to the hospital. I'm going down to your grandparents and get them to help us. Do you think you can stay here and take care of your mom and the babies until I come back?"

A blonde head nodded yes.

"Okay, Squirt, I am proud of you. I'll be right back." LJ said over her shoulder as she ran out of the room then out into the driving ran.

~ ~ ~

An hour later, they were all pacing the floors of the hospital emergency waiting room. Doctor Britton had arrived and was with Kiley while a pediatrician saw to the twins.

LJ flopped down in a chair, exhausted both physically and mentally. She felt the small arms around her neck as lips kissed her cheek.

"I love you, Mom."

She picked up her daughter and held her close. "I love you too." Then, all the stress of the night gave way to tears.

"Everything will be okay, Mom, don't worry." The small voice said.

"Do you know how proud I am of you? I couldn't have done it without my little girl there to help me."

Just then, Dr. Britton approached LJ. "Kiley, is doing fine. She passed the afterbirth and considering all that you two have been through she is remarkably well. You did a great job." She said patting LJ on the shoulder. "We'll keep her over night, then see if she can go home tomorrow."

LJ felt lighter with the news. "Thank you. How are our babies doing?"

"Dr. Riggins will be out shortly to speak with you." She saw the distressed look. "Hey, don't worry, they're just a little small."

LJ began shaking until the strong arm of Carl engulfed her. "Can I see her?" She asked as she hugged Carl.

"Of course, why don't you follow me?"

Pulling back the curtain, LJ looked with love at her partner lying on the exam table. She looked frail, but her face was serene. Walking quietly, she stood by Kiley's side then bent down and kissed her cheek. Loving green eyes opening up and a broad smile, rewarded her.

"Hey there, my love. You did good." LJ smiled with an errant tear traveling down her cheek.

"WE did good. Have you seen them...are they okay?" A very tired voice asked.

Pulling a stool up beside the table, LJ took her partner's hand and kissed it. "They're beautiful. A doctor will be in to tell us all about them."

"Lucy." Kiley said with a start. "They need names!"

LJ laughed as she kissed the beautiful woman. "Why not go with what we decided?"

"I was thinking that maybe we can name our daughter, Katie Ann, after your grandmother." Kiley said softly.

LJ was touched by the thought. "I would like that very much. Thank you." Once again, she kissed her love. "What do you think about Robert Carl, after dad?"

It was Kiley's turn to be touched. "He will like that."

Just then, the pediatrician, Dr. Riggins entered the exam area. "Good morning ladies, how would you like to go see your children?"

Brilliant smiles met the man. "How are they, Doctor?" LJ asked.

"They're doing just fine. The boy weighs four pounds six ounces and the girl is four pounds. A bit small but they should gain rapidly and be home within a few weeks. I want to move them to Children's Hospital; they are better equipped for preemies."

A joint sigh of relief was heard. "Thank you. Can we see them before they go?" Kiley asked anxiously.

"Sure can. Ah, here is the wheelchair. You can have about five minutes with them, I would like to move them as soon as possible."

LJ positioned herself behind the wheelchair, then bent down and whispered in Kiley's ear. "Let's go see our babies, Katie and Robbie."

Kiley reached back and patted her partner's hand as she mouthed, "I love you."

~ ~ ~

One never knows exactly how they will react to any given situation, LJ thought to herself as she once again surveyed the damage of the storm. The harrowing experience of the twin's birth made her realize how important her life and commitment to Kiley was. The miracle of the twins cemented the bond she had with not only them, but with Allie and Kiley. They were now a true family that faced a traumatic event and survived. No one would ever tear them apart.

Insisting on Kiley taking it easy, LJ enlisted the aid of the Andrew's and Ben to set up the finished house. Kiley was beside herself wondering what they would do to her house since had it all planned out in her head. Finally, the day came when everything was done.

"My love, how would you like to see your new home?" Loving eyes focused on her as the question was asked.

Uncharacteristically, Kiley was speechless as her face showed her pleasure.

LJ bent down and picked her partner up. "Come with me, let's go home."

Her arms wrapped around the strong shoulders as she rested her face against LJ's. "Home, yes, that is where we belong."

"You know, once I carry you over the threshold there will be no turning back. You will be mine forever, as I will be yours."

"Eternity isn't long enough, Lucy." She turned and kissed the cheek as the door opened and she was carried inside.

A large banner greeted her...WELCOME TO OUR NEW HOME. Much of LJ's grandmother's furniture remained. The fresh paint, wall and floor decorations made all the difference. Across the mantle were pictures of all those important to their families, including newborn pictures of the twins.

Gently LJ put Kiley on the floor and took her hand. "Come with me and see what we have in store for you."

The kitchen had been updated, but the original charm remained. Carl and Dorothy were cooking a meal for them. "Mom, Dad this is wonderful, I can see your touches in here." Her stomach began to rumble. "Whatever you're cooking smells wonderful."

"This won't be ready for a while and LJ has much more to show you." Dorothy said with a smile.

Going to the bedrooms, LJ opened one door. "Hi, Mommy, look at what I did!" Allie exclaimed.

The room was outstanding...it looked like an eight year olds room. Everything was designed in perfect harmony with all furniture and decorations reflecting their daughter.

Turning she said. "Oh, Lucy this is wonderful."

After looking at the bathroom and guestroom, they went into the nursery. Kiley's eyes, as well as her mouth, opened wide. There was two of everything...well almost everything. As with all the other rooms, it looked as though a decorator room, but with a special touch that said love.

Her biggest surprise was in their bedroom. It had the ambiance of a comfortable old room. So LJ, she thought to herself. "Aren't these your grandmother's?"

"Yep."

"What did you do to them they look different, but the same?"

"A little of this and that." LJ smiled as she opened the bathroom door. "What do you think, is that tub big enough for us both?"

Kiley laughed heartily as she wrapped her arms around her partner. "We will have to try that out tonight won't we?" She said, wiggling her eyebrows.

Later that night they sat on the old swing wrapped together in a blanket. As they swung gently, LJ took Kylie's hand and kissed it as she had done every time they sat there. "Do you ever wonder what life would be like if we had never found each other?" She asked.

"I used to. However, after the last three weeks, it occurs to me that this is how it should be. If you weren't in my life...Lucy, I can't imagine that." Smiling she reached up and kissed her love's cheek.

LJ smiled. "I can't imagine it either. We are so blessed to have each other and our children. Our lives are filled with love and happiness." She said as she stood up and held out her hand and winked. "Let's go to bed, beautiful."

* * *

Revelations and Rebirth

The day was sunny and hot when a white Mercedes convertible drove up the dusty road to the house. Maxine Dylan was determined to take back what she thought was hers...one LJ Evans.

LJ was just finishing up feeding Katie when she heard the approaching vehicle. Looking out the window, her heart sank when she saw who had come to their house. Kiley was asleep so the only one she had to stop was Allie, and they would just not answer the door.

"Allie." She whispered loudly just as she heard...

"Hello, little girl, is LJ here?"

"Shit!" She said as she made her way to the back door. "Allie, why don't you go back and play, I will take care of this woman."

"Okay, Mom." She said cheerfully as she skipped back to the family room.

Max was laughing. "Lover, you never seemed to me like the maternal type. Aren't you going to invite me in?"

"What do you want?" LJ spoke harshly disturbing the tranquil Katie who immediately began to whimper. LJ began to rock the baby as she kissed the top of her head. "I said...what do you want."

A lecherous smile crossed Max's smile. "Why, Lover, I want what is mine. I want you."

"Get the hell out of here! I'm not yours and never have been!" She couldn't help the anger she was feeling. Katie began to wail in reaction to her mother's mood. "Shh, Katie, the mean woman is leaving."

"The hell I am!" Max snapped. "I'm not leaving until I get what I came for!"

LJ felt her before the hand rubbed her back.

"LJ, you should've told me we were expecting company." Kiley pushed past her partner and unlocked the screen door. "Please come in." She said opening the door wide.

"Thank you, I'm Maxine Dylan." She said holding out her hand.

"Welcome, Maxine, I'm Kiley Evans." She said with a sweet smile. "Please have a seat. LJ, why don't you put Katie down, then we can have a nice visit with your friend."

LJ was dumbfounded as she tried to get a handle on what was happening. Kiley Evans? Where did that come from? At the same time that the terror filled her, she felt great pride in the way Kiley was handling Max. Slowly she made her way out of the room only to stop once she was out of sight. Hearing Max's words, she quickly put Katie in her crib and returned to listen to the conversation.

"Evans, are you LJ's sister?" Max asked, although she already knew the answer.

Kiley laughed softly. "Oh no, we are partners."

"Partners...I can't see how that can be since she and I are lovers." Getting rid of this one nuisance was the only obstacle to her objective.

"I know all about you...Max, isn't it? You see LJ and I don't have secrets. I'm not sure why you are here, but I can assure you, there is nothing here for you."

"Obviously you didn't hear me!" Max's tone became aggressive. "Your so called partner and I are lovers; have been for quite a long time. Did she tell you about our showers together or the long nights of passion in the jungle."

Kiley didn't flinch even if the words cut her to the core. "Like I said, we have no secrets." The voice was laced with ice. "Now, would you please leave my home, you're not welcome here."

Max hadn't prepared herself for this woman. She thought she would arrive and steal LJ away without a problem. Yet, here was this woman telling her to leave! "Your home, I don't think so. How do you think I found my way here? She told me...she said to come out here and save her from the game of house you had subjected her to." Max then laughed as she saw the words wound Kiley. "Bet she never told you about our special bond...our special sex...the way only I can please her." Applauding to herself, Max scored again.

LJ had heard enough and charged out into the kitchen and went to the screen door opening it wide. "I believe you were asked to leave our home, Dr. Dylan!"

Max looked squarely into LJ's eyes. "Lover, you know you don't want that." She said as she got up and went over to the object of her affections. She then began rubbing up against LJ as she stroked her face. "Remember all those nights of passion." She purred. "Remember how turned on you were? How you couldn't get enough of me?" She could feel LJ's breath on her face, the heat beneath her hand and the tremble as her hand enveloped a breast.

In a blur of motion, LJ grabbed the hand and twisted it hard. "Get out of here and never come back. I'm not your lover! In fact, I can't stand the sight of you or your touch!" Twisting the arm more she pushed the woman out the door with her other hand before releasing her. "GET OUT!"

Max was confused by LJ's reaction, but wasn't going to let it show. Rubbing her arm, she laughed. "Rough, just the way you like it, Lover. You'll come to me...you always do. No one can do to you what I do." She turned and walked back to her car laughing all the way.

Once she was gone, LJ turned back to Kiley. "I'm sorry, she has always been delusional."

Kiley's green eyes pinned LJ. "She was telling the truth, wasn't she?"

LJ took a deep breath. "Kiley, I never called her and told her to come out here. Yes, we were lovers once, but that was long before I met you."

She knew better than to ask the question, but Kiley didn't heed the little voice telling her NO. "Were you with her in Peru?" She whispered.

LJ walked towards her partner stopping an arms length away. "You have to understand how it was there...I tried to tell you, but couldn't find the words." Panic filled her heart.

Kiley nodded her head then spoke in a deep and distant voice. "Why don't you enlighten me as to how it was there."

Her head bowed in shame as she began telling the story. "All I ever wanted from that woman was sex...a non emotional fuck. She wanted more so I broke it off with her, but she kept coming back." She didn't raise her head, for fear of seeing the hurt and disappointment in Kiley's eyes. "At the dig she kept coming on to me, taunting me and enticing me. I did everything I could to discourage her, but she would laugh and tell me I would come to her eventually." Lifting her head, she looked at Kiley and saw the hurt. "I have no excuse, I was weak."

"You slept with her then?"

She moved a bit closer, desperately wanting to take Kiley in her arms. "I fucked her, Kiley, there's a difference." She said defensively.

"You slept with her."

"Yes." Came the quiet response.

"Damn you! Damn you to hell!" Kiley sobbed as she pounded LJ's chest. "Why, why? How could you do this to us?" She asked as she collapsed against the taller woman.

Wrapping arms around her love, LJ whispered as tears coursed down her cheeks. "Please forgive me."

Pulling away, Kiley looked up into the blue eyes. "Don't...don't do that." She whispered as she heard their son crying. "I need to feed him."

LJ softly said. "No, I will." Then she walked back to the nursery.

Picking up her son, she held him close. "Hey, sweetheart, are you hungry?' He was sucking on his fist. "Mommy is here to help you stave off hunger." She sat down in the rocker, opened her shirt and bra flap, and guided him towards her breast. He hungrily took the nipple and began to satisfy himself.

Rocking gently, LJ began to tell him her story. "Mom really messed up this time. What will I do if your Mom leaves me? I love her so much, she is my life...my everything." Tears were welling up as she spoke. "I hate myself for being weak...for giving into that woman. How could I ever betray my one true love like that? What a fool I am." Tears were freely flowing. "What should I do, how can I make it all better?" The blue eyes looked up at her and blinked. "You're right, why should she ever forgive me?"

"Will you tell me one thing?" Kiley asked as she stood in the doorway.

"Anything." LJ was startled.

"Do you love her?" Green eyes were searching blue.

"No, Kiley, never. You are the only one I love." She said quietly. "I let my physical needs rule over my heart and mind." She stood up and took the baby over to the changing table. "Do you need a dry diaper, Buddy? Is my little baby wet?"

"I must be such a failure since I couldn't satisfy you enough." Came the soft reply, Kiley's voice filled with sorrow and hurt.

Turning her head, LJ began to reply. "You're not a failure...DAMN!" She said as she looked down at the now soaked shirt.

Kiley couldn't help herself, she laughed aloud as she went over to the changing table. "Gotcha didn't he? Here let me finish that and you can change."

LJ stood there looking down at the baby, then to her shirt, then to Kiley. Pulling on her shirt, she began flapping it rapidly before she too, began to laugh.

LJ was sitting on the bed with the wet shirt in her hands when Kiley entered.

Looking up, LJ's defeated voice asked. "Do you want me to leave?"

"This is your home, if anyone should leave it's me. Do you want that?"

"No." She replied as she looked at Kiley.

"I don't want to end our relationship, but how can I ever trust you again? You betrayed us, Lucy."

"Maybe in time you will find it in your heart to forgive." She then bowed her head, as tears flowed. Standing up, she found a shirt and put it on. "I won't bother you anymore." Then she left.

Kiley stood there watching the woman she pledged her heart, soul and life to walk out of her life. LJ had lied and given her body to another, could she forgive that? At the moment she didn't know. Her world was crumbling, as she stood in their bedroom, alone, not knowing if she would ever hold LJ again.

Hearing the screen door close and the old truck start up, Kiley ran for the door calling out. "Lucy, don't leave!" It was too late...the dust from the truck was all she could see. Sliding down to the floor, she began to cry.

"Mommy, why are you crying?" A small voice asked.

"Oh, Mommy's just having a bad day, Sweetie."

Allie patted her mother's shoulder. "Don't cry, Mommy. Where's Mom?" She asked. "I have a picture of the horses for her."

Kiley looked up at her daughter. So innocent, she thought to herself. How do I tell her? "She had to go away for a little while." She said as tears continued streaming down her face.

"I hope she gets back soon, she can make you stop crying. What's for dinner, I'm hungry."

"Baby, would you like to go to Grams for dinner?"

"Can I? Will you tell Mom when she gets back that I have a surprise for her?

"Of course I will. Now go clean up while I call your grandmother." Getting up off the floor, Kiley took several deep breaths in an attempt to steady her shaking body. "Right, I can do this." Picking up the phone, she dialed the number. "Hi, Mom, do you think you could do me a favor and take Allie for the night?"

"Is everything okay?" Dorothy asked, able to notice the tremble in her daughter's voice.

"Yeah, fine, I'm just tired, that's all. Can you come and get her?"

"Sure, I'll be right over. Kiley..."

"Mom, please don't." Hanging up the phone, she hurried Allie along so she would be on the porch waiting when her mother arrived. She wasn't up to any type of explanation or confrontations.

* * *

LJ drove aimlessly down the road. She really didn't know where she would go. Her world was crashing all around her and once again, she found herself alone. Her own stupidity was responsible for Kiley not knowing whether she wanted her or not. She really didn't blame her, she had betrayed their love and that was unforgivable. Perhaps in time forgiveness would be found.

Texas roads have numerous small parking areas with picnic tables around the area, which is where LJ found herself stopping. Getting out the truck, she sat on one of the tables and pondered her fate and what the possibilities were. She couldn't go to the museum and her small room there; she had quit her job besides, she would run into Max. Considering her mood at the moment, that would be unwise. She was sure she would do the woman bodily harm. She buried her face in her hands and lamented her life. Then it happened, she could feel her milk start to come in, it was time to feed the twins. Looking down, she noticed two rings of wetness on her shirt and the decision was made. She got in her truck and headed home.

 LJ parked at the end of the road and walked up to the house, afraid that if Kiley heard her coming, she might lock the doors. Quietly she opened the door and began to softly walk into the house. She quickly realized there was no need for quiet, Katie was wailing. Walking down the hall, she heard Kiley speaking.

"I know you're hungry sweetie, Mommy will get to you as soon as I finish with your brother. I can only do one at a time."

Peeking in the door, she saw her love feeding Robbie while her foot jiggled Katie in a small cradle. Now her breast ached with fullness and the need to feel close to her children. She went into the room, picked up Katie, sat down in the other rocker, and undid her shirt. Cooing to the child, she calmed her down enough to begin feeding.

"There you go pumpkin. I'm sorry, Mom was just a little late." Then she kissed the baby's head before looking up at Kiley, who sat there, just staring. As their eyes met each turned away, afraid what they might see there.

A calm peace filled the room while the two women fed their children. Soon, Kiley got up, changed Robbie's diaper, put him in his pajamas before sitting back down and rocking him to sleep. LJ burped Katie before getting her ready for the night. It wasn't long before Katie was fast asleep and LJ gently laid her in the crib.

Turning towards Kiley she said. "I won't abandon you or our children." Sighing she continued. "I'll just get a few of my things for tonight and get the rest tomorrow. I'll just be across the yard in the other house...that way I can be close by to help out."

"I thought you would go to her." The shaky voice said.

"No." Came the soft reply.

Rising she walked over, bent down and gently kissed Robbie's cheek then Kiley's. "I'll take the monitor so I can hear them wake for the next feeding. Goodnight, I love you." Then she went into the bedroom grabbed clean jeans and shirt, her toothbrush from the bathroom then left the house.

Kiley sat there motionless though tears began to trickle down her cheeks. "Goodnight, my love."

* * *

Mornings would find LJ up early and in the kitchen making breakfast. Not wanting to upset Allie with the separation, she would do everything she could to make the child believe she still lived in the house. She would eat meals with them and stay until Allie and the twins went to bed before leaving the house.

"Mom?" Allie asked LJ.

"Squirt." LJ lovingly replied.

Allie laughed as she went over and sat on her mother's lap. "Why don't you smile anymore?"

LJ was taken aback by the child's astute observation. "I smile, Allie...I think I did one just this afternoon when you came home from school." She hugged the child close. "You make me smile, Squirt. Now, you tell me something...how was school today?"

The little girl kissed her mother's cheek. "Well, Sally didn't want to eat lunch with me and Laurie because she has a boyfriend."

"A boyfriend? Isn't Sally a little young to have a boyfriend?"

"Mom! Everyone has one!"

"Everyone, even you?" LJ was amused by this conversation.

"Well of course, Sean!" Allie said as she rolled her eyes. "But, I don't like him anymore, I like Billy now."

LJ laughed for the first time in weeks. "Oh, really and just how long was Sean your boyfriend?"

"Yesterday." Came the serious response.

LJ pulled her daughter close again. "I love you, Allie. Thank you."

Allie pulled back as her face scrunched up. "Thank you? For what?"

Tears threatened. "For being in my life." She said as she hugged her once again.

Kiley sat in the kitchen listening to the conversation. LJ is so wonderful to Allie and the twins. Why can't I find it in my heart to forgive her...hell, even to speak to her? She thought as a lone tear fell. Turning she went into the room.

"Anyone want some ice-cream?" She asked averting LJ's eyes. "We have Rocky Road and Chocolate Peanut Butter." Both were her partner's favorites and she had to start somewhere.

"Me, me!" Allie squealed as she grabbed LJ's hand. "Come on, Mom."

Leave it to our daughter to break the ice, Kiley thought.

"Squirt, I need to go out for a bit, why don't you have mine for me."

"Goody!" She shouted as she ran into the kitchen.

"You sure? They're your favorites." Kiley said, almost pleading.

"Yeah, I'll come back when the twins wake up." Came the monotone response as she walked past Kiley giving her a light kiss before leaving.

In the kitchen, she picked Allie up and gave her a big hug and kiss. "I won't be back before you go to bed...will you please not give your mother a hard time?"

"I promise." She said planting wet sloppy kiss on her mom's cheek before she was returned to the floor.

Kiley watched as the woman, she desperately loved, left her once again.

"Mom! Ice-cream!"

She patted Allie's head as she headed for the freezer, her heart breaking.

* * *

The phone rang just as Robbie was waking up. Holding the crying child, Kiley picked the phone up. "Hello." She said holding her son close as he began nursing.

"Hey." It's me. "Listen, I'm coming down with something and don't want to give it to the kids. Can you get your mom to help you out today?"

Concern filled Kiley. She had noticed LJ hadn't been looking too good lately. "Are you okay? Do you need me to take you to the doctor?"

"No." Came the weak reply. "Bye."

Kiley didn't get a chance to say anything since the phone went silent. She would call her mother later, and then check on LJ. Right now, she prayed Katie wouldn't wake up until Robbie finished eating.

Dorothy arrived in time to get Allie ready for school and see that she got on the bus.

"What's going on, Sweetie, where's LJ?" She asked as she helped her daughter fold laundry.

Kiley sighed. "She has the flu, so she is staying over at the other house so the babies don't get it." She kept on folding refusing to make eye contact. "I need to go check on her after I'm done."

Dorothy took the towel out of her daughter's hand. "Go now, I can see you're worried, I'll finish up here. Are there bottles in the frig?"

Kiley debated on what to do. What if she won't let me in? "Sure, thanks, I'll only be a minute, I'm sure she's sleeping."

"Take your time, dear, she will appreciate the TLC." Dorothy didn't know what was really was going on, but she would support her daughter, no matter what.

Walking up to the door, Kiley grasped the doorknob and turned only to find it locked. No one locks doors around here, she thought. In fact, she wasn't even aware of a key. Should I knock? She asked herself. No, I'll just let her be...obviously, she doesn't want to be bothered. Turning, she walked back to the house noticing her mother watching.

Entering the kitchen, Kiley laughed. "What a goof she is, she locked the door. I'll check on her later." She said as she headed for the coffeepot. Sitting down, she closed her eyes as she sipped the hot brew.

Dorothy sat next to her daughter. "Want to talk about it?" She asked as she put a loving arm around her. "I might not have answers, but I can listen."

Kiley went very still and quiet as the sadness of the past two weeks filled her heart, mind and soul. Patting her mother's hand she said. "Thanks, but there's nothing to talk about."

This was her only child and Dorothy knew her well enough to know the subject was closed. She also knew that something drastic was wrong between LJ and her daughter. In time she would find out, hopefully it wouldn't be too late.

* * *

Kiley woke with a start. Looking around the room, she noticed the time and felt the fullness of her breast. Slipping out of bed, she checked on the twins and found them fast asleep. Walking into the kitchen she found her mother brushing Allie's hair before she left to catch the bus.

"Mom, what are you doing here?" Kiley asked.

"Well, good morning to you too." Dorothy said smiling. "You were so tired last night that I decided to stay over and let you get a good night's sleep." She patted Allie on the head. "There you go, sweetie, now give Mommy a kiss and then go wait for the bus."

Allie ran over to her mother and gave her a big kiss and hug. "Bye, Mommy. Will you tell Mom I said bye when she gets up?" Turning, the girl ran out the door.

"LJ? Did LJ help you?" Kiley said as she was trying to get a handle on what was happening.

"I haven't seen her. Want some breakfast?"

Kiley went pale. "Something is wrong." She said as she went to the screen door and saw Ben crossing the yard. "Ben. Wait up." She called going out the door.

"Good morning, Missy." Ben said as he tried not to notice the blonde woman's skimpy nightgown. "What can I do for you?"

"Do you have a key to the house over there?" She asked pointing to their temporary house. "LJ slept there last night because she was sick and the door is locked. I'm worried about her."

Ben brought his hand up to his face as he rubbed his beard. "Let me see, now. Hmmm."

Kiley loved this man, but right now was not the time for his laid back ways. "Come on, Ben, do you have it or not. I'm really worried, here."

Pulling on the key ring on his belt, he sorted through the keys. "Yep, here it is." He said as he took the key off and held it up in the air.

Grabbing it from his hand, Kiley headed to the house and quickly unlocked the door.

The stench of vomit and diarrhea almost overpowered her as she entered the house. Walking swiftly to the bedroom, she was horrified to see LJ lying across the bed drenched in sweat. She gently sat down and brushed the hair out of the woman's face as blue eyes opened.

"Hey, sleepyhead, what do you say we take you to the doctor?"

A shaking hand reached up and covered Kiley's. "Did you see her?"

Kiley looked around the room. "See who?"

LJ managed a peaceful smile. "My grandmother." Her voice was weak and low as she attempted to raise her head. "There, over there by the door, do you see her? She's come to take me home."

The words ripped through her heart as Kiley looked towards the door. Putting her arm under LJ's shoulders she spoke. "Let me help you up and we will go to the doctor and get you all better."

"No. I'm going home with Gram...she always loved me no matter what."

"Lucy, you are home, right here. We need you here." Kiley implored.

"It's too late for that...you don't love me anymore...I betrayed you." She whispered.

"Oh, Lucy." She said tenderly. "I love you no matter what. We all do. Allie, Katie, Robbie...we love you and need you with us."

A bright smile came over LJ's face. "Holly, Holly is here now too, to take me home." Blue eyes fixed on the doorway.

"It's not time, Lucy, I need you here." Her voice was trembling.

LJ looked at her lover with tired eyes. "I've always loved you." Came the softly spoken words before she closed her eyes.

An ear-piercing wail was heard as Kiley crouched over LJ. "Noooooo, noooooo, you can't die! I won't let you!" She shouted as she placed her knees on either side of the woman, checked the airway and began CPR. "One, two, three, four..."

Dorothy heard the scream and ran out of the house. Ben, also running towards the house, met her. Going inside they headed for the bedroom where they found Kiley.

Picking up the phone, Dorothy dialed 911 requesting an ambulance. "Ben, go down to the road and wait for them...don't let them go by here, we need them now." Turning back to the phone, she called her husband. "Carl, please come over here quick, LJ has had some sort of attack...Kiley is doing CPR."

"Sweetie let me help you."

LJ floated above them watching as Kiley pumped the dead heart and breathed into the sour mouth. Then she saw Dorothy and Ben arrive and go into action. It wasn't too long before Carl was in the room too and took over for his daughter. It was so surreal yet she knew it wasn't. In the doorway, her grandmother and Holly stood smiling as they held their arms out to her. She began towards them when she heard Kiley.

"Please, Lucy, please don't leave me. You said eternity. Come back to me...I love you so much...our children need you. Oh my God, how am I going to tell Allie?" She cried, as tears fell. "You're her idol, she adores you...how do I tell her this?"

LJ saw Kiley fall to her knees sobbing uncontrollably as her mother bent to comfort her.

"I can't do it without her, Mom. What am I going to do? How can I go on?"

Dorothy held her daughter. "Listen, there's the ambulance...they will have the equipment to save her. Come on now get up they will need to get to her."

LJ watched in fascination as the paramedics came in and began to try to revive the lifeless body. Looking over at her grandmother then back to Kiley she knew it was up to her.

Kiley was standing frozen in place as the men worked on her lover. Strangely, LJ could hear her thoughts. We weren't finished yet, Lucy. There was so much more for us to discover together and with our family. I missed you with all my heart the last two weeks...all I ever wanted to do is love you. Please, if you can hear me, come back to me. Please, we've only just found each other.

LJ's grandmother was speaking. "If you leave it unfinished it will be with you through eternity. I will always be here for you."

Tears were coursing down her cheeks. "Gram, can't I go with you?"

"Finish what you started, Lucinda Jane." Katie said before she faded away.

"We have a pulse."

* * *

The blue eyes opened and tried to focus. Turning her head, she noticed Kiley asleep in a chair with Allie's head resting in her lap, her body curled in another chair. The twins, in the double stroller, were also sleeping.

My family, LJ thought with a smiled. Slowly she moved her hand out to touch the one resting on the bed.

Kiley, with her eyes still closed, smiled. "You came back to me." She purred as green opened and met blue. "How are you feeling?"

"I feel like I've been run over by a MAC truck." LJ's eyebrows scrunched. "I wasn't, was I?"

Kiley couldn't help the giggle she let out. "No, unless you think of being dehydrated from the flu might count as a truck."

Closing her eyes, LJ sighed. "Oh, yeah, I remember...I couldn't stop the flow from either end." She laughed slightly before suddenly opening her eyes wide. "I died." She whispered.

Kiley's mind was filled with the memory of the ordeal as a shiver coursed through her body. "Yes, but you came back." She said tenderly, picking up LJ's hand. "I don't know what we would have done without you in our lives."

LJ squeezed the smaller hand gently. "I want to come back home." Her eyes were pleading for understanding.

Seemingly out of nowhere a blonde head popped up. "You're coming home, Mom. When, when."

Both women looked at their precocious daughter and laughed.

Kiley shook her head as she gave Allie, who was struggling to get to LJ, a hug and kissed the top of her head. "Slow down."

"Mom, let me go!"

"Squirt, if you want up here you need to calm down some." LJ said unable to stop smiling at the girl.

"Will you be careful?"

"Yes, Mommy." Allie said as she squirmed out of Kiley's grip and climbed up on the bed. Once there, she gave her mom a big hug and kiss. "I love you, Mom, when are you coming home? I missed you so much."

LJ looked past Allie to Kiley. "It depends on your mommy if I come home or not." Blue eyes once again appealed for acceptance.

Standing up, Kiley moved closer to the bed, bent down and kissed LJ's lips. "It is up to the doctor, sweetheart. Your place is with us, always has been...I want you there."

"Yippee!" Allie's screech managed to wake up the twins.

Once again, laughter was heard as the family was reunited.

* * *

The night was pleasant with a slight breeze moving through the air. Kiley and LJ sat quietly on the old swing, holding hands, each struggling with what to say. "May I ask you a question?" LJ finally asked, quietly.

"Yes."

"Is it too late for us to be a family like we were? Is there any chance for us to get back there?"

A tear spilled out of Kiley's eye as she found words would not come.

"I didn't mean to fail or hurt you, Kiley, please believe that. We've been through so much together...we both were searching until we found love...we belong to each other for eternity." LJ turned a bit and held up her hand with the ring. "Can we try again?"

Kiley looked at her partner, whom she was sure was hurting as much, if not more, than she was. Was I surprised about Max? She thought. No, not really. Came the answer. Is this important enough to lose the love of my life? NO! Came the resounding answer.

LJ's heart was racing, wondering if Kiley's silence meant it was over." I have something to tell you. All my life, I've been a loner. It wasn't until Holly came into my life that I wanted to share myself with anyone. When she was taken from me, I was destroyed and wanted to die myself...I survived and made my work my life. I'm not sure when it happened, but at some point I found myself needing to find sexual relief...probably so I could feel alive, or a connection with another or I wanted to dominate...I'm not sure. " Her voice was reflective with a tinge of self-loathing. "I vowed never to get involved emotionally so I just took what I wanted and left. I'm ashamed, but it was what I had to do to keep uninvolved."

"Is that what she meant by special sex?" Kiley asked softly.

Blue captured green. "Yes." Her voice laced with shame. "Kiley, please understand, it was never anything but sex." She moved a bit closer and took her lover's hand. "You're the only one I've made love to...there's a difference, you know." She spoke from her heart. "I love you deeply, yet I betrayed that love with my body, but never with my heart, mind or soul. You're my life...when the twins were born, I didn't know if you would make it or not, I realized that I never wanted to lose you." She couldn't help the tears, as Kiley remained quiet. " If you feel it would be best if I left, I will."

Kiley sat there motionless, her heart screaming to take the woman in her arms. "Lucy." She whispered. "Don't go."

"Are you sure?"

"Yes." Her thoughts went back to the ride in the ambulance and her feelings then, "Do you remember that old woman we met in the museum?"

"The one that told you it was twins...yes, I remember her."

"She said...Love would be the answer. I love you, Lucy. That is what I know...I love you. Together we will prevail, apart we will fail."

"I don't want to fail...I love you so much, Kiley."

"Then we shall try again. However, Lucy, this is your only chance...there will be no others."

"I know." LJ said as she hugged Kiley close. "I would rather die than hurt you again."

Pulling back a bit, Kiley looked into the blue eyes. "Eternity, remember? I will find you wherever you go." Then she kissed the red lips gently. "You will never be alone throughout all time, Lucy, we are stuck with a very special, strong glue called love."

LJ's eyes brimmed with tears. "You and our family is all I ever want. I now know that there is nothing, and I mean nothing, more important." Bending her head, she kissed Kiley and was rewarded as a tongue ran across her lips asking for entry. Soon the smoldering fire ignited into raging passion begging to be released.

Intense blue eyes captured green ones that had turned darker with ardor. Standing up, LJ offered Kiley her hand. "Let's go to bed." The low, sensual voice said.

"No, take me here as you have taken others." Kiley said as she began pulling LJ's shorts off.

Sitting back down, LJ took Kiley's hand. "Baby, I can't do that. You deserve to be loved not taken."

"You can take others and not me? Why? Aren't I good enough for your special sex?" Kiley was fuming.

LJ's head bowed in shame as she struggled for words. "Kiley, don't you understand? Can't you see why I could never do that to you?"

"Oh, I understand very well!" She growled as the anger increased. "You can share with others something and you can't with me! How do you think that makes me feel? Well, I'll tell you...I feel like you will always hold a part of you away from me because I'm not a good enough lover."

"No, no." LJ cried out. "You're a wonderful lover. I could not ask for more than you."

"But, you refuse to let me experience your special kind of love! Doesn't sound like I am much of a lover, does it."

LJ blew out a breath as she held Kiley's face in her hands. "You don't understand. If it hadn't been consensual it would have been rape." There she said it and in doing so, she admitted to herself how heinous her actions had been. "I'm ashamed of myself, Kiley. I never want to treat you that way, never. I never want to do that again, can you understand that?" Letting go of Kiley's' face, LJ once again bowed her head in shame.

Kiley was in shock. She thought special sex meant the use of whips, handcuffs or other sex toys; rape never entered her mind. Looking at LJ, her heart went out to the torture her lover must be feeling. Taking the woman in her arms, she slowly rocked her. "Don't cry, baby, it will be alright. We will work together...love will show us the way."

"Can you ever forgive me?" Came the muffled question.

It was Kiley's turn to tilt LJ's face up to look in her eyes. "Can you forgive yourself? When you were lying in that bed with your heart stopped, I realized that I loved you no matter what. I don't understand why you did it, but I have forgiven you, Lucy." She smiled lovingly.

LJ closed her eyes before opening them. "I love you so much." All the guilt and self-loathing she had felt over the last few months seemed to lift from her heart. "Thank you, for loving me. I will not let you down again...that is my promise to you. I didn't die because I wanted to finish my life with you and our family."

Wrapping her arms around LJ, Kiley hugged her close then whispered in her ear. "I love you, what do you say we go to bed and start healing each other?"

* * *

Slowly, fingertips traced circles around taut nipples teasing them to new heights. Hearing the increased tempo of her lover's breath, she knew her ministrations were having the desired effect. Bending her head, she ran the tip of her tongue around the areola working its way to the nipple. Gently she placed her lips around the protuberance as she slowly pulled it into her mouth. Opening wider, she took more of the breast in as her tongue continued to circle the nipple before sucking it deeply. She shivered as she felt the nipple slide against her tongue.

Never before had felt such powerful emotions while her body ebbed and flowed in reaction to the touch of her lover. Kiley was teasing her with every motion; bringing her to new heights only to bring her back down before setting her on fire again. She held the blonde head lightly insisting she suck harder on the willing nipples. Her reward was Kiley's teeth biting down and gently pulling, all the while the tongue flicking the nipple.

Soon she found a knee rubbing against her wet center as a greedy mouth continued to devour her breasts. LJ arched as she tried to find relief on Kiley's thigh only to have the leg removed. Her hands began to caress her lover's back slowly making their way down to Kiley's luscious backside. As she kneaded the flesh, her arousal increased and hips moved in an attempt to find flesh to rub against. Her moans grew more insistent as she increasingly felt the need for release. She needed to feel Kiley's fingers inside her or her lips sucking on her clit or both.

"Please." She managed to whisper.

Fingers lightly trailed down her belly as lips followed. Kisses were placed all over, as they grew closer to where LJ desperately wanted them. Her hands were once again urging the blonde head to take her.

The velvety, wet recesses of LJ were on fire as Kiley's fingers slid easily along the length of the hot center. Copious amounts of LJ's nectar seemed to pour out as fingers delved deep inside only to retreat and probe again. Soon the fingers and hips were moving as one; the deeper the fingers went the harder LJ squeezed them until the intensity increased.

LJ's breathing was shallow and rapid as she was lost in the powerful rapture of her body's response. Finally, she let her body go along with the explosion of the orgasms rocking her body. A smile crossed her face as she felt the lips moving lower. She was still on fire and Kiley was an expert in squelching the prickly nerve endings crying for relief. Skilled lips encased the swollen nub as it was teased with the talented tongue before being ravenously sucked. Once again, ecstasy encompassed LJ's body, lost in the feeling of overwhelming release as she let go of all control and allowed Kiley to dictate the tempo.

All her life LJ craved someone to love her, flaws and all. Kiley now knew her darkest secret and still loved her. She would never be tempted by the likes of Max again; her life now dedicated to the beautiful woman in her arms.

"I love you for eternity, Kiley."

The head, resting on her stomach, lifted as a glorious smile crossed Kiley's face. "Good thing, Lucy, 'cause I love you too."

Soon they were fast asleep safe in the love of each other's arms.

* * *

Fulfillment

Standing, in the early morning on the worn wooden porch, LJ was, for the first time in many years, completely at peace. She felt her life was about to take a turn in a new and exciting direction. To earn Kiley's trust again would take work; she knew it would never be complete for there would always be a niggling bit of doubt. Lifting up her head, she saw the pink and purple spires of the sun streak across the yellow sky before she said a silent prayer of thanks. Kiley had forgiven her and LJ would do everything in her power to prove that decision correct.

Not only her personal life was changing, but her professional one as well. Although she left the university, the book she had written, Out Of The Past, was gaining notoriety in the scientific world. She had no desire to go back to the life she had left. She had a new plan and wanted to discuss it with Kiley after the morning calmed down. Hearing one of the twins crying, she went back inside to begin the day.

The twins were playing happily in their playpen as Kiley and LJ sat at the table enjoying another cup of coffee.

Reaching over, Kiley took LJ's hand. "Thank you, for last night." She said with a smile.

Laughing LJ replied, "No, thank you." She said as she wiggled her eyebrows.

Kiley sighed, deeply satisfied with her life. "What do you have on your docket for today?"

LJ looked at her love. "Kiley, I have an idea I want to discuss with you."

"Okay, shoot."

"Well..." she stammered. "I'm not sure how to explain this...we have some areas...damn." The right words just wouldn't come to her.

Kiley smiled fondly as she patted LJ's hand. "Why not just tell me the main idea." Her lover was so cute when she was tongue-tied.

"Okay...I want to set up an archeology camp at Rhodes End." There she said it.

Cocking her head, Kiley digested the sentence. "An archeology camp...yes, I can see that working quite well."

A magnificent smile crossed LJ's face. "That's what I thought. We could use the areas where Indian villages were and I know there are several sites that settlers used also." There was no hiding LJ's excitement for the project.

The morning turned into afternoon as they hashed out plans for the Rhodes Archeology Camp...RAC.

"This is wonderful, Lucy. I can't wait to get it started."

LJ's eyes were sparkling as she looked over their plans. "We'll need to get Dad in on this. We can put ads in all the magazines and in the schools too." She then lifted her head and smiled. "Kiley, thank you."

"For what?"

A long period of silence followed before LJ spoke again. "For lots of different reasons, but mostly for allowing me to love you and loving me back. I deplore all the hurt and sadness I brought into your life. Yet, through it all, you still love me. No one has ever given me so precious a gift. I will do everything in my power to honor that gift and never lose sight of its power."

Just as Kiley was about to speak the protests of Katie Ann could be heard. "I love you too." She said as she stood up.

* * *

Six months later the finishing touches were being done on RAC. LJ sat at the kitchen table turning an envelope over and over in her hand. It was from one of the most prestigious scientific groups in the country. The time was right for their annual Awards Ball, but LJ didn't understand why she would be invited. After all, it had been almost a year since she did any formal work. Opening the envelope, she began reading just as Kiley came in the door.

"What do you have there?" She asked casually. "Looks like a fancy invitation to me."

LJ's eyes opened wide. "It is sort of. Come here and look at this. They want me to be a speaker." Kiley positioned herself behind LJ with her arms wrapped around her neck, as she read the note.

LJ,

Congratulations!

As you know every year we present an award to the individual we feel has done outstanding work in their field. You have been chosen in the archeology category based on your superb book, Out Of The Past. We would be honored if you could give a brief synopsis of your book and the theories it was based on.

Once again, congratulations,
Howard

While LJ had a dumbfounded look on her face, Kiley had nothing but smiles.

"LJ, how wonderful!" She exclaimed as she kissed her.

"Yeah, I guess so."

"Why aren't you happy?

"Oh, I am. Just a bit shocked...I think. Why me?"

Kiley laughed as she crouched down next to her lover. "Why not you? Your book was insightful, entertaining and presented your views of archeology. It certainly wasn't the dry uninspired scientific book everyone is used to. I'm proud of you."

LJ looked down at Kiley and smiled as she pulled her into her lap. "Would you do me the honor of accompanying me to the event?"

It was Kiley's turn to have her eyes open wide. "Really? You want me to go as your date...not just a friend?"

"I would be proud to have you as my date, Kiley. We are partners in all things and that includes awards. Can I send this back and say two will be attending?"

"Yes, oh, yes my love."

* * *

Kiley was nervous. The night for the Awards Ball had arrived and butterflies were invading her stomach. LJ wanted her there, as her partner, and she would not let her down, but... She wondered how many of LJ's ex-lovers would be there. Will she want them when she sees them? Stop it, Kiley, she promised...you have to believe her...but can I? A kiss on her neck brought her out of her suspicious thoughts.

"Hey, come back to me." LJ cooed in her ear. "You looked a million miles away."

Kiley's face turned red from being caught. "Oh, I was wondering about tonight."

"And..." LJ asked cautiously, fearing Kiley was backing out.

"Do you think this dress is okay?" She wore an attractive calf length, strapless navy dress.

"You look fabulous, although there is something missing."

Looking in the mirror then down her dress, Kiley was confused. "Missing? I don't see anything missing."

"Turn around please." LJ whispered in her ear before placing a diamond necklace around her neck. "There, now it is perfect."

Kiley was speechless as she looked in the mirror while fingering the exquisite piece in awe. "Oh, Lucy, this is gorgeous...you shouldn't have."

LJ turned her partner around then replaced her earrings with ones that matched the necklace. "You will be the most beautiful woman there. What do you think of my costume?"

Kiley laughed as she playfully slapped LJ on the arm. "Costume, what a thing to say."

"Anytime I have to dress up it is a costume, babe. Give me jeans and a T any day."

A critical eye looked LJ up and down. She had on silk black pants with a matching jacket that was partially buttoned. A red camisole underneath set the entire outfit off. A crooked smile crossed the blonde's face. "You, my love, will be the most beautiful woman there.

"Flattery will get you everywhere. If you're ready, we should be going." LJ offered her hand, and then they walked out of their hotel room.

* * *

At first, Kiley was self-conscious walking into the crowded room on LJ's arm. Lights, from the glittering ball that hung like a shimmering moon from above, smattered slivers of light that reflected directly on the gorgeous piece of jewelry she wore around her neck. This was her first official function with LJ, and for the first time since arriving at the hotel, she felt perfectly at ease. The first to approach them were Rob and Louise Ludlow, which Kiley welcomed as friendly, accepting faces. Soon others greeted the couple and to Kiley's surprise, LJ introduced her as her life partner. Smiling and shaking hands, Kiley relaxed into her role until...

"Lover! It is so good to see you here. WOW, you look good enough to eat." An obviously intoxicated Max said loudly. A hush fell over the room as everyone turned in reaction to the piercing voice.

LJ looked at the woman who had tempted and tormented her for years and wondered why. She felt nothing for the old, shop worn drunk, standing in front of her. "Get lost." She said lowly. Her eyes directed shards of ice at the intoxicated woman before taking Kiley's hand and walking away.

"You can't walk away from me!" Max shrieked as two women surrounded her, mouthing apologies on her behalf to the retreating couple. The fact that Max's target was one of the honorees made matters worse, embarrassing them even more.

"I'm sorry." LJ said sadly. "I didn't think she would be here."

"Are you okay, Lucy?"

Pulling a chair out from the table for Kiley, LJ replied. "Yes, actually better than okay. I can't believe I ever saw anything in her...she disgusts me."

In that single moment their two hearts met, understanding that all was in the past and it was time to move on to the future. As their eyes met, LJ smiled slowly and held out her hand, "care to dance with me?"

Kiley gapped, she knew her eyes must look like saucers, as the words refused to exit her mouth. She could only nod her head wondrously before being whisked towards the dance floor. Half way through the dance, Kiley managed to finally speak, whispering into LJ's ear, "I didn't know you could dance."

Chuckling at the fascination she heard in her love's voice, "Sure I can, I'll dance with you, for you or anything else if it means I get to hold you close in public."

"Oh Lucy how I love you..."

LJ accepted her award then took the podium to make some remarks about her book.

"When I wrote Out Of The Past, I wanted to present an hypothesis about the discovery of antiquities and how the present day can learn the lessons of the past. Now, I realize that we all, at one time or another, lived in the past...some refusing to live elsewhere." Blue eyes were glued to green. "We must realize, as scientist, that we cannot hold onto the past forever. We need to look beyond what was to what is. From the past we learn, grow, and recognize that imperfections exist, but that only makes the object more valuable. I was laying on the floor of the jungle in Peru, staring into a pit that held a skeleton, when I saw a golden idol..."

The entire night was a success. LJ receive her well-deserved award and her speech drew a standing ovation. No one in the room reacted to their being together; in fact, everyone was very kind and gracious.

The next day, on their drive home, Kiley took LJ's hand and kissed it. "Thank you for taking me. I had a wonderful time."

Turning briefly, LJ smiled. "So did I. Do you know how many compliments you got from my fellow scientists?"

"What are you talking about?"

"They told me how lucky I was to have found such a wonderful woman to share my life. You charmed the pants off them, my love."

"Lucy?"

"Hmm?"

"We're okay now, I've let go of the past."

LJ maneuvered the car over to the shoulder and stopped. Looking deeply into Kiley's green eyes, she spoke in a solemn tone. "You are my future, Kiley...I love you...the person. You make me want to rise above everything to be the best I can. Eternity isn't long enough. Will you take my hand and join me in a lifetime of love and joy?"

Tears were flowing as Kiley heard the beautiful words. "I would love to, Lucy. I understand now, and with that I can move on and leave the past behind." Her fingers brushed an errant tear off LJ's cheek. "You're right, eternity isn't long enough."

"What do you say we go home to our family?" LJ put the car back in gear and merged onto the highway. Home, LJ thought, what a wonderful word.

* * *

Betrayal destroys...love repairs. The road back is paved in love and understanding. For Kiley and LJ, the road back is love.

Kylie and LJ will have more of their story in 'Reflections On The Past' to be posted soon.


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