By: Girl Bard
This is the latest installment of The Jaden & Grace Series. To have this make any sense, I would recommend starting with I Know This Bar and the following stories.
Disclaimer: Please dont read this if the idea of two women in love grosses you out or this kind of fiction is illegal in your area. Also, I dont make any money off of this (wish I did) so please ask before linking it to any website or selling it on the lucrative fanfic black market. J This story will contain graphic Sapphic (hey I made a rhyme!) sex.
Additional Disclaimer: The first few parts of the story deal with September 11th and its aftermath. Please know that I have the utmost sympathy for the victims and their families, but with Jaden being an officer of the law, the events are pivotal to the girls lifestyle. Also, the events that Grace endures on the day were my actual experiences.
September 11, 2001
Grabbing my textbooks, I hurriedly throw them in my shoulder bag and blow kisses to the two dejected dogs who lie slumped on the kitchen floor.
They really hate it when we leave.
"Bye Spots!" I call to the bathroom, but I know she cant hear me over the running of the shower.
We both overslept and are running late, I already missed my first class and will have to run across campus just to make the second one, and Jaden is probably in deep shit down at the station.
A smile graces my face as I run down the stairs and climb into my car. It was definitely worth it; Jaden was insatiable last night and we couldnt keep our hands off each other.
After we returned home from Chicago, all our problems seemed to disappear. We were happy to get home to our normal life and each other.
Now, Im not naïve and Im fully aware that everything that happened in Chicago didnt simply fade or vanish, but is hidden under the surface just waiting for a reason to come back up.
We really need to talk, but things have been going so swimmingly I havent had the heart to bring any of it up.
I speed just enough to get me there and I pull into the student parking lot, a silly smile still on my face. I hadnt even needed to turn music on for my drive over, the memories of last night filtering through my mind.
Kim would have a field day with this, thats for sure. She loved to tease me about my giddy smiles and blushing distractions since returning from Chicago.
As I get out of the car I pull my faded denim jacket down to cover my t-shirt. It is a gorgeous fall day, warm and crisp all at the same time.
Im thankful I wore my favorite running shoes and hefting my heavy bag over my shoulder I take off at a sprint across campus. Its times like these that I wish I went running with Jaden and the dogs every morning. It would sure help these last-minute dashes across campus.
I bolt into the Community Center, the comfy lounge Kim and I visit between classes for snacks. As usual during normal class hours, its deserted, but the televisions are still on.
A smoking building fills the screen and I instantly stop in my tracks.
The World Trade Center.
I cant help but gasp as one hand flies to my mouth, horrified at what Im seeing. It cant be real, it just cant be.
My free hand involuntarily finds its way to my cell phone and I turn it on. Jaden is probably on her way into Boston right now, but I need to hear her voice.
It beeps loudly, signaling I have messages. Ignoring them, I dial Jadens phone.
"Gracie." She answers as a statement.
"Where are you?" I ask her, sinking down into one of the chairs.
"On 128. Im going to have to stay at work really late today, Steele says its a mess downtown. No one knows who did this or what this is." She answers, her voice uncharacteristically small. "There was more than one."
"Oh Goddess." I breathe, suddenly selfishly worried about her safety. "Please be safe." I beg her. "I need you."
"I need you too." Jaden tells me and she sounds so far away. "Ill be home when I can."
"Okay. I love you." My hands and voice are both shaking.
"Love you." She hangs up the phone.
I continue to numbly stare at the television, riveted on the events that are unfolding. I once saw the World Trade Center; in high school our advanced choir was asked to sing at Carnegie Hall with other advanced choirs from around the country.
We practiced for weeks, and Ill never forget the all-night train ride and stepping out of Pennsylvania Station and looking up at the skyline. It was beautiful and untamed, like nothing Id ever seen.
Even from on top of the Empire State Building the Twin Towers looked impossibly high.
Now, watching the carnage of two of the most beautiful buildings ever erected, Mozarts haunting score played through my mind.
Im not sure how long I watch the television, but the next thing I know classes are being let out and students, all blissfully unaware of what had happened, begin to filter into the Center for their morning coffee and bagel fix.
Loud gasps and shouts filled the room as students begin to glance at the television and realize what has happened.
I feel panic well up in my chest as the room fills, calls of the tragic events bringing everyone to huddle around the screen. They show a smoking field in Pennsylvania, and I finally realize what Jaden meant. There was more than one, what seems like four in total.
It was like a movie, everyone crying and shouting at the same time, the voice of the reporters on the television drowned out by the din of the crowd.
People are ghostly pale, and everyone; even the macho frat boys have large and teary eyes.
The room is filled with commotion as several more televisions are wheeled in by faculty. All turned to different news stations; its like an emotional and visual overload as the two smoking towers are shown, the field in Pennsylvania, and now the Pentagon. Goddess, what is happening?
"Oh God, Grace!" Kims voice alerts me to her presence. Without a word I turned and held her close to me, her sweetly smelling blonde hair and warm arms a source of comfort I so badly needed.
"Is Jaden okay? Whats happening?" She mumbles into my hair and I finally allow the tears building up to fall.
"Shes fine." I answer.
"I just heard about everything, they are dismissing city workers and clearing all the governmental buildings in Boston." Kim states as she pulls away from me.
"Why?" I ask, now even more nervous.
"Two of the planes left from Boston, headed for LA." She shouts over the roar of the crowd.
"What?" My eyes widen in fear. What if this isnt over? Is our entire country under attack by our own aircrafts?
I recognize one of the women standing next to me as a fellow student in the Psychology program. Shes a mother who returned to school to finish her degree and is in a few classes with Kim and myself. Linda, I think is her name. Kim knows her very well and says shes a great mom who works really hard at her schoolwork. The older woman is shockingly pale, more so than any of the rest of us.
"Linda?" I ask her, gently grasping her shoulder. "Are you okay?"
She turns to me slowly, a look of complete disbelief on her face. "My husband was flying to LA this morning out of Boston."
My eyes close involuntarily. I try to reassure her. "It doesnt mean anything, Im sure hes fine." I keep my voice as optimistic and upbeat as possible.
Kim catches on. "Yeah, the media always speculates about everything." She glances at me, standing up squarely. "We have to constantly remind ourselves that we cant jump to any conclusions as of yet, okay?" She flashes Linda a confident smile and casually drapes an arm over the shaking womans shoulder.
Her strength and poise is impressive, and Linda seems to relax a little bit.
Turning our attention back to the television, my jaw clenches.
"Everyone, I have an announcement." Our attention turns to the dean of students, who is standing on one of the low benches.
He clears his throat, his normally jovial face grim. "Due to todays events, classes are immediately cancelled for the rest of today. Please call the school hotline tomorrow morning before attending classes to ensure they will still be held. Please drive safely and go straight home."
Stepping down from the bench, he straightenes his tie before quickly leaving the room. Usually, if classes are cancelled for any reason, students cheer and celebrate. Today however, everyone is grim and quiet. Small groups of students leave the center, talking quietly amongst themselves.
"You going home?" Kim asks gently, her arm still protectively around Linda who hadnt moved or said a word.
"Yeah. Im supposed to go to work this afternoon." I stammer. "I dont know if I can."
"My stepfather will cancel all his clients." She answers softly. "He wont need you."
Nodding slowly I meet her hazel eyes. "You want to come over? I dont really want to be alone."
She returns my gaze. "I wouldnt be anywhere else." She nods toward Linda. "Let me talk to her for a few minutes, okay? Ill meet you at your place in a while."
I give her a brief smile and after offering a few words of support to Linda I head to my car. Starting it up, I flip on AM radio to try and find out more details of what has happened.
I get on the highway and its a traffic jam. Cars arent moving at all, and the radio says that almost every major city is telling people to leave work early and head home to safety. I can tell people have already left; the amount of cars on the road for a Tuesday morning is incredible.
The radio says these are most likely the result of terrorist attacks. They dont know how many more will occur, and effective immediately all planes are to be grounded besides the ones in flight.
Those poor people. I close my eyes briefly and pray they all had a painless death. I cant imagine how they must have felt.
Its freakishly silent on the drive home. Normally horns are blaring when there is traffic, but today everyone is so caught up in their own thoughts they dont concentrate on being aggressive or annoying drivers.
By the time I make it home, Im exhausted. I greet the dogs, surprised and elated to have someone home so early and immediately turn on the television. Wanting to keep busy I give Bean and Bella a cookie and put the teakettle on the stove. I hate tea, but today I need something warm and slightly bitter. Kim will want coffee, so I set out two mugs and turn the coffeemaker on.
I listen to the phone messages, expecting the one from my uncle Rick and Lydia, but surprised to hear my fathers voice on the machine; checking to make sure Im okay. There is a message from Diana and Joe, one from Laura, and one from Kims stepfather telling me not to come in today. The last message is from Jaden telling me shes okay, just busy keeping traffic going and people out of the Common. She said the city is a madhouse, people freaking out everywhere and she doesnt expect to be home before nightfall.
Shes probably terrified, the poor thing. My heart clenches for my wife and I wish selfishly that she were in a different line of work.
"Grace." Kim opens the door and lets herself in.
"Hey." She looks tired. We all probably do. "Hows Linda?"
Kim shakes her head. "I dont know. I offered to drive her home, but she said she was going to go and pick her kids up from school. She cant remember offhand the number of her husbands flight, but she has it written down at home. I hope to God hes safe."
"Me too." I pour her a cup of coffee and she takes it gratefully. After fixing my tea I join her on the sofa in front of the set.
"I cant believe this." She says needlessly. I nod numbly, my eyes glued to NECN. Its the only news station Jaden and I trust besides CNN, but I cant stand their gazillion scroll bars.
Isnt it funny what a mind will think about in times of tragedy? Here hundreds of people have lost their lives and Im annoyed by the scroll bars on a stupid fucking television screen.
"Look." I breathe unnecessarily, my eyes glued to the screen. The Towers look different, as if they are shaking.
"No." Kim states, her voice quiet.
Before our eyes one of the great towers simply falls to the ground. Collapsing onto itself it is there one minute and simply gone the next. Dust goes everywhere, completely obliterating the screen for a second.
I gasp, almost dumping my glass. The dogs both jump in my lap, wiggling with worry and trying to give me kisses. "Down." I order them and they comply, lying in between both of us, Bellas head in my lap. She looks at me, concern evident in her intelligent brown and blue eyes.
My trembling hand strokes Bellas silky fur. "All those people." I mutter and Kim glances at me, tears falling down her cheeks.
"This cant be happening." She states and I nod in agreement.
Kim and I stay, shell-shocked in front of the television all day, not even caring to eat. Finally, when it got dark she got up, her curly blonde hair mussed from leaning against the back of the couch all day.
"I should go. My mom will want me home, Im sure." I nod in agreement and stand up, stretching briefly before walking her to the door.
"Thanks for staying here today, I really mean it." I give her a quick hug. "I guess Ill see you tomorrow at class?"
She nods. "Yeah. Take care of yourself." Her hazel eyes peer intently into mine and I realize how deeply I care for her. She could have easily been the great love of my life if I hadnt found my soulmate in Jaden. I think all three of us know that.
"I love you Kimmy." I tell her honestly, holding her close to me again.
I feel her smile against my shoulder. "Love you." She responds. Pulling away she gently touches my cheek. "You are the best friend I have ever had. Sometimes I cant even describe how I feel about you." Her smile doesnt hide the nervousness on her face. Shes still been wary of me since the whole kissing incident and she probably feels as if shes treading on thin water here.
"I know. I feel the same." I tell her, reassuring her fears. Her smile grows and without another word she turns and leaves.
Im lucky to have so many wonderful people in my life.
Turning my attention back to the television, I watch the towers fall for about the hundredth time. I cant stand it anymore, knowing all those people; including the firefighters and police trying to save them are trapped.
It could so easily have been Jaden. I think to myself, immediately disgusted by my thoughts. But I cant help it, Im so grateful that she is safe it makes my heart hurt.
"Girls." I call to the dogs who are giving me worried looks from the couch. At the sound of my call they bound over to me, tails wagging.
"Walk?" I ask and they wiggle more. Snapping their collars and leashes on I take my keys and put my coat back on. Even though its dark I need to walk and focus on something else than the tragic events of this day.
The air is biting and cold, a huge difference from the warm morning. The sky is almost completely dark, just a sliver of lightness over the ocean. The road along the ocean is beautiful, but I prefer not to walk it at night. It isnt the best lighting, and I still get nervous being out by myself in the dark.
So I head the other way, along the sidewalked and streetlamped road that leads into the more populated area of the neighborhood.
The streetlamps cast a glaring yellow, but the light is welcome in the otherwise dark day. Every house I pass by is completely dark inside except for the television. Its an eerie feeling, knowing everyone is glued to their television sets. I cant imagine what parents are telling their children; how are Diana and Joe breaking the news to Kasey?
Bean walks proudly ahead, her small white body practically glowing. Bella, true to her Border collie heritage prefers to stay close to my hip, glancing up to me every few strides. They are both very different dogs, Bean is a true terrier, all gusto and fire while Bella is quiet and intuitive. She isnt as hyper as most Border collie mixes tend to be and is more content to sit and watch everything that happens, especially with Jaden. She is Jadens dog, no doubt.
Its funny how easily Im allowing myself to be distracted. A little fresh air and the dogs is enough right now to make me almost forget todays reality.
By the time were finished walking, Im tired and hungry. The feeling of sadness inside me hasnt dissipated, but the initial shock has worn off.
Returning to our apartment I let the dogs in and they race each other to their water bowl. Bella waits patiently for my little Jack Russell to finish her drink before lying down and practically sticking her entire head in the bowl. Shes such a goof.
I put some water on to boil and turn my attention to cooking dinner. Ill make pasta and a salad, something easy for Jaden to heat up later when she gets home. I dont turn the television on; instead opting for a Sarah McLachlan disc, knowing her soothing voice will help keep me relaxed.
By the time dinner is ready Ive changed into comfortable pajamas and straightened up the house. All the candles are lit, making the apartment feel cozy and welcoming for Jadens homecoming. I know her day was way more difficult than mine and shell need some much-deserved pampering.
I manage to eat a few bites, grateful for my moments of quiet solitude with the dogs this evening. I normally would be writing in my journal about this, but I have no desire to do so. The entire event of today makes me sick.
How has humankind managed to survive for so long being as stupid as we are? When will we realize that war and fighting doesnt solve anything, just creates more pain and fighting in retaliation. Im not naïve enough to believe that world peace is possible, but it should be at least probable. We are too intelligent, too technologically advanced, and too evolved to still bicker over property and goods. It makes me hate our culture, hate our president, hate humankind in so many ways. Why are there children starving in Ethiopia when our government pays farmers to burn excess crops? Stupidity.
Suddenly the two dogs are at the door, whimpering and whining. Jaden is home.
I set my fork down and push my plate away as I hear her key in the lock.
She opens the door, immediately kneeling down to embrace the two giddy canines. I rise and move over to greet her, taking in her weary body and bloodshot eyes. I know shes been in the saddle for twelve hours, probably with no break, and her body must feel like its about to give out.
Her exhausted eyes meet mine. "Hey beautiful."
I smile. "Hey yourself. I made dinner."
She is pale, her normally golden skin unusually light. "Thanks, but Im not that hungry."
"Me either." I answer as she turns her attention away from the dogs and pulls me into a warm hug.
"Can we just sleep for an entire week?" She mumbles and I can feel her exhaustion.
Moving her hair I kiss her cold neck. "Come on, lets go to bed."
Taking her hand, I lead Jaden into the bedroom and gently take her jeans and sweater off. I know she must have changed and showered at the station, her long thick hair is still slightly damp and she smells clean and fresh.
She stands there, like a compliant child as I undress her. After she is nude I lovingly kiss her chest, her throbbing heartbeat pulsing against my lips.
I quickly take off my pajamas and after gently taking her hand again, lead her to the bed.
"Get in, Ill be right there." She nods and climbs under the covers, a sigh of contentment releasing from her tense body.
Going through the house I turn off all the lights and blow out all the candles. After checking on the dogs I return to the bedroom, expecting to find Jaden sound asleep.
Instead, her twinkling blue eyes greet me from beneath her shock of black bangs.
I grin at her before climbing into bed and stealing the covers like I always do.
I left a few of the safe-burning candles lit in the bedroom, giving the room a nice glow. I turn toward Spots and ruffle her bangs. "You need a haircut."
She smiles at me. "I know. Maybe Ill cut it all off like yours."
I gasp in mock horror. "Dont you dare! You have beautiful hair."
She sticks her tongue out. "So did you. And besides, it looks cute now."
"Thats because I look like a baby dyke." I answer, grinning. "At least thats what you always tell me."
She shrugs. "Its true." Her face suddenly turns serious. "Gracie, are you okay?"
Now I shrug. "Im okay. I mean, Im scared and upset and nervous about what will happen next and I feel for all the people who are affected by this, but on a personal level Im okay." I glance at her. "How about you?"
"I was scared." She admits. "It all felt so out of control, and I was so helpless."
"I know." Opening my arms to her, she sinks into my embrace. Rarely it is that she allows me to hold her and I relish in the feeling of having her pressed against me.
My hands stroke everywhere, down her strong back and back up to caress her hair, the sides of her breasts, her neck.
Her body literally melts into mine and as long as I live Ill never forget the feel of her against me.
I dont think either of us will sleep much tonight.
Every time we start to doze off and begin to drift apart from each other one of us wakes up and reaffirms the other is close. It doesnt bother me, my thoughts are too scattered to really sleep.
Jaden clings to me like she is afraid I will leave her, and I continue to run my hands down her body, convincing her of my love and devotion.
I plan on doing it for the rest of my life.
Part 2 is Coming Soon:
Return to the Academy
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