A Thousand Kisses

Part 3

By: Girl Bard


Disclaimer: Please see part 1. Enjoy!

Additional note: I really do apologize for the length between posts. Real life has gotten a hold of me and I've been horrible busy. Posts should be once a week from now on.

October 3, 2000

Shit. My first coherent thought as I open my eyes and snap them shut immediately. I really shouldn't have gotten drunk last night, especially when I have to get up for work this morning.

Sighing in frustration I sit up slowly, holding either side of my throbbing head. Wincing in pain I stand up and stretch my sore body, knowing I'd better get moving or I'll be really late.

I throw on my pajamas, discarded after my racy phone call to Jaden last night. Smiling from the memory, I try to remember all that I said but most of it is foggy. Oh well, I'm sure she'll love telling me every detail.

I feel too nauseous to take the dogs for their walk this morning so I instead leave them in the fenced-in backyard while I get ready for work. It's a quiet neighborhood and I know that they will be safe. Still, I check on them from the bedroom window every few minutes. They are cute, chasing each other and playing with the few toys we leave alongside the fence.

After I shower and begin to feel remotely human again I knock softly at the door to the spare bedroom.

"Yeah?" Kim's voice, thick with sleep, answers and I open the door slowly. She is curled around her lover and both appear to be soundly asleep.

"Hey, I have to go. Stay as long as you guys want, just make sure to put Bella in her crate and lock the door when you leave." I tell them, wanting them to at least be able to sleep in.

Kim's head of messy blonde curls lifts from the pillow as she regards me warily. From across the room I can see the twinkle in her hazel eyes as she smiles knowingly. "Did you have fun on the phone last night?"

Predictably, I blush and stammer out a response. "You heard?" I ask meekly.

She nods, her smile turning into a full-out leer. "Stace and I heard everything. You were quite the inspiration."

"Yeah, thanks Grace." Stace's soft voice adds and the two of them begin to giggle uncontrollably.

"Jerks." I mutter embarrassedly as I roll my eyes and shut the door. As I bring the dogs in and leave I'm surprised that Jaden didn't call this morning like she usually does. She probably had an early start so she could make sure her work was all finished to come home tomorrow.

Tomorrow can't get here fast enough.

Work goes by fast, with few interruptions besides a few prank phone calls from Kim and Stacey asking how much I charged for phone sex. I have to give them credit; the first time I didn't know it was them and thought that they had the wrong number. But by the fourth call I caught on. I tried threatening Kim by ratting her out to her stepfather but she just kept calling.

They're never going to let me live this down. The good news is that they hung around the apartment all day and kept the dogs company and want to take me to dinner tonight after Bella's obedience class.

It should make the evening go by quickly and then Jaden will be here tomorrow! I pack up my bag from work and bid farewell to Dr. Dodes for the rest of the week. I'm taking it off to spend time with Jaden.

Two weeks is a long time to be apart from the person you love. I plan on making up that time immediately.

Pulling into the driveway I spot the girls in the backyard with the dogs. I join them, greeting the two excited dogs and then my friends. Stacey grins sheepishly at me and ducks her head, clearly embarrassed by the phone calls they made to me today. Kim, however, just looks at me and smiles a proud smile.

"How was work? Any interesting calls?" Kim asks, her hazel eyes dancing. She tries to keep a straight face but it doesn't last long and begins laughing. Pretty soon the three of us are cracking up like idiots in the back yard.

"What did you guys do today? Besides harass me at work?" I ask as we head upstairs.

"Not much, we took the dogs to the beach and let them run around. Then we walked down with them to Skip's and each had a burger." Stace mentions and I thank them for hanging around.

"It means a lot to spend time with you guys, I'm glad you stayed." I tell them honestly. "Though," I add thoughtfully, "I'm not sure what Jaden's going to think of your harassing phone calls today." I smile to let them know I'm kidding.

"She called and I gave her hell already." Kim mentions, her blonde curls bouncing excitedly.

I roll my eyes and sigh. "What did she say?"

Kim grins slyly. "She said that she just wished she thought to call and harass you at work."

"Figures." I respond, able to picture Jaden saying that.

"She also said that we should take you out for a night on the town and she'll call you tomorrow morning." Kim adds and I smile.

"And that she loves you madly." Stace adds and I smile wider.

"Mush." Kim comments and Stacey smacks her on the arm.

"Hey! You weren't saying that last night when you were whispering sweet nothings in my ear!" She adds to Kim who glares at her. Stacey and I laugh and Kim shoots me an equally evil glare.

"Come on, you big romantic, let's get out of here and go have some fun." I tell Kim who mutters under her breath.


Boundaries. Every relationship has to have boundaries. I seem to have a little problem of overstepping mine time and time again. But I can't help it; I love Grace and want to do what's best for her.

I'm stuck here. I want to go to Ohio and rip Grace's mother's head off for making Grace her personal whipping boy, well, girl rather. I want to make Debbie feel as much pain as she's made Grace feel.

But Grace wouldn't want that. I don't know how she ended up being such a good person with such an evil mother, but she has. And no matter how much her mother hurts her, she still desperately wants her mother's acceptance and love.

I understand that, believe me, I do. But it doesn't make me want to kick the crap out of Debbie any less.

I'm not really sure what started me on this kick, but I can't seem to get my conversation with Grace yesterday afternoon out of my head. There is something about the message that Debbie left on our machine that doesn't feel right.

Why would she say that the joke is on Grace? That she isn't even her real mother? That doesn't make any sense. Was Grace adopted or something? I don't think so; she clearly looks like her father and her father's side of the family from the pictures I've seen.

What if Debbie is for real? What if she isn't Grace's real mother? I don't know how that would work and why Grace wouldn't know, but Debbie seems crazy enough to pull such a stunt.

I push away the rest of my uneaten lunch and pull out my cell phone.

"Steele." Harry's deep voice greets me.

"Hey buddy, how's it hanging?" I respond cheerily.

"Jaden! When are you coming back?" He asks and I smile.

"Aww, you miss me? You big softie. I'll be in tomorrow morning, and back at work on Monday."

"Great. What's up?" He asks, and I actually have to admit to myself that I miss hanging around him. He's a nice person and I feel I can trust him. We were both thrilled to find that he was offered a position on the force.

"Something strange. You know my trip to Ohio with Gracie?" I ask, having told him the entire horrible exchange between Grace and her mother.

"Yeah? How's she doing?" He asks of Grace and I smile sadly.

"As best as she can. Anyway, her mother's making trouble here, leaving weird messages and shit. I was wondering if you could look into something for me."

"Sure." He offers immediately. He's a great friend.

"Debbie said on her last message that, and I quote here, 'the joke is on Grace because she isn't even her real daughter.' How fucked up is that?" I add.

"Very. I'll look into it and get back to you." Harry responds.

"Thanks. Let's get together this weekend."

"Sure thing, Jaden." He answers before hanging up.

I put down the phone and stroll out of the lunchroom. For Grace's sake, I hope all that Harry finds is what we already know, her mother is crazy. I don't know what else Grace can be expected to deal with right now. And I hope that Grace won't be mad at me for overstepping into her personal life.

Sighing, I run my hands through my hair and get back to work. The sooner I'm done here, the faster I'm in Grace's arms.

October 4, 2000

My leg impatiently moves back and forth as I wait for the plane's doors to open. Finally they do and everyone on the plane stands up and prepares to mob toward the opening.

I'm practically growling in frustration as I push my way through, wishing this was one of the times I put my status as an officer to good use. I could just flash my badge and make everyone get out of my way.

But I'm polite, or as polite as I can be, and wait my turn. It's not long before I am on the ramp leading into the airport, my long legs eating up the distance between Grace and myself.

There she is. We spot each other immediately and practically run to each other. She looks beautiful and I wrap my arms around her and lift her up, twirling her around. She's giggling and squirming in my embrace as I reluctantly set her down. She hands me a bouquet of scented roses and I touch their soft petals as I smile at her like a love struck teenager.

She smells like rain and lavender. Her bright blonde hair is messy in its short cut and her eyes the color of spring grass. She's wearing a pair of black pants and a sweater the color of her eyes.

"You're incredible." I tell her as I caress her cheek with the back of my hand. She closes her teary eyes and wraps herself around me in a ferocious hug.

"I missed you." She whispers in my embrace and I kiss the top of her head.

"Me too. Let's get out of here, okay?" I ask and she nods as she releases me and wipes her eyes. She takes my hand in hers and I sling my satchel over my shoulder as we head toward the baggage claim.

I feel like it's been years since I've last seen her. I can't let her out of my sight and am clinging to her hand like it's my lifeline. We keep looking at each other and smiling and every time I love her more.

"Sorry for the cramped accommodations." She mentions as we climb into her small car. I glance at her warily as I fold my long legs into the passenger seat. "I know, I should have brought your big car, but I didn't know if you trusted me to drive it this far."

"Of course I trust you. But this is fine, I just love riding in your shrimpmobile." I retort and she sticks her tongue out at me. "Tease." I tell her and she grins at me before pulling out into the crowded airport traffic. She recklessly maneuvers around the line of cars to form her own lane. It works and soon we're out of traffic and flying down the highway.

"Jesus Christ, who taught you how to drive?" I ask her, now thankful that she didn't bring my car. She never would have been able to squeeze through those cars in the Explorer.

She shrugs. "I taught myself long before taking driver's ed."

"Gee, couldn't tell." I tease her.

"Hey! It only took me two times to pass my temps, and then I passed the driver's test the third time." She states proudly. "How many times did it take you?"

"Once." I answer.

She grumbles under her breath as she suddenly pulls into the exit lane. "You hungry? I'm starved and here's IHOP." She asks hopefully.

"Sounds good to me." I tell her. "Hey, maybe we can see if they'll let us take some syrup home with us."

"Why would we do that?" She asks quizzically.

A devilish smile crosses my face. "Oh no reason." I state innocently. "I just thought you'd like to pour it across my body and lick it off. Isn't that what you propositioned me with the other night?"

"Huh?" Gracie asks, apparently confused. Heh, heh.

"The other night, when you called and were clearly intoxicated, you mentioned that you'd like to make me one big pancake."

"I did not." She tells me, horrified as she puts one hand over her mouth.

"You sure did. I forgot to ask you if you preferred a particular flavored syrup, blueberry maybe? Or does plain suit your fancy?" I tease her mercilessly. "We might want to rent a hotel room for that, it would get our bedroom awful sticky."

"Jaden!" She exclaims as she pulls into the parking lot.

"Yes?" I ask angelically, smiling at her.

"Shut up!" Gracie orders, an embarrassed smile on her face.

"Anything for you." I obey her request and follow her into the restaurant.

Oh, believe me, I can shut up but it doesn't mean I have to let her off that easily. I think I'll order a nice big stack of pancakes with lots of syrup, making sure I make incredibly sensual moans while eating. She'll like that.


Sighing with contentment, I snuggle further down into Jaden's warm body. After her little stunt over breakfast I couldn't get her home fast enough before I needed her. I'm actually pretty proud of myself; I think I made up for two weeks of no sex pretty quickly. And I'm not even tired yet.

Jaden's another story however. She's sleeping soundly and has been for the past few minutes. It's nice to lay here with her and feel her body against mine. It's been too damn long.

Startled, I jump when the chirp of her cell phone interrupts my snuggle-fest. I'm not sure if I should answer it or not. Jaden's never told me not too and I don't want it to wake her.

I climb out of bed and go over to the floor where I ripped her clothes off earlier. I find it clipped to her belt and I answer tentatively.


"Jaden, it's me. You're not going to believe what I found out. This is more fucked up than we thought. Is Grace around? Can you talk?" I recognize Steele's voice, though it's more excited than I've ever heard it.

"Harold?" I ask, wondering what the hell he's talking about.

"Who's this? Is this Grace?" He responds, sounding confused.

"Yes, it's Grace. What's going on?"

"Um, nothing. How are you? I bet you're thrilled to have Jaden home, right?" He asks, trying to change the subject.

"Uh huh. Come on, spill it." I order him.

"Hey, have Jaden call me when she gets the chance. Sorry to bother you." He exclaims quickly before hanging up.

I put down the phone and glance back at the bed. As expected, a pair of dazzling blue eyes look at me guiltily from under the covers.

"Hi." She murmurs softly. I cross back over to the bed and climb in, settling myself against her body.

"I'm sorry for answering your phone. I had no right to do that, I just wanted to see you get some sleep." I apologize, feeling as if I've invaded her privacy.

"You don't have to be sorry for anything." She says tiredly. "I just should have filled you in before making a decision without you. I'm the one that is sorry."

"What are you talking about? What was Steele talking about?" I ask, confused by the situation.

"I don't know what Steele was talking about. But I called him yesterday and asked him to check out your mother, to figure out what she meant by her message she left you." Jaden answers, lowering her eyes. "I know I had no right to do that and I'm sorry, but I just wanted to see what Debbie was hiding before she used it to hurt you."

I lovingly tilt her chin upward and will her eyes to meet mine. "It's okay." I tell her before placing a ghost of a kiss on her full lips. "I'm not angry, just give me a heads up next time, okay?"

"Okay." She answers, a small smile tugging at the corner of her mouth. "You're not mad at me?"

"No." I respond as I playfully nuzzle her regal nose. "I'm not mad."

"Yay!" Jaden cheers and I laugh as I pepper little kisses over her neck and shoulders.

Gone is the insecure and scared woman from a few seconds before and my Jaden returns, all fire and energy. She rolls me underneath her and supports herself above me with her strong forearms. Her blue eyes darken to a violet as she studies me from above. The inky black tresses of her silken hair tickle my shoulders and the comforting softness of her body caresses mine.

"Even if I gave you a thousand kisses it still wouldn't be enough." She utters in a low voice.

"So let's start with one." I respond, raising myself up to meet her waiting lips. She is sweet and soft and strong and our bodies mold together as we become one.


Part 4: Coming soon! Stay tuned and please email me with feedback!!!


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