FIUR and VLAMME

 

proudly present

 

HOLLYWOOD DREAMS

 

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For Disclaimers see Episode 1

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EPISODE 35

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Samantha lost herself in Elizabeth's emerald eyes. Then her gaze fell on her soft lips that came unstoppable closer to her own. She used her thumbs to tenderly stroke the soft skin of Liz' cheeks. “I love you, my Angel,” Samantha whispered.

Elizabeth smiled briefly and sealed their lips with a hot kiss of burning passion and desire.

Slowly, Sam leaned back and pulled Liz on top of her.

They parted to take a breath.

“I love you too, my jungle princess.”

Samantha turned them over so that she was on top. “Jungle princess, huh?”

“Yes. When I saw you for the first time I was already crazy for you,” Liz replied, grinning roguishly. “You were so sexy in your Tarzan outfit.”

Samantha waggled her eyebrows. “Oh? Do you want me to wear it for you again?”

She wanted to get up but Elizabeth quickly wrapped her arms and legs tightly around her. “No, stay here. Not wearing anything... you are simply breathtaking.” Her hands gently traced over Samantha's naked back. “Sam,” she whispered.

“What?” came the equally quiet reply.

“Make love to me.”

The brunette closed her eyes for a short moment and swallowed hard.

Liz' hands wandered to her butt, then up over her back and buried themselves in the long dark mane.

Sam hid her face at the blonde's throat and moaned softly.

“Sweetheart, I want to feel you everywhere. I want us to become one.”

“Oh... Liz...” With her lips and tongue she tenderly caressed the other woman's throat, wandering down.

Lustfully, Elizabeth moaned, writhing and squirming beneath her. “Sam... yes... don't stop, Darling... hmmm... this is heavenly...”

Samantha covered every inch of Liz' upper body with hundred gentle kisses. “I don't ever want to be without you again, my sweet angel,” she whispered against the silky skin. “A life without you would be empty and worthless.”

Liz pulled her up so that she could look at her face. Gazing lovingly into sapphire-blue eyes, she responded, “Honey, I'll always be with you...”

 

Soaked in sweat and her heart pounding wildly, Samantha sat up. Her whole body was tingling with arousal and her breathing was fast. After she had regained her composure, she turned longing eyes on Elizabeth, who was peacefully slumbering next to her. ‘It would be so easy,' she thought to herself. ‘It would be so easy to lean down and to touch her lips with mine.'

Sam lay down on her side and reached out with her hand. Incredibly tender, her index finger traced the shape of Liz' rosy lips. ‘They are so silky soft. Just once, only once I want to kiss her. I know, she will never be mine. She will never feel for me like I feel for her. Just one kiss, that will be enough for me.' And she did it.

Lowering her head towards her beloved angel, she put her lips against Liz' with the slightest of pressure. Then she jumped out of bed and went to the bathroom for another very cold shower.

 

Elizabeth, trapped in the trance of her dreamscape, turned over. “Oh Sam... hmmm... I love you...” she whispered in her sleep.

 

***** THREE WEEKS LATER *****

 

Karen looked up from the documents as she heard someone clearing their throat next to her.

Elizabeth grinned broadly. “So? How do you like it?”

“You were at the hairstylist!”

Liz ran a hand through her newly styled, short blonde hair. “Yeah. I thought it was time for a change.”

Karen smiled. “It looks very nice on you.”

“Really?”

Karen nodded. “Yes, it is very beautiful.”

“I'm looking forward to see what the others will say.”

“Right, especially Sam's reaction,” she smirked, knowingly.

“Karen...”

“Let's change the subject. Did you see the newspaper yet?”

Elizabeth shook her head. “No. Why? Did something important or interesting happen?”

“Alexander Parker is out of jail.”

“What?” Liz exclaimed wide-eyed.

“Yes. The charges were dropped.”

“But why? After everything he did to Danielle how can they let him go that easily?” Elizabeth asked in disbelief.

Karen shrugged her shoulders. “I guess, if you are a member of the almighty Parker Clan then you can get away with stuff without having to face the consequences. To tell you the truth, I really am so glad that you sent this guy to hell.”

“Me too. It's just sad that I didn't notice what a bastard he is far sooner.”

“Better late than never, right?”

“I agree with you. Now, let's shake off these nasty thoughts and get back to work. We have lots to do,” Elizabeth said.

“Aye, aye, Ma'am,” Karen joked and winked. “Before I forget, Chris sends greetings to the whole family. Their presentation of the animated movie ‘Panthera & Foxy' is going great and he hopes that he will be back soon.”

Elizabeth smiled. “Okey-Dokey. I'll tell the others.” She gathered a few files and then said, “If you need anything, I'll be downstairs in the archives. I need to check some documents and files.”

“Okay. Just be careful not to inhale too much dust down there. It wouldn't be healthy for your lungs.”

With a chuckle, Elizabeth left Karen's office and climbed down the stairs to the cellar. She entered the archives room and found herself surrounded by many old, metal filing cabinets. “Okay, let's get this started.” Purposeful, she walked towards one of the heavy cabinets and opened a drawer.

Suddenly, heavy tremors shook the whole room. The floor quaked and Liz saw the filing cabinet coming at her, which buried her underneath.

Water pipes that were running along the ceiling burst and water flooded into the room while it still shook and quaked.

‘Oh my God!' was the last thought that whipped through her mind, before the blonde woman fell unconscious.

The city of Los Angeles was in the center of a mighty earthquake.

 

*****

 

Billy was very nervous as he helped Michiru to sit on the couch after the world had stopped shaking. “Michiru, sweetheart? Is everything okay with you?”

“What was that?” she asked, her face a mixture of shock and fear.

“An earthquake,” he explained. “That happens sometimes.” Billy scrutinized her up and down, then cupped her cheeks and looked into her almond-shaped eyes. “Are you alright? Are you hurt?”

Suddenly her eyes widened. “Billy...”

“Yes, sweetheart, I'm here with you. Tell me what's wrong.”

“Billy... my water broke...”

He smiled and patted one of her hands. “Awww, don't worry. I'll get us some more water bottles later. As long as you are not hurt everything is fine.”

Taking in a deep breath, she shouted, ”BILLY! MY WATER BROKE!”

“Yes, I know... I told you...” he stopped as he finally saw the wet spot on her pants. “Oh, you mean... you mean YOUR water broke?”

Michiru nodded and held on to her belly.

Billy freaked. “Oh my God!” he exclaimed and ran through the living room like a headless chicken. “What are we going to do now?”

She looked at him in amusement. “How about you drive me to the hospital? Or would you rather play midwife and have my child enter the world right here?”

He paled. “No...no... not here... I c-can't stand... I can't stand the sight of blood, you know that.”

“I guess then we should be on our way to the hospital. It won't be long till the next contraction.”

Billy blinked flabbergasted. “You already are having contractions? Since when?”

“For a few hours now.”

His jaw fell open. “AND YOU TELL ME THIS JUST NOW?”

She used her palm to wipe some sweat off her forehead that had gathered there. “Billy, don't yell at me, I'm giving birth here.”

He shook his head, determined. “No, not here.” Billy went to the couch and picked her up, carried her to the waiting car and raced with squealing tires in direction of the hospital.

 

*****

 

Frightened, Samantha, Sara and Taylor looked at each other.

“I think it's over, “ Samantha said.

Sara raised her head. “I hope there won't be any aftershocks.”

“Wasn't so bad,” Taylor chimed in. “I've experienced worse.”

“Thank you very much, it was more than enough for me,” Sara snapped. She quickly checked herself if everything was as it should be. “I really don't want to be in the middle of another one.”

Jemima, Tugger and Tasilo came slowly out of their hideouts, from behind the couch and flowerpots.

“The animals seem okay,” Samantha remarked.

“Thank God,” Taylor replied. “But I think some china in the kitchen got broken.”

Samantha turned on the TV to see if there was something on the news. She found a channel where a female reporter stood in front of what looked like a battle field. “A while ago, a severe earthquake shook the city of Los Angeles. How great the destruction is cannot yet be determined, but a few buildings have fallen down. I'm at the compounds where there used to be the movie company of the Parker family and as you can see, a lot of helpers are doing their best to get people out of the ruins and debris.”

“Oh shit!” Sara exclaimed, shocked.

“The destruction really is enormous...”

A thought popped into Sam's head and with eyes full of fear she looked at Taylor. “Little one, isn't your movie company in the city center too?”

Instantly, Taylor raced off to get her car keys. “LIZ!”

Sam followed her as the girl hurried to the car.

“Hey! Wait for me!” Sara shouted and sprinted after them.

 

*****

 

Elizabeth was about to despair. It seemed that she had been sitting in the cold water for hours now, trying to somehow get that filing cabinet off her, but it was in vain. Fear rose inside her as she noticed that the water was rising steadily.

“HELLO? CAN SOMEONE HEAR ME? I NEED HELP!”

Once more, she gathered all her powers and pressed against the cabinet, but the metal giant didn't move an inch. Tears of frustration streamed down her face. “HELP! HEEEEEEELP!!!”

But there was nobody that could hear her.

 

*****

 

Samantha was nervously nibbling on her lower lip while Taylor stepped down harder on the gas and the car accelerated.

“Taylor, slow down!” Sara said from the backseat, placing a hand on the teenager's shoulder. “We won't be of any use to anybody if you kill us or if the police stops us.”

Taylor didn't want to listen to her.

Samantha patted her thigh and said, “She is right, Taylor.”

Still, the teenager was speeding along, ignoring them both. All of a sudden, she had to step hard on the brakes. “SHIT! When did they put that road block there?” she growled.

“Probably due to the earthquake,” Sara muttered.

Taylor hit the steering wheel. “Damn it!” Then she turned the car around, trying to find a different road that would lead them to ‘Stuart Films'.

 

*****

 

 

The water had reached Liz' upper body and she was still trying with all her might to get the heavy filing cabinet off her legs. “HELP! HEEEEELP!! HEEEEEEEEEEELLLLLLLP!!!”

 

*****

 

Michiru lay on the hospital bed while Billy was holding her hand.

Dr. Lewis looked at her and said, “Okay. You are fully dilated now. I want you to push with the next contraction.”

The Asian woman nodded and it didn't take long until it happened.

“Push! Good, good... go on. You are really doing wonderfully,” the doctor encouraged her. “Don't forget to breathe.”

Michiru did as she was told.

A few minutes later, Gillian announced, “I can see the head. You are almost done.”

Soaked with sweat and completely exhausted, Michiru sank back down on the bed, “I can't go on,” she gasped.

“Yes you can,” Billy argued and held her hand tighter, using the other to wipe some sweat off her forehead with a tissue. “You have to. Come on, sweetheart. Together we can do it.”

Michiru dug deeply into the last resources of strength that were left in her body.

“Alright, and here we go,” Gillian declared, smiling. “Congratulations, you have a healthy and strong girl.”

The baby's cry rang out in the room and Michiru thought that she had never heard anything more beautiful in her entire life.

Still smiling, the doctor presented Billy a pair of scissors. “Would you like to cut the cord?”

Billy's eyes widened. “What... I... “ He paled and then his eyes rolled back in his head as he dropped to the floor in a dead faint.

Michiru chuckled softly. “He was doing so great but he can't stand the sight of blood,” she explained.

“Oh.”

After the cord had been cut, the newborn was cleaned and wrapped into a blanket, before being placed in the arms of Michiru.

With a tender fingertip, she stroked her daughter's face while tears of joy were running down her own cheek. “So, you were the one who's been stomping around on my bladder the whole time? Maybe you will become a great tap dancer.”

A small hand reached out and tiny fingers enclosed Michiru's own.

“Welcome in life, Sakura Kasawaki.”

Two male nurses entered the room to pick up the unconscious Billy. They placed him upon a free bed next to Michiru.

 

*****

 

Finally, they had reached the area of ‘Stuart Films' and Samantha stormed out of the car. Debris was everywhere and blocked her way, but she forced her way through until she reached the building where the offices were. The building was the one that seemed the most intact. “LIZ! LIZ!” She tore open one office door after the other but couldn't find a trace of the small blonde woman anywhere.

Then she came upon Karen's office.

Karen lay on the floor with a heavily bleeding wound on her forehead.

“Karen?” Samantha asked, crouching beside her.

The other woman groaned and gingerly sat up. “Oww, my head. What happened?”

“An earthquake,” the brunette explained and helped her to get on her feet. “Come on, I'll get you out of here. Can you walk?”

Karen was a bit wobbly on her legs but she nodded. “I think it'll be okay.”

Samantha tore off a part of her shirt and gave it to her. “Here, press this on your wound. It'll help with the bleeding.”

She supported Karen and together they made their way outside were Taylor and Sara were waiting for them. “You take care of Karen,” Samantha told them. “I'll go back inside.”

“An ambulance is on its way,” Taylor responded. “Where is Liz?”

“She was in the archives room,” Karen said.

“Okay, you all wait here. I'll be back with Liz,” Samantha replied and hurried back inside the building.

 

Taking three steps at once, she raced down the stairs to the cellar. “LIZ! LIZ!”

Once she had opened the door to the archives room, the water that came rushing out went up to her thighs. “LIZ?” she called out again. “Are you here?”

“Sam? Sam is it you? Thank God!”

The brunette finally found her. “Oh my God, Liz! Is everything okay?”

“Sam, you gotta help me. The filing cabinet dropped on me and I can't move.”

Samantha waded over to her.

Liz' head was barely looking out of the water and she was trembling from cold, shock and fear.

Samantha stroked her cheek. “Don't worry, I'll get you out of here.” The water continued to rise as she tried with all her might to shove the heavy metal cabinet off her beloved angel.

 

*****

 

Restlessly, Taylor was pacing in front of the building. “What's keeping the damn ambulance?” she grumbled.

“I'm sure they'll be here soon,” Sara replied.

Taylor crossed her arms in front of her chest and tried to stay calm. “They should hurry a bit more!”

“They probably have problems getting through. You saw the destruction with your own eyes... Would you sit down? You're making me nervous with your constant pacing.”

Scowling, the teenager lowered herself to the ground and sat beside Karen.

“I hope Sam will soon come out with Liz. I'm worried if there are aftershocks that the building might collapse too,” Karen said.

The three looked at each other, fear and worry clearly visible in their eyes.

 

*****

 

Michiru was sitting in a rocking chair, breast-feeding her newborn daughter. Again and again, she tenderly caressed the small head and the cheeks of the baby. With a smile on her face, she hummed a lullaby while Sakura was devoutly sucking on her milk source.

Michiru's gaze traveled to the bed where Billy was laying, who was slowly coming back to himself. “Lookey there... it's alive!” she announced, grinning broadly as he sat up and looked around in confusion.

“Ha ha, you are so funny,” Billy responded but couldn't keep up the stern expression of his face. It immediately transformed to a smile as he discovered the bundle in Michiru's arms. He walked over and sat down beside the rocking chair, regarding the tiny person that had entered the world. “Well, hello. Whom do we have here?”

“May I introduce,” Michiru answered, “Billy, this is Sakura Kasawaki.”

Billy was delighted. “Never before have I seen something so incredibly cute. May I please hold her?”

“Of course.” Michiru smiled and rose, motioning for Billy to take her seat. Then she placed the baby into his arms. The image of this tall, strong man, who lovingly rocked her tiny daughter in his arms moved Michiru to tears. ‘Billy would be the perfect father for my child.' Her eyes fell on the papers from the hospital. There was one line that was still blank. It was the line that stated, ‘Name of the father'. ‘What am I supposed to do? If I write Billy's name in there, I'll be lying to my child. But I really think she is better off, if she never knows, who her true father is.' Michiru had to make a decision that would bring heavy consequences with it. ‘If only I could talk with somebody about it.'

 

*****

 

Samantha's arms were hurting from the strain and she was beginning to despair. Still, she had been unable to free Elizabeth, who was having trouble keeping her face above the water surface that kept rising. “Sam, stop, it's of no use.”

The brunette ignored her.

“Sam, please, it's too late for me.”

“Never!” she snapped and redoubled her efforts. “I'm not going to let you die here!”

“Sam, you have to get out of here,” the blonde pleaded. “If there are aftershocks the whole building could come down. Where is the sense in having both of us die here?”

Samantha glared at her. “What do you think I should tell your little sister when I come out of here without you? We will get through this. Trust me.”

“I don't regret anything about my life, except one thing.”

The other woman couldn't believe it. Elizabeth was really talking as if she thought she wouldn't come out of here alive. “Why are you doing this? Stop talking like that! You are not going to die!”

The water rose and Liz bent her head back so that she could breathe. “I have to tell you something and I regret that I didn't do it sooner... I love you, Samantha...” Her face disappeared under the surface and Sam panicked.

“NO! LIZ!” She let go of the filing cabinet and tried desperately to get Liz' head above the water. It was in vain. Tears of rage and frustration streamed down her cheeks. “NO! God no! Don't take away my angel! DON'T TAKE AWAY MY ANGEL!!!”

She gathered whatever strength and power she had left in her body and finally managed to free Liz from the heavy metal cabinet and lifted the small woman out of the freezing water. Fear had her heart in a tight grip as Samantha noticed that Elizabeth had stopped breathing.

 

*****

 

“Finally, the ambulance is here,” Sara said as the car appeared with a still howling siren.

“It's about damn time,” Taylor grumbled, impatiently bouncing on her heels.

The paramedics jumped out of the car and took care of Karen's wound. “Are there still people inside the building?” one of them asked.

Taylor nodded. “My sister and her friend.”

Sara looked at the entrance and gasped, “Oh my God, no!”

Samantha stepped out of the house, carrying Elizabeth's limp body in her arms.

“Sam!” Taylor raced over to them. “Sam, what's wrong?”

“She is not breathing,” came the sobbed answer.

The paramedics came over. “Ma'am, please lay her down so that we can start with CPR.”

Sam did as she was told and wrapped her arms around Taylor from behind, who had burst into tears.

“We will get her to the hospital right away,” a paramedic said. “She is in a very serious condition.”

Completely devastated herself, Samantha was trying to calm down the teenager, who was on the verge of having a hysterical breakdown. “It's going to be alright, sweetie. I promise.” In her head she could hear Liz' last words that echoed through her mind, ‘I love you, Samantha.'

Sam closed her eyes and held on tighter to Taylor. ‘Everything will be alright... it has to be.'

 

*****

 

While Gillian was doing everything in her power to save Liz' life, Karen had called Christopher to tell him about the situation.

“Do you know more? Is she going to make it?” he asked his voice trembling a bit from worry and Karen thought she could also detect a tiny trace of fear.

“We don't know much at all. The doctors are still with her.”

“Call me as soon as they tell you something, okay?”

“Yes, I will do that. I love you.”

“I love you too, Precious. Till then.” He hung up.

Sadly, Karen shook her head. “What is going to happen next? Does this family never get a break?”

 

Samantha had entered the hospital's small chapel. She knelt in front of the big cross that hung at the wall and looked at it with folded hands. “I know, I have not been talking to you lately. Right now though, I just don't know what to do. Please, please, don't take away my angel. Please, don't take her. What will become of her family? They could not bear to lose another family member. You took Emily from me, please, spare Liz. I love her and I need her. I cannot be without her. If you take her then you can have my life too! Because I couldn't stand losing her.”

Constantly, tears floated from blue eyes and Sam's body shook from the force of her sobs. “Please, please, let her live!”

 

Taylor was pacing in front of the hospital room. Again and again, she glanced through the small window to catch a glimpse of the doctors that were trying to save her sister's life. ‘You can't die, Liz. You can't die,' was the mantra that ran through her head.

Red-eyed, Samantha returned from the chapel. “Any news?”

Sara and Karen shook their heads.

The door opened and Dr. Lewis stepped into the corridor. “Good news. Ms. Stuart is stable for now.”

Everybody released a relieved breath and Taylor dropped into the chair next to Sara.

“Still, I want to keep her here for a few more days of observation.”

“Can we go to her?” Karen inquired.

Gillian nodded and smiled. “Of course. As soon as she is brought to another room you can visit her. Who of you is Sam?”

“That's me,” the brunette said.

“Please come with me. Ms. Stuart has been calling your name and she is very upset because she couldn't find you.”

Together with the doctor, Samantha entered the room.

“Sam? Sam, where are you?”

Quickly, she went to the bed and sat down on its edge, taking one of Liz' hands. “I'm here, my angel. I'm with you,” she whispered tenderly.

Liz calmed down once Samantha stroked her cheek with gentle fingertips.

“Thank God that you are okay. I was so scared for you.”

“I didn't mean to scare you,” Elizabeth answered.

“I know.”

“Sam... what I said in the cellar... that I love you... I meant it. I never felt for another person like I do for you,” Liz finally confessed.

Samantha beamed happily. “I love you too.” She bent down and gave her lips the most tender kiss.

Gillian smiled and left the room, giving them their well-deserved privacy. “Hahhh,” she sighed. “Isn't love just wonderful?”

Karen looked through the window and a broad grin appeared on her features. “It did take long enough.”

Sara and Taylor joined her. “Finally,” Taylor nodded. “I thought these two were never going to get it.”

Sara grinned. “Well, I guess another wedding will come up soon in the Stuart house.”

 

A nurse interrupted the tender moment. “Oh... uh... sorry...” she stammered and blushed. “Ms. Stuart will be transferred to another room now.”

“Okay,” Samantha replied and then turned back to Elizabeth. “You settle in and rest a little bit and I'll gather the rest of the family and we will come visit you later. How does that sound?”

Liz nodded. “Sounds like a plan.”

“Okay, sweet angel, we will see each other later.” A last gentle kiss was placed on Elizabeth's forehead, before she was rolled with her bed from the room.

Left alone, Sam closed her eyes and took a few deep breaths. “Thank you. Thank you for sparing my angel.”

 

***** A FEW DAYS LATER *****

 

Catherine was beside herself. “I can't believe it!” she raved furiously. “I just can NOT believe it! Who do they think they are?! They cannot take the movie project ‘Lords Of The Darkness' away from us just like that! It's impossible!”

Jonathan rolled his eyes. “Would you please calm down? The situation will not get better with anger.”

She whirled around and scowled at him fiercely. “Yes, that's so typical of you! You don't care one bit about my feelings! First the disaster at the Costume Ball, then Alex landed in jail, then the earthquake that destroyed our company... and now they are taking away from us the most important and most lucrative project we ever had! How, I want to know, how you can be so indifferent about this?”

“It's really no big deal,” he told her, matter-of-factly. “We will get another movie project as soon as the company has been rebuilt. Hell, we will get hundreds more projects. I'm just glad that nobody got seriously hurt during the earthquake, everything else can be taken care of. Now, concerning the thing with Alex... he has to get out of this by himself, because he caused it and he is an adult. And, if Elizabeth Stuart doesn't want to marry him, he will have to accept it.”

“But I can't accept it!” Catherine snapped. “For months, she has been leading him on and since this weird jungle woman is here, she is a completely different person. I'm telling you, there is something going on that is not right!”

“Could be. But even if, it is none of your business and therefore should be of no interest to you, Catherine,” Jonathan said and then left the room.

 

*****

 

Taylor and Sara went to the door. “Bye, until later,” the teenager said and waved back towards Samantha and Elizabeth.

“Give Michiru our greetings and have lots of fun with looking at the baby,” Liz replied, smiling.

“Yes, we'll do that,” Sara answered.

Sam admonished, “Drive carefully, little one, okay?”

That comment made Taylor roll her eyes. “Sammy, you are beginning to sound exactly like my sister. Come on, Sara, let's go.”

Once the girls had left, Samantha sat down beside Elizabeth, who had been released from the hospital a few hours ago. “So? How are you doing?”

Liz smiled. “You know how I am doing. My condition did not change in the five minutes that passed since you last asked me that.”

“Right,” Sam gave back and returned the smile with a small one of her own. “But, I am worried.”

“I know that. Really though, I'm okay.”

Samantha nodded and looked at the floor.

Silence fell between them while the CD player in the background played ‘No matter what' from ‘Boyzone'.

‘It's now or never,' the brunette thought. Gathering all her courage, she looked deeply into Liz' emerald green eyes. “Dance with me,” she said softly.

The other woman was surprised and raised both eyebrows. “Now? Here?”

Samantha rose from the couch, holding out a hand to her. “Yes, now and here.”

“Uh...” Elizabeth hesitated a few more seconds but then relented. “Okay.” Taking the offered hand, she got off the couch and then wrapped her arms around Sam's hips, placing her head on her chest.

Sam leaned her cheek against Liz' forehead and closed her eyes as they began to sway their body to and fro to the rhythm of the slow song.

Liz' heart sped up as Sam began to stroke her back. She looked up and lost herself in the deep blue eyes that were shining with eternal love. Then she forgot everything around her and was sucked into a world of her own because Sam's face drew closer and their lips melted in a kiss.

Breathlessly, they broke apart and Samantha leaned her forehead against the blonde's. “I love you so very much, sweet angel. I never had such strong feelings for anyone.”

“I wanted to tell you after the Costume Ball what I feel for you,” Elizabeth responded. “Sadly, I chickened out.”

Sam tightened her arms around the small body. “I thought you wanted to go back to Alexander... that's why I kept my distance. It hurt me when I saw you two dancing so close and later kissing.”

“I didn't start it. He took the liberty.”

“I know. I was jealous,” Samantha admitted.

Elizabeth tenderly caressed her face. “There's no need to be. I know with whom I want to be together and whom I love. It's you. I love you, Sam.”

Holding her tightly to herself, the brunette replied, “These were the most beautiful words I ever heard.” Her heart pounded out of control as she felt Liz soft hands slipping under her T-shirt to caress the smooth skin of her back. Her own hands wandered to the blonde's nicely shaped backside and lifted her up.

They kissed again, Elizabeth wrapped arms and legs tightly around her beloved jungle princess and Samantha carried her upstairs to their room.

Carefully, she lowered her precious cargo to the bed and looked at her. “Are you sure that you want it? It doesn't need to happen tonight. I just want to be with you and hold you in my arms. Nothing will happen that you don't want.”

As an answer, Liz pulled her into a hot kiss full of longing and desire.

The dark-haired woman moaned in rapture.

“I want you so much. I want to know what true love is.”

“Oh Liz, I love you.” She lay down on top of her, careful to keep most of her weight supported by her arms. They sank into a kiss of burning passion. Slowly, she loosened the buttons of Liz' shirt and kissed down her throat, along the upper body until she was able to breathe tiny kisses all over the blonde's tummy. “I want to become one with you,” Samantha whispered. “I want to melt into you.”

Elizabeth moaned. Her whole body was quaking from excitement. “Oh... Sam... yes... I want to feel you everywhere...”

At the same time they freed each other from disturbing clothes that would only get in the way.

Sam pulled Liz on her lap and placed her ear on her chest. “Your heart... it beats in the same rhythm as mine does.” She took one of the blonde's hands and placed it over her own heart. “Can you feel it?”

“Yes.”

“It's only beating for you.”

Elizabeth smiled and went back to caress Samantha's back.

“I still cannot believe it,” the brunette whispered.

“What do you mean, sweetheart?”

“That you are here. Here, in my arms and that you love me.”

Liz hugged her tighter. “I wouldn't want to be anywhere else than with you.”

Sam's hands began to discover Liz' curves. “You are so very beautiful, my angel...”

She tried to get even closer to her and moaned as passion overwhelmed her. Everywhere she could feel Samantha's soft touches. She threw her head back as Sam lovingly kissed her breasts. Elizabeth sank back into the pillows and the other woman followed her.

“Oh God, Sam... don't stop...”

Samantha's lips slid lower and Liz thought she would die from the heat. “Sam... I want to feel you inside me...”

Stopping what she was doing, Sam hovered above her. She tenderly stroked her face and looked deeply into her eyes. “Are you sure?” she whispered.

Liz nodded. “I want you. I need you. Do it, Sam, please. Become one with me.”

Greatly excited, Sam began to tremble as she heard that.

“Are you nervous, sweetheart?” Elizabeth inquired.

The brunette nodded. “I don't want to hurt you. I just want to make you happy.”

Liz kissed her to take away her doubts. “You do that. You make me happy with every moment that you are with me.”

Sam buried her face at Liz' throat while one of her hands slid between the blonde's legs.

The fire of passion had them in its grip and didn't let them go for a long time.

The intense feelings that their union brought made Liz burst into tears and Sam became scared. “Baby? What is it? Did I hurt you?”

Elizabeth couldn't say anything. She just held on tightly to Samantha as the harsh sobs racked her body.

Sam was close to tears herself. “Oh Liz... I'm sorry... I didn't want to hurt you... I'm so sorry...”

“No Sam... you didn't hurt me...” the blonde finally managed to gasp through her tears.

“Then why are you crying? Do you regret that we made love?”

“Oh sweetheart, no... I never felt anything as beautiful as I did with you just now. I'm sorry my tears frightened you.” Liz wiped at her face. “It's just that these intense feelings overwhelmed me.”

“I'm so glad,” Sam replied. “I thought...”

Liz placed a fingertip on the other woman's lips. “No sweetheart. It was very beautiful and now I want to make you as happy as you made me...”

 

*****

 

In a happy mood, Karen entered the hospital room. “Hello, Dr. Lewis,” she greeted her friendly. “You called me because of the blood test and here I am.”

The doctor laughed. “Yes, Mrs. Stuart and I've got good news. You did not get blood poisoning from the wound on your forehead.” Gillian examined the place where Karen had been hurt during the earthquake. “It's healing very nicely and is already barely visible.”

Karen was relieved. “That's great, but you could have told me all that on the phone.”

Gillian hesitated. “Well... it seems...”

“Is something else wrong with me?” Karen asked, very concerned.

“Please take a seat.”

Karen did and looked at the other woman expectantly.

“You are 3 months pregnant. Did you not know that?”

Karen blinked and then squeaked in a thin voice, “Preg... pregnant? I am pregnant?”

“Would you like to have a glass of water?”

The soon-to-be-mother looked at her belly and rubbed a hand across it. A big grin spread over her features. “I'm going to have a baby. My baby.”

“Shall we do an ultrasound scan?” Gillian asked smiling. “To see if everything is alright?”

“Yes, of course,” Karen answered. “If only Chris would be here.”

“Next time your husband can come with you, that's no problem. Okay, lay down and pull up your shirt... the gel will be a little cold... alright, let's see what we have here...” Dr. Lewis looked highly concentrated at the screen and what it showed her while the ultrasound waves examined the belly.

Karen shook her head softly and laughed. “And here I was thinking I had gained weight because of my job at the office and not doing sports lately.”

“It's quite a sweet gaining of weight this way and the woman in question won't have to feel guilty,” Gillian chuckled.

Karen craned her neck to get a look of the screen. “Is everything alright?”

The doctor explained to her the shades and movements on the screen until she made an interesting discovery and a surprised “Oh” escaped her.

“What's wrong, Dr. Lewis?” Karen asked, a bit frightened.

She grinned. “Congratulations.”

“What?”

“You'll be the mother of healthy twins.”

Karen's head fell back down on the bed. “Twins... twins...” She couldn't believe it.

 

*****

 

Expectantly, Taylor and Sara stood in front of the door to Michiru's loft. Unsure, Taylor looked at the many bags and boxes that they had with them. “Was it really necessary to buy almost the entire store?”

“Of course,” Sara exclaimed, indignant. “Besides, I was holding back as much as I could, but a baby, especially a baby girl, needs lots of things. It's important for her life.”

“Yeah, IMPORTANT for her life,” Taylor stressed. “Can it be that you are trying to compensate for something?”

Sara went on, completely unimpressed, “Ms. Ksawaki is not having a baby shower so we have to provide a few necessary things.”

Their conversation came to an end as a smiling Michiru opened the door to let them in. “Come on inside, you two. Sakura is already awake and very much looking forward to your visit.”

Sara waved the bags. “We brought a few presents for little Sakura.”

“Awww, you shouldn't have,” Michiru replied.

Taylor shrugged her shoulders and laughed. “I told her that too but she wouldn't listen to me.”

 

In the living room, the girls were looking into the cradle and it seemed that Sakura was smiling at them.

“I didn't know that a baby would be so tiny,” Sara said.

“Look at those beautiful, brown eyes...”

“Yes... and this cute little nose...”

Taylor reached forward and held a little hand. “My goodness, such tiny little fingers.”

“Awww, how cute, she is holding on to your thumb,” Sara remarked.

Michiru stood there proudly and observed the interaction between the girls and her daughter. “I think she's already taken you into her heart.”

Excited, the teenager turned to her coach. “May I please hold her?”

Michiru lifted Sakura from her cradle and placed her into Taylor's arms. She rocked her gently and said, “She is so light and seems so fragile.” Then she looked at her friend. “Would you like to hold Sakura?”

Sara declined. “No, no, better not.”

Michiru though just took Sakura from Taylor's arms and gave her to Sara. “Don't be shy, she is not going to break.”

Lost in thought, the photographer stared at the small human being in her arms and had to think about Jack, Vicky and the child they would soon have. She swallowed hard and felt very lonely in that moment. “Babies are something wonderful.”

“Argh, damn,” Taylor exclaimed and slapped her thigh. “I forgot to bring my camcorder. We could have filmed this to show it to Sam and Liz.”

Sara lay Sakura back into her cradle and Michiru covered her daughter with a fluffy blanket, once more running her hand through the dark hair that had began to grow on the baby's head. She cleared her throat then and looked at Taylor and Sara. “I would like to ask you something.”

“Yes?”

“It would be a great honor for me if you both would be godmothers for Sakura.”

“Of course! Cool!” Taylor responded.

Sara was surprised, “What? That's a big responsibility. But yeah, okay.”

“Thank you,” Michiru smiled.

 

A while later Taylor excused herself to go to the bathroom and Sara discovered the hospital papers that lay on the living room table. “Ms. Kasawaki?” she asked. “Who is Sakura's father?”

Michiru was a bit embarrassed and motioned for Sara to have a look at the papers.

As she saw the familiar name, she looked at the Asian woman with a mixture of surprise and confusion. “That's impossible. It's really him?”

 

*****

 

Samantha and Elizabeth were sitting in the kitchen, sipping from a tall glass of pepsi with two straws and exchanging loving glances.

Christopher entered and as he saw how enraptured they were, he knocked at the door's frame to get their attention. He grinned. “I didn't mean to disturb, but did any of you see these many pink hearts, floating around here?”

Liz looked up. “Hey Chris. It's nice to see you. Let me give you a hug. It's so good to have you back.” After she let him out of her arms again, she joked, “I hope you didn't forget that you are married and not living here any longer?”

“Ha ha, you're so funny.” He gave Samantha a hug and then turned back to his sister. “I've already been home but only found a note from Karen. She is in the hospital to let Dr. Lewis check her wound. Besides, I wanted to see if everything is alright with you after the earthquake. And as I just saw with my own eyes, everything is just fine. I think I missed something though.”

Laughing, Elizabeth pulled Samantha into her arms. “I'm in the 7 th heavens and nothing can change that ever again. Nobody can take my true love from me.”

Christopher smiled. “I'm glad to hear that. Where is our little ice princess?”

“She went with Sara to visit Michiru and her baby girl,” Elizabeth answered.

“Oh, I guess I'll wait then till she gets back.”

A thought popped into Liz' head and she asked with a roguish grin, “Say Chris, when are you and Karen intending to give me a little niece or nephew?”

He raised his eyebrows in surprise. “Oh Liz, we are going to take our time. Having children is not top priority yet. Karen was just announced a partner for ‘Stuart Films' and I'm buried in work for the movie ‘Panthera & Foxy'. It's going real well and I already made sure that Sam's name will be announced in the credits.”

“That's great,” Liz said.

Samantha blushed. “Thank you.”

“You are very welcome,” Christopher told her. “Without you and your great idea there wouldn't be any movie at all.”

 

*****

 

STAY TUNED FOR THE NEXT EPISODE...

 

 

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