A Woman Like You

by G.S. Binkley


xxgsb@hotmail.com

Disclaimers: Sexual Content: F/F partners

Code:

L: Love between two people with kisses, embraces and tender moments.

LS: Love scenes described in more detail, involving scenes of lovemaking.

ES: Explicit love scenes.

Š This story is rated: LS Though at times it flirts perilously close to ES

Š Fiction (Alternative)


Part 1

Chapter One

Lacy Levine felt the rising steam from the hot water encase her, drowning her long naked frame in a bath of pure pleasure. Soapy hands glided over her body, lingering, tantalizing, every inch as Lacy fell blissfully into the familiar touch. When two determined hands twisted the young woman around, green met blue in a flash of recognition that shot straight through the heart and into the soul. "You want me?"

Hungry lips crushed willing ones. "Mmmmmmm. Yes."

"You love me?" Lacy husked.

Smothering the tall woman with kisses, Gage Ballant smiled seductively. "You are the quintessential actor, an international celebrity….."

In between heated kisses stealing the breath from her, Lacy barely countered. "I don't like that word."

Silencing the woman in her arms, Gage continued. "… a world class woman and, you are beautiful, sexy, wonderful….." Gage brushed an eager tongue against Lacy's lower lip. "…a great mother, kind, generous and, well, perfect in every way. Who wouldn't love a woman like you?"

"The question is….. who better?" Lacy flashed her piercing blue eyes commanding her lover to, well, love her.

And Gage did just that embarking on a journey she hoped to take a million times over. The blonde haired woman wrapped her arms around Lacy, pulling her closer. Their two bodies met in an exotic dance as they glided against each other exploring, claiming, conquering, capturing every sensation in their rapturous lovemaking.

Gage left a trail of light kisses down the star's long neck, paused momentarily at her collarbone as she sucked lightly then proceeded lower. As the blonde opened hungry lips to capture the perfect breast before her, Lacy whispered seductively. "I want to play Jordan."

Stymied momentarily by that statement, Gage felt Lacy press against her closing the short distance between them as the older woman willingly accepted the proffered nipple. Trying desperately to decipher Lacy's statement, Gage continued to suckle the delectable mound. "What do you mean 'play Jordan'? Is this some kind of se….." Even the writer in Gage couldn't spit out the word so she skipped straight ahead to the next one. "….. game? Do we have to dress the part?"

A delicious laugh escaped Lacy, vibrating her body against her lover. "No, I mean in your screenplay 'Here Comes Jordan'." Busy hands kept Lacy slightly off balanced as she struggled to stand. Since Gage was the one causing these dizzying sensations, Lacy figured her lover should be the one to correct it so she wrapped her long legs around Gage's waist. When she did, Gage pinned her up against the shower wall.

"Mmmm. I don't know about that. I'm sure there are lots of good actresses who will want to play the part."

"What can I do to prove to you…..it belongs to me?" Lacy lifted the blonde head that had been happily anchored at its port, sucking away. Disappointment in green eyes melted immediately when Gage recognized that familiar seductive look Lacy harbored only for her. "That you belong to me." Lacy finished.

Caught in the sensual trance, Gage wiggled her eyebrows. "Have you ever heard of a screen test?"

"I think you mean the casting couch?"

"Now, that you brought it up." Gage smiled enthusiastically.

Lacy looked down both their bodies then met Gage's waiting green eyes again. "I don't think I could get anymore naked than I am now."

"Darn, and not a couch in sight." Gage laughed against smooth, silky water beaded skin.

"Then whatever will we do?" Lacy teased.

"Anything." Gage dropped her voice to a whisper. "Everything."

Several hours later, satiated, they had begun the journey of doing everything with and to each other that would last a lifetime and beyond.

************************

In the silence of the night, Lacy felt Gage sigh deeply as she lay against her chest. But, it was her lover's heartbeat thumping faster than usual that concerned her. The raven-haired woman looked up gazing on the soft features of her lover highlighted by a stream of moonlight peeping its way through the window. "Sweetheart, what's wrong?"

Gage smiled back at her partner then gently stroked Lacy's face. "Nothing. Not really."

"I know we haven't known each other for that long….what's bothering you?" Lacy returned her head to rest on the chest below her. Feeling Gage suck in a deep breath, Lacy beseeched her. "Please tell me."

"I was just thinking….." Another deep breath. "About us."

Lacy quickly shifted up to lay beside Gage so she could look into her lover's eyes. Facing each other as they laid on their sides, Lacy hesitantly asked. "Everything's okay with us, right? I mean…."

Gage silenced the beautiful woman beside her with a sweet kiss. "I was thinking that… how it's just been us and the kids for the last few weeks and…well, now we have to let the outside world in."

"I know." Lacy agreed somberly.

"I hadn't thought about it much, but we're from two different worlds really. I…..I….." Gage stumbled with her words.

"Go on. Tell me."

"I…. I don't do fancy well." Gage admitted, dropping her eyelids down in an attempt to shield her discomfort.

"What do you mean 'fancy'?" Lacy was very intrigued now.

"Lacy, what I said earlier is true." Shyly meeting concerned blue eyes. "You are a woman of the world….world class. You're the kind of woman that could stroll gracefully through any walk of life as if you owned it. And you would." Gage finally allowed a small smile to accentuate the truth of her words. "I… I'm not sure how I'll fit in…. in your world."

"Sweetheart, you are my world." Lacy lifted the down turned chin of her partner and sealed her affirmation with a gentle kiss. "Well, you and the kids."

Gage smiled warmly. Yes, who could forget the astoundingly precocious

Dani and the delectable munchkin Derek. "I guess I'm worried about meeting your family and…."

Lacy quickly interrupted. "I should have asked before I told my mother that I'd bring you with us."

"It's okay, really. It's just…." Gage took a moment to formulate her next words. "….what are they going to think? About you and David breaking up and to top it off….having someone new in your life already. Not even being divorced yet."

Lacy sighed. "Mom figured out a long time ago that David and I were having problems especially since I chose to quit the show." Her producer husband had grand plans to continue the highly successful cop show, CRACKDOWN, for at least two more years when Lacy stunned everyone by announcing that at the end of the sixth season she would be quitting to concentrate on her family. This wasn't the only rip in the seam of their shaky marriage, but it was the one that destroyed the very fabric of their lives.

"Do they like David?"

"Yes, somewhat…. I guess. But over the years they realized how success driven he was and how it affected our family. So, they'll take it okay. It won't be near like the time I divorced my first husband. Now, that created an uproar."

Gage shifted up, propping herself on her elbow. "They liked him that much, huh?"

Lacy eased over lying more on her back now. "Jason was and is my older brother's best friend."

"Denny?" Gage quizzed.

"No, Hank. The one that played the trick on me in that cave." Lacy said allowing a dark memory to rise.

Astutely, Gage recognized where Lacy's mind had traveled. Just recently her daughter, Dani, shared the same experience of being lost in the very same cave Lacy had when she was a teenager. Gage pulled her lover close, wrapping her arms around her then the blonde jacked her leg over Lacy securely.

"Anyway, everyone thought we were a match made in heaven and being a Catholic family…… you get the picture." Lacy let out a disturbed breath. "Lisa, my sister, was really irate. But, I think that was because she had a crush on Jason. For a long time, I think some of them wished that'd we'd get back together eventually."

Gage frowned. "And when I show up?"

Lacy looked deeply into desperate green eyes. "They will love you just like I do. Anyway, it only matters what the kids and I think since we're the ones that are going to have to put up with you."

"Put up with me?" Gage let out a mock exasperated sigh. "The second day you arrived here I was the one who had to put you and the kids up after the break in at your cabin." Gage allowed a wide grin. "And it was my pleasure."

Lacy shifted closer. "It became both our pleasures."

Remembering the handsome deputy sheriff taking way too much interest in the television star as he interviewed her after the break in, Gage sarcastically spewed out. "After the way that deputy sheriff was fawning all over you. 'Can I take you to a hotel, Mrs. Levine? Can I leer at your legs, touch your sexy body'. You'd have thought that he was devouring you right there on the spot."

"Jealous?" Lacy caught a mischievous look cross Gage's face. "I know, I know, you don't have green eyes for nothing." A small chuckle escaped before turning serious then Lacy continued. "Now, tell me what you mean when you say 'fancy'?"

"Back to that, huh?" Gage shifted slightly while still stroking Lacy's firm stomach. "You know, all those fancy type parties you go to. World premieres….. award shows. The whole movie star gamut."

"Is that all? I thought you were worried about how my family will take us… two females together." Lacy slung the erroneous social stigma out into the open fresh from the closet.

"Yeah, then there's that, too." Gage confirmed. "Lacy, I am who I am. I don't ever want to shame you or embarrass you in front of your family or in your world." Gage pulled her lover onto her side gazing deeply into the bluest eyes she'd every seen. "I would die for you. More than that I would live for you. But most of all, I would change for you, Lacy. Just….it may take some time though."

"Sweetheart, listen to me, I love you just the way you are." Lacy gently kissed her partner in an attempt to quell Gage's valid concerns about their future even though the younger woman silently admitted that the challenges they were facing would test their love.

Hungry to believe Lacy's reassuring words, Gage slipped on top of her partner coming to rest between the star's legs. "Let me love you… please. I need…. I need to feel so much….."

Before another word was spoken, Lacy snared her lover's mouth, devouring it in a battle that erupted the smoldering flames raging just below the surface in both women. Before dawn greeted them, Lacy and Gage traversed the heavens in a dance of lovemaking unequalled thus far in their relationship soothing their troubled minds.

***********************

The early morning sun brought along with it an early riser. Dani poked and prodded her three-year-old brother, Derek, out of his peaceful sleep. "Come on, Derek. This is our last day here and we got lots to do. Then we're going to grandma and grandpas for my birthday. Don't you want to see them?" She pursed her lips when her brother wouldn't move. "Fine, we'll do it the hard way."

Dragging her sleepy brother behind her, Dani found her mother and Gage in their bedroom packing some bags as they prepared for their departure. Derek perked up when he saw his hero. "Jage." Derek ran to her, jumping into his very own safety net. Gage dropped the bag in her hand just in time to catch the little daredevil.

"I've gotcha." Falling on the bed, secure in Gage's arms, Derek laughed.

"Got you." Derek countered then preceded to tickle her.

"Hey." Gage protested.

Dani jumped on the bed. "Here we go again. Come on, mom."

Tossing their clothes aside, Lacy joined her family on the huge bed. In the midst of their tickle fest, once again, Lacy found herself at the bottom of the pile being mercilessly assaulted. She let out a loud squeal leaving Derek smiling at his mother's predicament while Dani scooted away when her mother retaliated. But, Gage swiftly put a stop to the counter attack capturing Lacy's lips in a sweet and gentle kiss.

"Jeez, do you two always have to do that?" Dani inquired while Derek giggled. Then an interesting thought popped into the eight-year-old's head. "Do you think Daddy will be there for my birthday?"

Breaking the kiss hastily and staring into each other's eyes, both Lacy and Gage silently shared the same thought. Great, I didn't even think about that.

Chapter Two

The morning before Lacy, Gage and kids left the cabin on the lake en route to Lacy's parents house Dani insisted on one last boat ride around the lake. She also carefully packed away her rock collection. Derek just enjoyed being with the people he loved most in life.

The six-hour trip to Lacy's childhood home was uneventful. When they finally arrived early that evening, they were met by Lynn and Daniel Lewis.

Dani jumped into her grandfather's arms. "Grandpa, did you get a birthday present for me yet?" Barely containing her excitement.

Lacy hugged her mother. "Hi, mom."

Eyeing her oldest daughter carefully, Lynn observed. "Honey, you look great. I'm glad."

"You too, mom." Lacy then greeted her father. "Dad. I've missed you."

Before Daniel wrapped his arms around his daughter, he let Dani slip to the ground then the young girl quickly circled her grandmother's waist. Daniel squeezed Lacy tightly. "It's been a long time, young lady."

"I know." Lacy admitted.

"You're here now and that's all that matters." Easing up on his hold, he looked straight into her blue eyes that matched his own. "I love you. And, we'll always be here for you." He whispered before turning his attention to the blonde woman holding his grandson.

"Oh, mom, dad, this is Gage Ballant." Lacy stood next to her partner as Gage shook both their hands.

"Hello, it's nice to meet you." Gage greeted them anxiously. After a brief exchange, Lynn noticed Derek clinging to the blonde as he ducked his head away yet shifted his eyes to the older couple shyly.

"Oh, my, he has grown." Lynn raved. When she reached for him, Derek squirmed closer to Gage. The grandmother's face could not veil her disappointment. "Okay then, why don't we sit down and….. have you eaten yet?"

Lacy grabbed her mother's arm then whispered to her as they walked into the living room. "Give him a little time, he'll open up." Then she leaned down planting a quick kiss on her mother's cheek.

Lynn and Dan sat in the two easy chairs directly across from their company as Lacy, Gage and the kids settled on the couch. Before another word was spoken, an excited Nathan Lewis bounded in the room. "Hey, whose car's outside?" Upon spotting his sister, Nathan immediately extended his arms. "Lacy, come here." Which she did.

"Nate. I didn't expect to see you here tonight." Lacy stated, looking up at her slightly taller brother.

Still holding her closely, he whispered. "I've moved back in. Didn't mom tell you?"

"No, she didn't." Lacy suspiciously eyed her mother.

"After college I was going to get an apartment but…. well, mom's always got food. You know how good she cooks." He laughed, letting go of Lacy. "And, who do we have here?" Nate turned his attention to the rest of the group patiently waiting on the couch. "How's my favorite fishing partner?"

Dani crossed her arms stubbornly refusing to move from her seat. "Did you get me a birthday present?" She hurriedly threw a glance toward her grandfather. "He… wouldn't say."

Nate cocked his hands on his hips. "Yes, I did. But, if I don't get a hug pretty darn quick here, I guess it will have to stay hidden."

Never one to miss an opportunity, Dani flew off the couch. "Then I'm doing fine. Where is it?" Dani latched on to her favorite uncle.

As Gage watched the scene unfold, she rose up with Derek still in her arms, sucking in a deep breath to steel her nerves upon meeting more of Lacy's family. Having no family of her own before finding Lacy and the kids, Gage felt uneasy in this kind of domestic situation.

"No, I'm not going to tell you." Nate tapped her nose. "You're welcome to search the place."

"Okay, I will. And, I'll take Derek with me, too. So, I'm sure to find it before Friday." Everyone in the family knew if something were to be found, Derek would be the one to do it. He had a natural instinct for recovering hidden articles. They were all well versed with the story of Derek finding the 'battery holder'.

"Nate, I'd like you to meet Gage." Lacy said then turned to her partner. "This is my brother."

Gage shook Nate's extended hand. "Hi." The young man's perplexed look solicited the all-important unasked question. "I'm a writer." Gage offered, not sure what to say at this point. Lacy and Gage shared the identical thought. I can't believe we didn't discuss this.

"Oh, you work together." Nate surmised. "It's great to meet you. I'd love to read something you wrote." The young handsome man stood there oblivious to what everyone else in the room knew about Lacy and Gage's relationship.

Lacy shot a quick look to her mother for confirmation and when Lynn shrugged, she knew that the rest of the family was unaware of the situation.

Sensing the uneasiness in the air, Gage shifted Derek around to meet his uncle. "Derek?" Even before she finished speaking his name, Derek vaulted into his uncle's arms.

"Come here, you little scallywag." Nate tossed the young boy up in the air a couple of times causing him to giggle before wrapping strong arms around his nephew.

Surprised by Derek's outgoing reception toward his uncle, Gage glanced at Lacy. Leaning in closer, she whispered. "We haven't seen my parents in a year, but Nate came out to see us a couple of months ago. He'd visit quite a lot when he could."

"So, how long you gonna be here?" Nate asked.

Their mother jumped into the conversation. "At least through the weekend. Friday's Dani's birthday and I planned a family barbeque on Saturday." Lynn looked at her daughter hopefully.

"If you'll have us, we're planning to stay till next Tuesday." Lacy pursed her lips thoughtfully. "Then I got a movie starting in few weeks and need to get back to LA."

"A week it is then." Lynn's words held just a tinge of disappointment about the short stay bringing with it an awkward cool front in the room carrying a heavy weight of discomfort with no one knowing what to say next.

After few long moments passed, Gage spoke up. "Why don't I get the bags?"

Nate handed Derek to his mother. Smiling brightly, he turned to the blonde. "I'll help."

As they walked away, Gage and Nate heard Daniel tease his granddaughter while scratching the back of his head. "Now, where did I leave that present of yours?"

Dani grabbed his big hand and pulled him from the room. "I bet it's in the workshop. Come on." The eight year old then grabbed for her brother's tiny hand. "You're coming with us." Derek happily toddled along behind his sister.

Leaving mother and daughter alone, Lynn explained. "I… only told your father. I didn't know what you wanted me to say… you know, about…. it."

"It's okay, mom. Quite frankly…." Lacy expelled a heavy sigh, nervously playing with the gold mariner necklace strung around her neck. It was the necklace Gage gave her at the lake in a declaration of love. "We have a couple of days before the whole family shows up. I'll talk with Gage about it later."

"You love her, don't you?" Lacy nodded. "It shows. We…. your father and I worry about you."

"I know." Lacy hugged her mother ferociously. She needed to feel her childhood pillar of strength that always safely harbored her when she was younger. Noticing the latest book by Ballantine on the end table, Lacy picked it up.

"Go ahead take it. I've read it already. I know it's your favorite author." Lynn offered.

Lacy smiled. I have a new favorite author now.

************************

Gage followed Nate up the stairs both carrying bags in each hand. "In here." He motioned to one of the three bedroom doors in the hallway. "This is Lacy and Lisa's old room." Then he pointed further down the hallway. "I'm in there."

Gage caught the playful smile Nate offered her that held a smidgen of interest. If she didn't know better, Gage would have deduced that the young man standing before her allowed a brief, but lascivious thought run through his head. The observant writer eyed the young man carefully. Taller than Lacy by at least two inches, he was quite handsome in a charming way with sparklingly sky blue eyes and short ash blonde hair. "How old are you anyway?"

"Twenty-three. But, I'm very mature for my age. Ask Lacy." Nate crunched his eyebrows together. "On second thought, don't. To her, I'm still her baby brother."

After they deposited the bags on the bed, the two bellhops were on their way for the rest of the luggage. Nate offered to take the remaining bags upstairs so Gage wandered back in the living room just in time to hear Dani proclaim to the world excitedly. "I found one of them." Holding the present high in the air away from Derek who, true to his nature, was the one to discovery it under the workbench in their grandfather's garage that doubled for a workshop.

"But, you can't….." Her grandfather started.

And Dani continued. "Open it till Friday…." Dropping her voice, she finished her sentence. "Unless I find a way to convince you." The mischievous smirk on her face told everyone in the room that the little girl was up to no good.

The long drive and late evening brought a loud yawn from the littlest member of the group as he wobbled toward his hero, yanking at her jeans. "Jage."

Dropping down to retrieve him, Gage lifted him up in her arms then brushed back a bit of his short dark hair. His eyelids desperately tried to stay open struggling against sleep, yet losing ground with each passing moment.

"It's getting late. Maybe we should…" Lacy let her words plummet in quite understanding.

"Of course, you've been on the road all day." Lynn was about to continue after taking another breath, but stopped abruptly when a thought dawned on her like a bolt of lighting then said absent-mindedly. "Where are you all going to sleep?"

Lacy suggested. "I was thinking my old room unless Nate….."

"No, no. Nate's in the boy's old room upstairs." The fifty-five year old mother pondered desperately at the tentative predicament. "We do have Denny's old room in the basement."

"Honey, that's slowly over the years filled with junk I could never get you to throw away." Dan countered.

Lynn shot her husband an annoyed look. "Maybe we could…"

"Mom, we'll be fine in my old bedroom." Lacy assured her though she didn't miss the questioning and slightly uncomfortable look her mother and father shared and neither did Gage.

"It might be better if I got a hotel room." Gage offered although it was the last thing on her mind. With that statement, she received a shocked look from her partner. Back peddling fast, Gage tried to make up for her mistake. "I'm sure the room in the basement would be fine."

As a dark cloud loomed surrounding the sleeping arrangements, Dani piped up offering a simple sunny solution to a problem that didn't exist for her. "What's the big deal? We'll stay in mom's old room. We sleep together all the time." She didn't understand the perplexing looks pasted on the rest of their faces.

Dani's statement left Lacy's parents a bit stunned so much so that they didn't hear the telephone ring. So, in another weak attempt Gage once again stated. "The basement room will be fine really."

Before either Lynn or Dan could reply, Lacy boldly stated. "No." Pulling Gage closer, she capped the discussion. "We're staying in my room. All of us."

That finalized, Nate reappeared. "Mom, Lisa's on the phone." He walked further in the room as his mother passed him.

"Lacy, Gage, I'll see you in the morning then." Lynn smiled reassuringly to her oldest girl in quiet acceptance of her daughter's decision then she nodded to her husband with a silent command to follow.

Dan leaned in, kissing his daughter then grandchildren before he obediently followed his wife out the door. "Goodnight."

"What was that all about?" Nate asked suspiciously.

Lacy ignored him. "Lisa's on the phone, huh? Is she still having trouble with her boyfriend?"

"Same old same old." Nate knew Gage was uninformed about his sister's troubles so he attempted to fill her in. "He's a loser if you ask me. A real jerk. Of course, nobody's good enough for my sisters." Nate missed that he was now treading dangerously in shark-infested waters since he didn't see the exasperated look on Lacy's face.

Lacy knew Nate was actually referring to her soon to be ex-husband, David, but Gage could easily misinterpret his words to mean her so the older sibling cut her brother's forth-coming dissertation short. "Gage, could you take the kids up to bed for me? I'd like to talk with my brother."

"Sure." Gage gathered the children and off they went to bed.

Immensely concerned about his sister's sudden sullen demeanor and thinking he'd said too much regarding their family, Nate offered an apology. "Sorry, I didn't know you didn't want Gage to know about family stuff. I figured you two were good friends and…."

Lacy assured her brother. "We are. Very good friends. Nate, Gage is my best friend." The older sibling wrapped her hand around his arm leading him out the door and up the stairs. "We're very close, you see."

Clasping his hand over hers as they reached to top of the stairs, he smiled and cocked his head slightly. "I'm glad because she's kinda cute and I do like blondes."

Shocked, Lacy stared open-mouthed at her brother.

"Hey, you know I've always liked older women." Nate waggled his eyebrows.

Nate ventured deeper down the hallway to his sister's door when Lacy swung her brother back around. "Nate." The older sibling's voice brooked no misunderstanding. "She's mine."

Astonished, Nate swallowed hard at his sister's very possessive news. Pursed lips slowly broke into a smile that spread across his face, which eased his sister's mind. "Well, at least, we get to keep her in the family." Retracting his bid for the blonde, Nate pulled his sister further down the hall. "So, David's out of the picture. Bout time."

Chapter Three

When Dani woke the next morning the first thing she observed was her mother staring intently at the oldest and youngest occupants. "Do you think they're ever gonna be early risers like us mom?"

Shaking her head lovingly at Gage and Derek as they slept peacefully, Lacy said. "No."

"Good. Then we can have some alone time." Dani advocated. Concerned about her daughter's statement, Lacy reached over stroking Dani's smooth cheek as her daughter further explained. "Yeah, I thought we could talk about some girl stuff. Like letting me get my ears pierced."

"Dani!" It was a subject mother and daughter volleyed back and forth for a year now ever since the young girl's father said off-handedly that it was up to Dani to decide what she wanted to do.

"Mooooom." The young girl whined. "Please."

"I don't even have my ears pierced." Lacy argued. She wasn't completely opposed to the idea. Lacy wanted her daughter to wait a few more years before deciding on the matter like her mother allowed her when she turned thirteen.

"I know." She cocked her head to the side. "And, don't you think that's weird?" Dani ended the quest upon seeing the irritated look her mother was giving her. "Okay, we'll talk about other girl stuff." Nodding at the sleeping dual, Dani continued. "They don't like it when we do."

A small chuckle escaped before Lacy affirmed her daughter's statement. "No, they certainly don't pay attention, do they?" Then an idea popped in her head bringing with it a playful smirk.

Obviously on the same wavelength as her mother, Dani suggested. "Tickle fight?"

A smile of approval sprung up on her mother's face. But, before Dani initiated the fray, Lacy stopped her. "Dani, this time you're on my side…. we girls have to stick together." Lacy offered her hand in a high five, which Dani slapped in return before she pounced on Gage.

In no time at all, Gage was under attack by the three predators, tickling her mercilessly. Even Derek who generally sided with his hero laughed happily as his tiny little fingers found refuge in a particularly sensitive spot behind Gage's ear. "Derek, you're supposed to be on my side." Gage's counterfeit protest only caused the young boy to giggle harder.

"You can't get up." Dani taunted.

For the first time ever in the many tickle fights they shared, Gage was on the bottom and she was having none of it. "Oh, yes, I can." Garnering her last bit of energy, Gage pushed up.

"Mom!" Dani yelled.

Gage's ascent was promptly deflated when Lacy straddled her partner, securing her in place.

Dani couldn't resist the predicament Gage was in. "Thought you could get up."

Her face flushed and feeling exhausted upon being assaulted by the trio, Gage pushed her hands through the multiple limbs coming to rest on Lacy's thighs. Gage ran her hands teasingly up Lacy's bare legs to her hips echoing in her partner a shiver that erupted in a loud scream.

It was that same shrieking scream that stopped Lynn stone cold in the hallway as she passed her daughter's door, which was slightly ajar. Rushing in Lacy's bedroom, the scene that played out before Lynn's eyes locked on her daughter saddled on top of Gage with her grandchildren situated on either side of the blonde.

Shocked and relieved at the same time, Lynn's face ran the gamut of emotions, letting out a loud gasp of her own. Gage's head popped up at the same time Lacy and the kids turned toward the door. With one hand over her mouth, Lynn apologized. "Sorry, I thought…." Stumbling desperately to string together a simple explanation, she continued. "I… I don't know what I thought. Never mind."

Lacy caught up with her mom before she rushed out the door. "Mom?" The younger woman walked her mother out into the hallway. "We were just playing."

"Honey, you don't have to explain… really." Lynn took a deep breath to regain her composure. "I heard a scream and….."

Lacy sucked in a deep breath herself in attempt to steady her balance. All of a sudden, she felt weak and sick to her stomach.

Lynn watched as her daughter's face paled. "Come on." Leading her daughter to the bathroom. They made it just in time for Lacy to relieve her empty stomach then drop to the edge of the bathtub. Her mother promptly wet a washcloth applying it to Lacy's face. "You okay?"

"Yes, I'm fine." Fingering the gold necklace around her neck, Lacy closed her eyes taking several calming breaths. "Really. I got dizzy there for a moment." Her mother's arched eyebrow insisted on more information. "Guess I didn't eat as much as I should have yesterday."

"Mmmmm hmmm." Lynn was unconvinced.

"You know, I don't eat when I travel." Lacy's vain endeavor didn't persuade either one of them. "Mom, we need to talk."

************************

When Lacy returned to her room, Gage was helping Derek get dressed while Dani was ready to go. Crossing the room to her partner, the dark haired woman gave Gage a quick kiss then Lacy draped her arm across the other woman's shoulder pulling her in for a hug. "Sweetheart, will you get the kids breakfast? I'd like to talk with my mom…. about us."

"I'm in trouble?" Gage patted Derek's bottom nudging him forward toward his sister who intently studied the wrapped present her grandfather gave her. Gage turned fully around searching the warm blue eyes that greeted her. "Are you okay? You look a little pale."

Dropping her head on the blonde's shoulder, Lacy nodded. "No, you're not in trouble. I think my mom's concerned about us sleeping together….…"

"Should I leave?"

"No!" Lacy declared adamantly, letting a sigh escape. "When Dani said we all slept together all the time…. I think she got the wrong impression."

"Oh." Then it dawned on Gage. "Ooooh!" Checking to see if the bedroom door was closed first, Gage leaned in for a real good morning kiss before getting up. "Take your time… the kids and I will find something to do." She spotted Dani shaking her gift in frustration. "Come on, guys. Who wants breakfast?"

************************

"I'm sorry, honey. Your father and I didn't know what to think when Dani said….." Lynn patted her oldest daughter's hand.

"I know. I should have explained last night. After the break in at the cabin, Gage let us stay with her… with the storm that night and then Gage telling the kids a bedtime story we….. ended up in the same bed for a few nights." Lacy knew her mother wasn't the type to demand an explanation, but respected the fact that they were staying under her parent's roof. "I thought maybe you were upset about Gage and me."

"You worry too much. I do know a few things about love and what happens between two people. That wasn't it at all though I must admit I hadn't given a thought to the sleeping arrangements. And, I don't want you to get hurt." Lynn rattled off rapidly.

Lacy asked the uneasy question. "Who are you worried about hurting me… Gage or other people?"

"Both." Lynn spoke directly. "I must admit."

"Don't worry about Gage then. She loves me more than I….." Lacy let her words falter then concluded. "As far as others are concerned, I'm a big girl. My only concern in this matter is how it will affect the kids….with Gage and I being together."

"I wouldn't worry about Dani. She'll hold her own." Both mother and daughter smiled perceptively. "And with the three of you protecting Derek, I'm sure everything will work out fine."

"It has to. I am not going to lose her." Lacy vowed.

Lynn pursed her lips. "Now, tell me about this other thing."

Lacy's sculptured eyebrow shot up before being saved by the whistle, literally, as Dani announced their presence in the living room. Carrying her present with her, Dani asked. "Where's grandpa?"

Gage offered a silent apology at the intrusion with a look that said. You try stopping her from barging in where she's determined to go. Message received, Lacy understood perfectly.

"He had a doctor's appointment this morning." Lynn supplied.

"Is he okay? It's not his lungs." A slight tremor split through Lacy's voice.

Understanding her daughter's concern, Lynn hurriedly offered. "No, the doctor's checking his knee. It may require surgery eventually….. you remember when he fell and tore that ligament?"

Relieved, Lacy nodded. She thanked God her father finally gave up smoking ten years ago after his doctor gave him the long face not just suggesting, but giving him an ultimatum if he didn't. "Yes, I do. It's bothering him a lot?"

"Mostly when the weather turns bad. It's just a routine check-up today."

"I'm surprised he went alone. I know how he hates going." Lacy said.

"Lisa went with him." Shifting a hasty look at her daughter. "You know, he can't say no to either of you. And, I wanted to be here with you." Returning her gaze to her daughter's new partner holding her grandson, Lynn asked. "Did you sleep well?" The older woman's asked then suddenly added as it was her nature to ask another question before the first was answered. "Oh, did you have breakfast? I should get it."

Lacy caught her mother in mid-jump, tugging her back down on the couch. "Gage fed them already."

"We had some cereal." Trepid green eyes swung toward her partner. "Lacy needs to eat though."

When Lynn got up swiftly to fulfill that suggestion, Gage handed Derek to his grandmother. "Derek." His hero nodded reassuringly to him. "Go to your grandma while I fix your mom something to eat."

Shyly Derek followed Gage's lead falling into welcomed arms. Head tilted down, he covertly raised his gray eyes to the older woman holding him and let a small smile slip past his bashful demeanor to happy hazel eyes.

************************

The rest of the day passed by uneventful for the most part. Lacy's father arrived back home after his visit to the doctor jokingly announcing that he would live while Dani pestered him about opening up her gift early. "I just don't want to forget to thank you tomorrow when I get all those other presents." But, her grandfather held firm much to her dismay.

She temporarily gave her grandfather a reprieve when her grandmother called her to the telephone. "It's your dad." Lynn said causing Lacy and Gage to briefly share a tenuous glance.

When a dejected Dani hung up the telephone announcing that her father wouldn't be showing up for her birthday, Daniel Lewis caved. "Dani, you're right. Here." He handed her his gift. "Open it."

So excited now, she ripped through the paper not even minding when Derek decided to lend a hand. Unveiled before everyone's eyes was a case filled with markers, sparkle glue and a variety of temporary tattoos. She beamed, giving her grandfather a huge hug. It was just the thing to take her mind off another broken promise by her dad.

Chapter Four

The birthday party was in full swing when Hank Lewis arrived bringing with him their youngest sister, Lisa. Lacy welcomed them both as Dani held court in the living room regaling the rest of the family with the story about her cave expedition that had turned dangerously deadly. Of course, to hear Dani tell it she wasn't lost at all. She knew exactly where she was the whole time as she investigated and, ultimately, discovered the perpetrators who had broken into their cabin on the lake.

"Hank. Come here." Lacy pulled her favorite brother in for a tight hug.

Lisa looked past them watching her animated goddaughter. "I see some things never change." Then she hugged her older sister now that Hank had vacated his position. "Where's David?"

A solemn look washed over Lacy's face not really wanting to address the inevitable. "He's not here. Dani's a bit upset about it but, actually, I'm glad he's not." Reluctant, she continued. "Mom told you I know."

"She said you two separated…" Lisa grew concerned as she spoke her next words. "You really are getting a divorce?"

Straight to the point, Lacy confirmed. "Yes."

Hank wrapped a strong arm around Lacy, pulling her closer and adding a supportive wink.

Lisa backhanded her older brother. "Hank, did you know about this? Is that why Jason broke up with his girlfriend? How could you not tell me?" Lisa ranted to the confused duo.

"What in the world are you talking about Lisa?" Lacy asked.

"You and Jason. You're getting back together, aren't you?" It was a searing question fraught with mixed emotions that neither Lacy nor Hank could read.

Hank steadied her. "Lisa, no one's getting back together." Then he did a quick double take toward the woman next to him. "Are you?" His best friend, Jason, had been acting a bit strange and aloof lately when around the Lewis family.

"No." Exasperated, Lacy drew in a deep breath. "You two do have an active imagination, don't you? Contrary to what some of you may have wanted, we are not getting back together."

Hank leaned in giving her a brotherly kiss easing the tension between them. "I only want your happiness, Lacy, with whomever you choose…. or don't."

"Good. Come on, there's someone I'd like you to meet." Lacy led her brother and sister to the next room presenting them to Gage.

After the brief introduction, Dani demanded and got the room's full attention as an unnerving shrill sound of a whistle cut threw the air. When all eyes pinned Dani, she pointed to her brother sitting quietly on the floor in front of her, whistle dangling from his lips.

Nate gathered up the youngster shielding him from any retribution for his deed, which he knew was prompted by Dani who now stood center stage ready to take responsibility. "I kinda had him blow it. Sorry." It was the rare apology from the sometimes-willful Dani that coaxed smiles all around.

Happy to latch on to the change in atmosphere amongst the group, Dani's blue eyes sparkled with glee. "Is it time to open the presents?"

Dani tore into the multiple presents surrounding her. In an attempt to make up with her brother for almost getting him in trouble, she let Derek help her. She received a new tackle box filled with an assortment of rubber worms from Nate. Her grandmother gave her a new pair of tap dancing shoes and promised to take her shopping in a few days for a new outfit for which Dani thanked her.

After she opened the gift from her brother, Derek ordered. "Wead…now."

Placing several books to the side, Dani assured her brother. "Later, tonight when we go to bed." Leaning in, she sealed the pledge with a kiss. And Dani always kept her promises.

When she opened the next gift, the dark haired birthday girl found a book filled with blank pages. Questioning eyes fell on Gage. "Did you forget something?"

"It's a journal." Gage stated then attempted to explain. "They say any life worth living is worth…." The last word fell from her lips. …"documenting." Thinking she'd made a big mistake, Gage hastily offered another gift.

But, before Dani opened it, she asked cautiously. "I can write anything in here and nobody's gonna read it?"

Gage nodded first then Lacy joined in.

"Good." Under the discriminating smile Dani projected, Gage swallowed hard.

Whispering to her partner, Gage sighed. "Somehow, I think I'm gonna be the number one subject in that book."

Lacy only offered a smile with her words. "At least, until she discovers boys."

Dani showed much more excitement when she ripped open the other gift from the writer. "Rocks! Cool. This one looks like a tip of an arrow." The huge smile on her face offered an unspoken thank you to Gage. She proudly displayed the encased rock collection to the group before her mother handed her a couple more gifts.

"More gifts for me?" Dani wallowed in the attention she was getting. She opened several gifts from her mother that held clothes, which she loved. Then slashing through the wrapping paper of another gift, the nine year old withdrew a portable CD player with headphones. "Wow." With Hank and Lisa adding to her mother's gift giving her two new CDs. "Who's Gary Allan?"

"Honey, you have got to be kidding." Lisa exclaimed. "He's great and cute, too. We'll play it later."

But, it was the silver charm bracelet given to her by her mother that Dani loved the most. She held it up delicately, admiring it, then handing it to her mother, Dani held out her arm. Lacy placed it around her daughter's wrist, securing it. Dangling from her arm, Dani studied the two charms already attached. One was a pair of dancing shoes while the other was a small silver whistle. "I love it, mom." Dani hurriedly hugged her mother as her overjoyed blue eyes filled with unshed tears. "I love you." She added quietly.

"I love you, too."

Just then, Denny Lewis walked in. "Is it too late for another present?"

"Nope." Dani hopped over her brother making a beeline for the last present of the day. Thanking her uncle first, she tore it open unveiling the latest Barbi doll. "Where's Jonathan? And Aunt Crystal?"

"They'll be here tomorrow. I wanted to stop by to deliver your gift and…." He searched for his mother. "What time do you want us here?"

"Anytime, we'll eat around two, I'd say." Lynn said as she helped Dani gather up all her gifts while Lacy and Gage picked up the discarded wrapping paper.

Nate plopped an arm around the oldest sibling. "That means three."

From his easy chair, Dan Lewis soaked in the family gathering much to his delight then suggested. "Dani, how bout puttin' on those dancin' shoes and give us a little jig?"

Quick to seize every occasion to be the star of the show, she dropped to the floor slipping the new shoes on. "Somebody put on the music." Dani was going to put her three years of dancing classes to good use.

Denny's eyes fell on the strange blonde next to his sister. "Who's that?"

"Keep your eyes in your head, you're married and…." Nate sprouted an impish grin. "She's taken."

"You?" Denny asked. When his youngest brother glided his eyes to their sister, Denny followed the gaze landing on Lacy only to see his sister cozy up to the blonde as they settled near the back of the room for Dani's impromptu dance recital. Watching his sister gently slide her hand down the blonde's arm, Denny felt an invisible cold hand slap him square in the face.

"Gage?" Nate called across the room. "Meet Denny."

Gage waved and Lacy did the same. Seeing the landscape of emotional extremes traverse her brother's face, Lacy suddenly stopped rubbing Gage's arm.

"I…. I gotta get back… home." Denny's words stumbled out. "Nice to meet you."

Nate guided his older brother out the front door. God, I love it when something rattles that uptight veneer of his. "See ya tomorrow bro." The silence that met his farewell was expected.

When Nate returned to the festive group, Dani was in full swing tap dancing away. Derek sat awe-struck at his sister's feet riveted on toes tapping across the floor. Nate took a seat next to his sister, Lisa, on the couch with his mother on the other end.

In the back, Lacy adjusted herself to sit between Gage's legs as they lounged next to the small-unlit fireplace taking in the floorshow. With everyone's attention engrossed on Dani's dancing feet, Lacy turned halfway around stealing a quick kiss. "Mmmm. I love you."

Gage's nimble fingers found their way up under her partner's shirt coming to rest near the edge of Lacy's bra, peeping up under it brushing against the swell of her breast. "I love you."

Lacy moaned slightly at the contact falling back against her partner. The soft stroking sensations lulled Lacy's into a seductive haze, turning she captured willing lips bidding her a warm welcome. As the music faded away, Lacy lost herself in the vortex of feelings her lover was stirring in her. Even after only one day of missing their nightly lovemaking ritual Lacy was more than primed. In an unconscious disregard for the rest of the people in the room, Lacy let out a languid strident moan as Gage kissed her soundly.

The short break in Dani's dance routine provided more than enough muted space for Lacy's moan to fill the room drawing the undivided attention of the group gathered. When everyone, with the exception of Dani and Derek, twisted around to view the engaged couple, the scene that played out for them stirred various reactions. Lisa smiled, Nate snickered, Lynn nodded in understanding and Dan sat shocked not ever wanting to see one of his children necking. It was something he was well aware of, having five children of his own, but not something he wished to witness. TMI, TMI he repeated over and over again.

Gage felt a niggling of interest directed their way while still kissing the beautiful woman she loved. When one green eye popped open, she met four pairs of eyes locked on them. Gage's retreating lips were relentlessly pursued by her lover's mouth, not ready to break the kiss. "Lacy." The name barely escaped the captured lips.

Oblivious to the staring eyes and Gage's imploring call, the only thing that broke the magical moment was the shrill sound of a loud whistle slice through the air. The younger woman woke from the spell, saw everyone staring at them, blushed and prayed the whistle would blare once again. Unknowingly, Derek happily complied.

All eyes now fastened on Dani, standing with her hands cocked on her hips, lips twisted patiently waiting for their attention to return to her. The scene involving her mother and Gage didn't faze her and neither was her brother bothered who all the while had kept his eyes glued to his sister. The young star addressed her audience. "Don't worry about them. They do that all the time. Now, for my next number."

*************************

When the doorbell rang, Dani's performance came to an abrupt halt as a strange sensation shrouded her essence. "I'll get it." Running to the door, Nate followed close behind. The young girl had a funny feeling and was eager to discover its cause.

The source of her premonition was divulged as the door opened wide revealing her father standing before her bearing an enormous smile. "Happy birthday, honey." Collecting his excited daughter, David Levine hugged her tightly. "I surprised you, didn't I?"

"David. Hi." Nate greeted the older man.

"You sure did, daddy." Grabbing his hand, pulling him in, Dani said. "Come on."

"Nate. Is Lacy here?" David asked.

The young man shrugged, pointing to the living room.

A deafening hush permeated the room when Dani walked in followed by her father. With a smug grin, David accosted them. "Hello everyone." Quickly searching the room, David's cold gray eyes came to rest on his soon to be ex-wife and the blonde sitting next to her. "Lacy."

Pulling her father from the intense stare directed at her mom, Dani attempted to get his attention. "Daddy?"

"You were going to ask about this?" David whipped a small package from his pocket.

Blue eyes widen at the perfectly wrapped gift bounded together by a delicate gold lace. The beauty of it gave pause for her from opening it immediately. "For me?"

David smiled then glanced deviously to Lacy. "I hope you like it." He said with absolute assurance.

Small fingers carefully unwrapped the present to find a burgundy velvet box. Dani gently opened it. Her eyes nearly skyrocketed out of her head when she saw the pristine diamond studded earrings. "Wow! They are absolutely the most… the best gift ever."

"Go ahead take them out and see." David prompted his daughter.

As she did, it was revealed that the diamond earrings were meant for pierced ears which propelled Lacy from her comfortable seat next to Gage. "David!" Lacy's naturally velvet voice turned steely.

"Mom. Look! Can I get my ears pierced tomorrow?" Her words came rushing out unmindful of the inevitable confrontation between mother and father because her orbs were glued to her very special gift.

Lacy forced in a deep calming breath lowering her voice to a quiet whisper. "I thought we talked about this?"

"We did?" Playing ignorant, David continued directing his attention to his daughter. "Honey, did you save me some cake?"

Nodding, Dani rushed off into the kitchen with her godmother in tow.

A long nearly unbearable moment passed before David spoke up. "Dan, Lynn, it's nice to see you again. Hank, you too." David noticed Gage was now holding his son.

Lynn offered a brief awkward hug. "Hello, David. You made Dani's day."

Through pursed lips, Lacy hissed. "What you've made is a rather difficult situation for us…. putting our daughter right in the middle. I hope that makes you happy."

Ricocheting a jealous glance to Gage then back to his wife, David asked. "And, what makes you happy, Lacy?"

"Don't even start David. Or, do you want me to bring up your very pregnant girlfriend?" Lacy countered quietly so only he could hear. Her producer husband and Lacy's co-star in her recently defunct television series had been having an affair for the last year and were now expecting a baby. It was a point of contention between them bringing about the end of their already eroding marriage.

David spat right back at Lacy. "Do you want me to bring up yours?"

When Dani returned with a plate full of cake, her father nibbled at it sparingly as his daughter sat next to him. "Thank you for the earrings, Daddy." She reached up and kissed him on the cheek then said sincerely. "But, mostly for not missing my birthday."

"Now would I ever do that?" Dani chose to ignore that comment from her father knowing it wasn't true. Instead, she focused on the fact that he was there with her.

David knew his presence was the source of the uneasy ambiance amongst the group and played it for what it was worth. "Lynn, I just got in and didn't have time to get a hotel room, you'll put me up, won't you?" A sugary sweet smile dripped with sarcasm.

Dan Lewis was about to speak up and send his soon to be ex-son-in-law packing to a hotel when his wife gave him a slight nudge preventing him from speaking his mind. Concerned about her granddaughter, Lynn suggested. "We do have the basement room or… the couch."

Straightening his back, David stretched. "Not a good idea about the couch. And, I'm allergic to basement mildew."

Balling a fist tightly, Dan took one step forward. Lynn stepped in front of him knowing her husband's hair trigger when it came to rude behavior directed at his family.

Lacy lifted David up from his seat shoving him toward her brother. "You can sleep with Nate."

David dropped his voice allowing a smirk to plaster on his face. "And, who will you be sleeping with?"

Relieved Dani did not hear her father's comment because Gage drew her away fawning over the prized gift, Lacy murmured in a sultry seductive voice only allowing David and Nate to hear her. "Oh, rest assured, I won't be sleeping." She flashed her fire blue eyes at him. "My night will be filled with unadulterated barely controlled passion…." Breathing heavily, Lacy wetted her lips then continued. "…wild, mind-blowing, steamy, hot sex making me scream out in orgasm after orgasm."

Stunned into silence sweat beaded on David's forehead. Yanking the overheated man away, Nate said. "Come on. I've got something that will cool you down." As he passed his sister, Nate whispered in her ear. "You almost had me going there for a minute. Good job."

"Dani, say goodnight to your dad." Lacy called to her daughter who waved and watched her father wobble away just like her three-year-old brother did sometimes.

After they left the room, Dan was livid. "That son of a bit….."

"Dan! We'll talk about it later." Nodding at their granddaughter. Lynn learned along time ago how to soothe her husband's savage temper. It was something best suited for the bedroom.

"Mom, dad." Hank hugged them both. "I'll see you tomorrow."

"Are you bringing Jen with you?" His mother asked.

"Yep." Confirming the presence of his girlfriend to the family barbeque then turned to Lisa. "You need a ride?"

After giving her parents a hug and bidding farewell to Lacy, Gage and the kids, Lisa followed her older brother out the door. "Oh, and….." Hesitant, knowing what the family thought of her boyfriend, Lisa reminded them. "Chris is coming too."

Continued in Part 2.


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