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 4

Chapter Twelve

Lacy and Koda lounged on the bed while waiting for some last minute adjustments by the lighting crew. Just as Ryan called 'action', Tony Kussler slipped quietly on set behind the tall man allowing him access.

After a couple of takes, the director yelled. "Cut. Great job." Ryan searched the set for Michael Jessop. "Let's set-up for the next scene." He called to no one in particular. When he couldn't find Jessop, the director spoke to Griff. "Are we set for this afternoon over on stage 38? Where's Michael anyway?"

"My father sent him on an errand. And, yes, 38 is ready to go." Griff diligently avoided Lacy as she walked past Ryan heading toward her trailer.

"Lacy, five minutes…..that's all." Ryan said to the back of a retreating nodding head. "Where's Ron?"

"Right here." Ron Griffen's pronounced his presence loudly.

Swinging around, the director faced the big man. "Good. Griff, could you see if Koda needs anything? Thanks." Both men scrutinized the redhead's interaction with the male star but for entirely different reasons. Finally, the director turned back around to his boss. "You sent Michael somewhere?"

Ron nodded not knowing what to do with his hand, which usually sported a cigar so he hooked his thumb in his vest pocket. That was one reason he rarely visited the 'no smoking' set. "Sent him to root out a rat. I saw Kussler sliming around this morning."

"Why do you allow him on the lot?" Irritated, Ryan asked.

"Free publicity." Ron spat out his no-nonsense answer. "Why pay for it when you can get it free?"

"Not that kind." The director disputed Ron's argument.

Clasping a firm hand on the slightly shorter man's shoulder. "Any kind is good. Don't worry about it. I have Michael…. oh, here he is."

The young assistant approached them out of breath. "He's here somewhere. I lost him……" The shadow casting against the wall across the set gave away Kussler's hiding place. "Found him." Michael pointed.

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

"Derek, now sit still and……" Gage quickly held up a finger when Derek opened his mouth.

The young boy then mimicked her sealing a tiny finger to his own lips. "Shhhh." He hushed giggling all the while with gray eyes sparkling at the game he loved to play with his hero.

Shaking her blonde head at Derek's display, Gage continued. "Shhhh….okay, now…. where was I? Yeah, here's the deal…I was thinking about that new screenplay. You know, the one about Africa……the white elephant." Gage jacked her arm up pretending it was a large trunk then let out a screeching elephant call.

Derek smiled but remained quiet.

"However…." Gage moved around the coffee table and sat in front of the young boy. "I got this idea to do a story…. well, several stories about the woman I……." Her last word was cut off at the sound of the door opening.

Lacy stepped in. "Busy?"

The blonde jumped up embracing her lover. "Not for you. Everything go okay?" Gage kept her mind off her partner's love scene with Koda Kannon by going over several writing projects with her young charge.

Lacy wiped any vagrant jealous thoughts from her lover's mind with a deep, soulful kiss. As usual, Gage's nimble hands found there way past the loosely tied robe. "Mmmmm….God, I love you."

"Me, too, momma. I want kiss, too." Derek pouted.

Reluctantly, Gage let go then Lacy plopped down on the couch next to her son. He quickly pounced on her. "I love you, too, momma." He kissed her lips then squirmed in closer for a hug.

The young mother held him tightly brushing her mouth against the side of his head. "And, I love you."

Gage sat back down on the coffee table, leaning forward; she placed both her hands on the star's bare legs. "Is that the last one?"

"Yes." Understanding the question referred to the love scenes. "God, it's been a long week."

"I know. We've hardly seen you at all. But, it's Friday and no filming on the weekend, right?"

Lacy couldn't miss the lascivious smile Gage sprouted. "Right."

Gage nodded. "That gives us tonight and all day Saturday and Sunday. Just you and me….."

"And the kids." Lacy finished, smiling. She covered Gage's roaming hand. "We'll find some time. I promise." Twisting her son around and sitting him on her lap, Lacy kissed him again. "Now, what have you been up to, huh?"

"Stories….lots of stories. Jage….." Derek started.

"Gage." The blonde corrected him.

Derek frowned and twisted his lips thoughtfully. "Jage." He repeated stubbornly.

"I don't get it. He can say cage….." Derek frowned again. "Oh, yes, you can. I've heard you. It was on the list. And, he can say get. Get…ge…cage….Ge….age." The writer tried again and again to no avail. "But, he refuses to say my name right."

Lacy fussed his short dark hair as he buried his head against her. "He probably thinks it's a game, Gage."

The self-appointed speech instructor sighed then jacked her fist under her chin. "At least you say it right."

A knock at the door offered a prelude to. "Five minutes, Miss Levine."

Lacy leaned forward, kissed her partner then her son. Placing Derek on the blonde's lap, she stood erect. "I need to get changed." Lacy hurried across the trailer as she dropped her robe to the floor.

Gage's green eyes magnetically followed her nearly naked lover soaking in every succulent move as Lacy dressed. The writer was careful to shield Derek from what Gage considered a very provocative exhibition. Of course, I think every move she makes is….sexy, sensual. Lacy ran her hand up her propped up leg, covertly glancing at her lover. Did I say…sexy? God, is it hot in here or what?

Finished, Lacy stopped at the door. Turning to Gage, she asked. "Should I button it or leave it?" Lacy flipped back her collar revealing a nice view of her cleavage.

Gage swallowed then licked her lips lost in a seductive haze.

"Leave it I guess." Lacy laughed then walked out the door.

Yelling, Gage flew off the table with Derek in her arms. "Button it….I think you should button it." When the blonde opened the trailer door, Lacy was well out of view. Closing it, she sighed. "You know, your mother does that just to get to me."

"Momma?"

"And she did too." Gage carefully sat Derek back down on the couch. She paced around the room attempting to clear her thoughts of the beautiful woman still dancing in her head from the earlier display. "Okay, let's get back to that story….there's lots of animals."

"Elephant." Derek offered.

"Yeah, lots of elephants." But, Gage couldn't shake those vivid images Lacy so seductively etched in her mind. Returning to an earlier thought, Gage said out loud. "No, I'm going to write a series…. a tribute…. sorta. Yes." The writer finalized her plans.

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

Livid. "And, just who the hell said you could be here?" Ryan screamed.

Tony Kussler slyly glanced toward two figures a few feet away revealing his accomplice. However, both David and Griff jumped into action before the trespasser could say another word.

"Michael!" David and Griff roared. David drove a hard look into the woman next to him. Still looking at Griff yet speaking to Michael, David commanded. "Escort Mr. Kussler off the set." The producer pulled his gray eyes away from the irritating young woman to rest on Tony. "It's a closed set. Perhaps, you'd like to visit some other movie were shooting. That's okay with you, isn't Ron?"

"Absolutely. As a matter of fact…. just across the way. We've got this nice little film that is sure to be a……" Ron's words trailed off as he led Kussler and the young assistant away from a fuming director.

"David, can I have a word with you?" Ryan said through gritted teeth. Everyone within hearing distance disbursed.

Acting completely innocent, David asked. "Sure. What is it?"

"Are you deliberately trying to….." Censoring himself. "Screw up this film or…..just your own life? Because either way, I am not going down with you."

Well aware that even though cast and crew were out of hearing distance, they could still see the two producers talking. "Whatever do you mean?" David made a show of gesturing off-handedly attaching a beaming smile to it for everyone to see. "Would you calm down, Ryan?"

"You gave that jerk access and don't deny it." Before David could protest, Ryan continued. "Maybe it was actually Griff that did your bidding but you were still behind it. What is it with you and Griff? You know she tried to come between Lacy and Gage?"

"And that would be a problem because….." The viperous smile sprayed, striking the last nerve of the usually calm director.

"You son-of-a-bitch….."

"Leave my mother out of this."

"You're right. You rotten bast…. nasty, evil little man." Ryan finally concluded without having to refer to David's mother. Ryan White actually liked David's mother. She's the only decent one in that family.

"Ouch. That hurt." David clutched his chest. "Come on, Ryan, you can do better than that."

"Okay, I will. You're on your own. White Horse Productions is yours. I want none of it."

Shocked momentarily. "You actually mean that, don't you?"

Ryan nodded. "Every word."

Michael Jessop arrived back from his escort duties. "Everything's taken care of….. and we're ready on the set." He added reluctantly now sensing the open hostility between the two about to be defunct producing partners.

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

Lacy and Koda were in position quietly going over their lines while they waited for the director to start the next scene. But, when Koda drifted off, Lacy asked. "Koda? You heard about Hayston, right?"

The usually buoyant actor was very subdued this morning and continued to remain elusive in his thoughts. "Who hasn't?"

"I talked with her yesterday and I thought I heard her say you'd stopped by." Lacy tossed out a fishing line in hopes of catching a clue.

"Yeah, so? You think I have such a cold heart?" Koda quickly became annoyed with the turn in the conversation. "What about you?"

"Me and Hayston?"

"No. You're little blonde bomb." Koda spat out sarcastically.

"What do you mean by that?" Anger sparked in Lacy's usually cool blue eyes.

Koda snickered. "After the other day when she went off… come on. Everybody knows."

Lacy sighed.

"I can't believe you're like that…. a woman like you? You're beautiful…." Lacy felt his predatory gaze crawl over her body. "Sexy….easily the best looking woman around…and talented. I don't get it."

"And that's the problem…. you don't get it." Lacy cut through the subtext.

Fully comprehending her meaning, Koda reluctantly agreed. "Yeah."

"You and Hayston…. I don't get that….. did you?" Lacy asked the thinly veiled question to her co-star.

Koda foreigned indifference. "We do know each other. I did do a couple of guest shots on your show."

"I remember." I almost forgot about that. His last appearance was when she had to be away from the set for a publicity event and Hayston carried the show that week with Koda playing her love interest. A clue revealed itself.

"You ready?" Ryan called to the actors.

Before Lacy could respond to the director's question, Koda stopped her. "Wait." His curiosity got the best of him. "Why would you want to kiss another woman?"

Lacy turned to him seriously. "She's not just a woman…. she's the woman I love."

To her surprise, Koda accepted the explanation resonating within the dashing male star to a place where he held that same feeling for the only and unattainable woman he truly loved. Shaking loose the lovingly held memory, Koda nodded to the director.

Seeing both actors were now ready, the director shouted. "Action."

From a distance, Griffen and daughter watched the scene literally play out in front of them. "Kathy?"

"Mmmm." His daughter studied the nearby man. "What?" She erupted when her father nudged her.

"He's not for you." Nodding toward David.

"You got that right." Griff agreed. Not my type at all.

"And neither is he." Ron guided his daughter's green eyes with a shake of the head, pointing at Koda currently engaged in a dramatic scene with Lacy. "Oh, he'd be a good catch someday when he finally….. finishes sowing his wild oats." The older Griffen remembered his early days as a young bull amongst the Hollywood beauties on his way to the top. I had my share of women….till I met you, Katie. The fifty-one year old man smiled warmly remembering his wife of fifteen years. Fondly gazing at his red haired daughter, Ron continued his stroll down memory lane. She looks just like you, love. Same hair and everything.

"I am partial to blondes." Griff's thoughts drifted to another blonde instead of the one she was staring at. Green eyes, sexy. Nice, very nice body.

"Jessop. Now, he's an up and coming young man." Her father nudged her again pulling her from her lustful musings.

"Father. Let me take care of my love life. Okay?"

"Oh, all right. One favor though?" Getting his daughter's full attention, he continued. "Grandchildren. Just a thought."

Griff smiled. And that's all it will be…. a thought.

Chapter Thirteen

Gage had everything prepared when Lacy finally arrived. Kissing Lacy, the blonde guided her to the table. Leaning over the dark haired woman's shoulder after she sat, Gage whispered. "I love you."

The young boy sitting next to his mother added his sentiments. "Me, too, momma. I love you."

Tapping a finger on his nose, Lacy smiled. "I love you, too." Then she kissed him.

"Jeez!" Dani sighed garnishing everyone's attention, which suddenly seemed overpowering to the girl who was usually at ease being the center of attention. "What?"

"Go on, Dani. What is it?" Lacy asked. "And by the way, I love you, too."

The third grader rolled blue eyes at her mother. "What is what?"

"The big news you can't wait to tell us." The confident mother replied.

"Oh, yeah. The school's having a show in December…. it's kinda a big deal." Dani acted nonchalant. "They want me to try out for it."

"Do you get to dance?" Gage asked.

"And sing…. a little." Dani added.

"Honey, you'll be great in it. When is it?"

"Christmas." Dani hesitated. "Will we still be here then?"

Concerned, Lacy stopped eating. "Of course, why would you ask that?"

Dani pursued her lips thoughtfully. "Well….. I heard Gage talking about her movie and going away…."

Apprehension filled the blonde's face when Lacy's eyebrow popped up in shock. Quick to discount the innocent insinuation, Gage said. "Mark is not me." Sparing a glance to the suddenly distraught young girl. "It's okay, Dani." Facing her lover again. "Mark asked me if I wanted to make a quick trip to New Orleans….check out some locations. That's all." Gage covered Lacy's hand. "I said no."

Remaining slightly aloof, Lacy offered. "Are you sure? I don't want to stop you from….anything."

Squeezing her hand again, Gage smiled. "I'm sure."

"When does it start?" For some reason, Lacy still maintained a noticeable distance between them.

"He starts filming in February….." Sensing the remoteness. "Is something wrong?"

"Nothing. I'm just tired." Lacy admitted. It had been an extremely long week. Every minute of her day was filled with last minute changes, re-shoots and meetings as the film came to a close.

Not wanting to pursue the subject further, Gage turned to Dani. "So…… you're keeping busy with this show thing and swimming."

Even Dani observed her mother's sudden withdrawal. "Yeah, I really like the school, mom. Like you said I would."

"That's good honey." The usually attentive mother said absent-mindedly.

The rest of the dinner was eaten in silence. Gage cleared the table and did the dishes while Lacy retreated into the living room where she helped Dani with some homework and Derek happily added his assistance. Gage leaned against the kitchen doorway pondering the remote demeanor in her partner. Maybe it's because she's pregnant.

As the evening progressed, Lacy's mood didn't improve at least not towards Gage. The young mother tucked her kids in before returning to the living room. "I'm going to bed." Lacy walked past Gage without another word.

Green eyes trailed the tall woman across the room. It's definitely because she's pregnant. I didn't do anything. Did I? The reluctant blonde finally followed her partner into their bedroom. Lacy had changed and was in bed. Hesitating, Gage approached the bed.

"How did it go with Dr. Charles today?" Lacy asked not looking at her partner. Due to filming, she missed another appointment her son had with his speech therapist. It grated against her tremendously.

"Good. Real good." Gage slid down on the bed next to Lacy. "Derek's able to pronounce all the words on the list. Actually, the doctor's a bit confused as to why he keeps mispronouncing words when he can repeat them perfectly fine." When Lacy refused to respond, Gage moved closer. "I've missed you." Placing a soft kiss on stilled lips. The older woman sighed deeply. "I'm sorry. I was wrong and I should never have done it."

"Just what are you admitting to?" Lacy's sharp tone cut deeply.

Great. I'm in deep trouble here. "Whatever it is that has you upset." Gage reluctantly admitted and knowing she was ignorant of what she had done would further irritate the younger woman. "I did it. And, I'll never do it again …. whatever it was."

"Really?" An arched eyebrow seared a questioning look at her lover. "I'm upset that we haven't been together all week among other things and NOW you're saying you'll never do it again."

Gage swiftly scooted closer. "I misspoke…. obviously. I always want to do that… with you." The beaming smile crossing her lips gave away Gage's lascivious thought. "You want to do it now?"

"Mmmmm. I do…." A weary sigh escaped. "But, I am so tired."

"Okay." The blonde wanted to be understanding. "We can… cuddle. I know you like that."

Lacy ignored the offer. "Sweetheart, when did you talk with Mark?"

Gage shifted back on the bed uneasily. "Not too long before you got home. Why?"

Playing with the silky sheets, Lacy reluctantly asked. "Are we…. am I getting in your way…… of doing what you really want to do?"

Gage pulled Lacy's in her arms. "No way. I love you." The blonde gently kissed her lover. "And I love the kids. Lacy, I'm enjoying all this. Well, except, for the sex scenes you do. But, they're over. Right?"

"Right." Lightly running her hand along Gage's thigh, Lacy continued with her concerns. "You never have time to write."

"Not true. Just today, I was running a few story lines past….." Gage had to smile. "Derek. And, he was a big help, too. Finally got him to stop repeating everything I say."

"Mmmm Hmmm." Not convinced. "While I've been working on this movie you've been more like a…… babysitter."

"Am I complaining? No. I'm loving it." Brushing the back of her hand along the star's perfect features, Gage continued. "Really. I wouldn't trade a moment of it."

"Maybe we should get a nanny or something."

"Why?" Gage lifted her lover's chin gazing deeply into worried blue eyes. "You're almost finished with the movie…. then we'll have plenty of time together."

"And what about you making movies… your career?" Lacy's concern about her partner's future was evident.

Nodding knowingly. "Is all this insecurity because you're pregnant?"

Lacy hiked up an angry arched eyebrow. "Excuse me?"

Uh oh! "What I mean is… you're pregnant." Gage stated succinctly.

Another arched eyebrow shot up.

"What I really mean is that you're….. because you're pregnant things are a little……" The desperate writer searched for the perfect words. "You're a little more moody." Lacy tilted her head in disbelief. "Hyper. No, no. Not that. Ahhh." Scrunching her face, Gage asked. "Dicey?" The writer continued to dig her own grave with the inept words. "More sensitive. That's it. More sensitive." She concluded triumphantly.

"Is that your final answer?" The annoyed smile on the start's face remained in place.

Dropping her shoulders in despair, Gage laid it out on the battlefield. "Lacy, both Mark and Nate said I should expect these kinds of moods now that you're……" Seeing the growing irritated look on her lover's face sprout, astutely Gage shut up before she threw the last bit of dirt on her grave, burying her six feet under forever.

"You're getting advice from Mark and Nate…. of all people ….about how a pregnant woman acts?" Lacy's tone of voice carried with it a looming dark cloud threatening to produce a torrential deluge right over the beaten blonde.

I'll just keep quiet. Maybe it will all pass in a few moments.

"And just what did your friend and my dear brother say?" Lacy demanded.

Plan A didn't work. And, here I am without a plan B. So the writer quickly made one up. But after all was said and done, Gage wished she'd stuck to plan A. "Nate said you'd feel a little insecure about getting bigger and feeling ugly…."

"Ugly?" Lacy crossed her arms.

"No…no, not ugly. You are not ugly… no way. You're beautiful. He said you may feel that way being fat…." Gage tripped on her own tongue with that last word.

"Fat?" Lacy pushed away from her partner. "I'm only three months pregnant."

"Now, Lacy. I didn't mean it that way. I meant….later when you get huge…" Gage stumbled.

Gage didn't catch the devious glint that flittered across Lacy's blue eyes. I know that's not what you meant, sweetheart. But, I am enjoying you squirm. "Just what did you mean?" Lacy's voice cast a sharper tone than she intended.

"God, I don't know what the …… what I mean." Totally frustrated, Gage surrendered in complete defeat. "I am such an idiot."

Sensing her partner's deep hurt, Lacy titled Gage's defeated head up. "Yes, but you're my idiot."

"I am?" Gage asked hopefully. "Lacy, I…."

Lacy pressed a single finger to Gage's lips. "Shhhhh… I know. You don't have to say another word."

For the first time in the last few torturous moments, Gage finally smiled. "I love you."

Gage's words caused Lacy to smile. "Except those words. You have to say those all the time." Pulling her lover closer, Lacy kissed the blonde conveying her love and understanding of what her partner was trying to do. Breathlessly breaking from the kiss, Lacy husked. "Sweetheart, I want you naked…. now."

On fire, Gage reluctantly replied. "The door's not locked and the kids… you know how they…"

Cutting her lover's protest off, Lacy crushed determined lips against more than willing ones. "I….. don't….. care."

Gage ripped the clothes from her body as an appreciative Lacy looked on then the blonde hiked a leg up on the bed to step over her lover. In doing so, she slipped on the silky sheets falling across Lacy's legs. Gage scrambled back up quickly so as not to hurt her lover but in doing so lost her balance and fell off the bed. Lacy laughed so hard at Gage's antics she slipped off the bed into the waiting arms of her lover. Lying on top of the blonde, limbs tangled together fitting perfectly like an interlocking puzzle, Lacy teased. "I don't know if I can get up."

Smiling Gage winked. "I don't know if I want you too." Gage stole a kiss from her lover. "But, it might be more comfortable on the bed."

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

"Mmmmmm. God, you smell so…." Gage inhaled deeply again. "Delectable."

Lacy lay in the blonde's arms wearing nothing but a satisfied smile, nipping at her lover's neck. "And, you taste good enough to eat."

"Oh, no, not again." Gage smiled in mock protestation.

Lacy slapped her partner's firm thigh. "You are so bad."

"Really. Well, if I'm so bad then why did you beg for more and more and more……" This time Lacy ran her hand up over Gage's skin coming to rest between them, wiggling her fingers, which caused the still overexcited blonde to jump at the contact. "Hey."

"Hey what?" Lacy purred.

"Hey…." Smiling, Gage requested. "Do that again."

And Lacy did. "So, tell me just what kind of advice did my brother give you."

The squirming woman below Lacy was having a hard time thinking of anything but what her lover was doing to her. "That you would….. might…. may get in a bad mood from time to time for no reason at all."

"Moody?"

"Yes, moody. But, you haven't been not really. Well, tonight and that doesn't count."

"Why is that?"

Gage kissed her lover. "That's because tonight you wanted some and you don't have to be pregnant for that." The blonde ran her hand over Lacy's firm backside sending shivers up the star's spine. "He suggested a few things like… if you said you were fat, then I would say no pleasingly plump."

Lacy shook her head.

"More for me to love?"

Again, Lacy shook her head.

"How bout I love you."

Those were the magic words as Lacy finally nodded approval. "And what if I said I felt ugly?"

"Oh… then I would say…even on you're worst day the closest you'd ever come to ugly was pretty……." Gage smiled then whispered. "Beautiful."

"Nice save. Sweetheart, I love both Mark and Nate but neither one of them have kids. What would they know about it?"

Gage shrugged. "About as much as I would, I guess."

Lacy framed a perfect winning smile. "My point exactly."

Gage pouted after trying so hard to understand and be there for her pregnant lover.

"You're mad because I'm not in a bad mood?"

"No." The pout remained in tact.

"Well, I'll try to be a little more moody." Lacy teased.

"I would appreciate it." A slow smile triumphantly broke through the determined pout. "I just wanted to do my part. You know, be sensitive and I was all prepared. I even shopped like crazy at the store getting everything I could think of just in case…."

"In case what?"

"You get one of those cravings. And don't tell me that's never happened to you. My God, Lacy, you're not even acting like a normal pregnant woman. Except for morning sickness." Gage clothed her face with a pout again. "If you did then you'd see how wonderful I can be and…" The blonde wanted her partner to feel the same way she did about Lacy. "I know how lucky I am having you. I just wanted…."

Running a finger along her lover's lips, Lacy asked. "What did you get me?"

"Lots of things." Gage tried to ignore Lacy's tender touch. "Ice cream… all kinds, peanut butter…..creamy and with peanuts, pickles, pig's knuckles…. basically anything weird or combination thereof."

"So you wouldn't have to get up in the middle of the night and go get it for me?"

"No!" Gage was adamant. "Because when you did….crave something, I wouldn't have to be away from you for long. Just go to the kitchen and be right back here in bed with you… holding you… loving you…." Gage inhaled deeply again. "Smelling you and, of course, listening to your sexy voice." The blonde waggled her eyebrows. "God, I love you, Lacy, so very, very much."

Lacy kissed her lover gently. "I love you and…. I'm the lucky one." Stroking her lover's stomach, the dark haired woman whispered. "There is something I crave."

"What?" Gage pushed up off the mattress ready to retrieve it.

Yanking her partner back down on the bed, Lacy crawled on top of her lover. "You."

"Mmmmm. Now, that I can deliver." They shared a soul-scorching kiss that led them home.

Chapter Fourteen

After picking up Dani from school, Gage took the kids to visit Lacy on the set of her movie. This was the final week and since Lacy was home only long enough to eat something and drop into bed totally exhausted each night, an idea emerged.

Gage talked with Ryan who agreed to the blonde's plan about having a picnic in Lacy's trailer. The director would shoot around his star for a couple of hours so Lacy could be with her family.

"This is great, isn't it?"

"It sure is." Dani grabbed the last Suzy-Q. Seeing her protesting brother, she gave him the other half.

"Thank you." He said perfectly.

Lacy kissed her son's dark head. "That was perfect, Derek." Proud of her son's speech improvement, the dark haired woman turned to her partner. "Thank you."

Gage winked. "I'm glad you're enjoying this. And, we'll have plenty more of these."

"Yeah, but next time in a park. Jeez, don't you know picnics are supposed to be outside?" Dani casually tossed out to anyone that would listen.

"Jeez, outside in a park. Yeah!" Derek now mimicked his older sister, placing a prominent frown on his face.

"All right all ready…." Shaking her blonde head. "Can't please anyone, can I?"

Lacy placed her hand on her partner's thigh. "You please me."

Dani rolled her eyes. "Jeez."

"Jeez." Derek copied.

"Okay, you two. Scat." Lacy commanded her children. "There's some ice cream in the fridge…..Dani get some for you and your brother."

Her obedient children happily complied leaving Lacy and Gage alone on the couch. "Alone at last."

"And tired." Lacy slumped down leaning against her lover. "And, I've got that movie premiere tonight."

"Are you going to the party after?"

"Mmmm… I suppose I should. I don't really want to." Lacy lifted her head up to her lover. "What about you?"

"I'll watch the kids." Gage offered thinking this would give Lacy the incentive to make it a short night.

"Oh?" I guess you don't want to go with me. "I don't really want to go alone." Lacy said weakly.

"Mark will take you. He's going, too." Gage hurriedly offered providing Lacy with a safe harbor at a party full of sharks. Koda will be there and that way, I'll know you'll be safe. Gage caressed her lover's smooth cheek lovingly.

"If that's what you want." Deflated with her partner's response, Lacy resigned herself to going with Mark.

It's not what I want. I want you home with me but…. I am not going to embarrass you again.. not even take the chance. "Lacy, I want you to be happy."

Sad blue eyes drifted down as Lacy snuggled closer to her partner. I am right here in your arms. "All right, I'll ask Mark."

"I already did."

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

Julie Grant, head of Primrose Studios, greeted her guests after the successful premiere of her company's latest venture. "Mark!" Julie embraced her old friend warmly. "What's it been… five years?"

"Give or take a couple days." Mark Calico winked. "Julie, I'd like you to meet Lacy Levine."

The movie executive grasped the proffered hand. "You don't have to tell me who she is…. I tried to steal her away from Ron several years ago." Directing her next words to the star. "I have some projects that would be right down your alley. We'll talk." Giving Lacy a conspiratorial wink before turning back to her friend. "By the way, how's that old bastard anyway?"

"Ron? I expected him here already." Mark replied. "I think he was going to show up just in case your movie was a flop."

"I hope he does then….. I'm going to rub my box office hit right in his face." The two old friends fell easily into the light banter they had shared on many occasions. "What's this I hear about you getting into the business? You know, I don't need anymore competition especially from my friends."

Wanting to give them time to get reacquainted Lacy excused herself. "It was nice to meet you, Julie. Mark, pardon me a moment." With that, Lacy headed for David whose jealous gray eyes riveted on his girlfriend as she talked with Koda Kannon.

Dismissing the annoying man next to him, David waved off-handedly. "Tony, I don't have time now, okay?"

Tony Kussler yanked David by the arm. "We have a deal. Don't forget it."

Brushing the angry little man away, David retaliated. "Get your hand off me." Immediately, Tony let go. "I said I'll call you. Now, why don't you go find some bush to hide behind."

"This isn't over, David. I will get my…." Seeing Lacy approached, Tony cut short his vow. "Later."

"Nice company you're keeping these days, David." Lacy said.

"Oh, leave me alone." David returned his angry gray eyes to Hayston openly flirting with Koda.

"I'm surprised to see her out so soon after….." Lacy said.

Turning to his soon to be ex-wife, David quipped. "I could say the same about you…..surprised to see you come out…."

With pursed lips, Lacy ignored him. "We're going to my parents for Thanksgiving. With the kids there….Mom said you're welcome to come."

"How decent." When Hayston leaned in brushing her lips against Koda's ear as she whispered something, David seethed. "I'll let you know."

Lacy watched David's usually cool faćade, which he always kept in check, melt under the fuming angry steam emitting from the handsome producer. "Now, that's interesting." I don't think he was ever jealous when it came to me.

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

"Julie, you know my daughter, Kathy." Ron Griffen proudly introduced his offspring. "She's been working on my latest movie…."

"Hi." Griff said.

"Nice to meet you." Julie replied. "Following in your father's footsteps, I see."

"Yes. I am." Griff said as she glanced quickly around the room looking for a certain absent blonde.

"Don't try to snatch her up from me like you try to do with everyone else." Ron interjected. "Besides, she's set to work on Mark's movie in New Orleans." When Griff saw Lacy approached, she quickly made herself scarce. "Excuse me. I see Michael over there."

The sarcastic smile rooted on Lacy's face as the young redhead tucked her tail and ran was only noticed by Mark Calico. "I hope she didn't leave because of me."

"Oh, no. I think she's quite taken with that young man Jessop." Ron winked. "He's got quite a future ahead of him."

"Mmmmm." Julie mused while looking at Michael Jessop who was joined by Ron's daughter.

"Don't get any ideas, Julie. I've got him locked into an iron clad contract." Ron stated. Memo to myself…tomorrow have my lawyers draw up a contract for that young man.

"Excuse me, ma'am." Stella Smith interrupted.

"What is it, Stella? The kids…. they're all right?" A very concerned mother questioned.

"Yes, ma'am. Jessie finally went to sleep and her fever broke." Stella informed her boss.

"Thank God." Noticing her old friend's worried face, Julie explained. "She's been sick and her brother's been coughing all day. I was close to canceling the party except for Stella here." Wrapping a thankful arm around the nanny, Julie continued. "She's a godsend. Mark, you remember Stella Smith, don't you?"

Mark nodded.

"And this is Ron Griffen another old friend and Lacy Levine." Julie finished the introductions.

"Nice to meet you." Ron offered then excused himself. "I'm going to see what my daughter's up to."

"Hello." Lacy greeted the older woman absently staring at her familiar eyes. There's a warmth in them and very caring. "Oh, excuse me… you look…. something about your eyes…. I've….never mind. I'm sorry."

"Grandmother's eyes….. that's what the kids say anyway." Stella explained.

"Mark, Lacy, if you'll pardon me. I think I'll check on my kids." Julie hugged her old friend again before she left with the nanny.

"You ready to go?" Mark asked Lacy.

"If you want to stay, I can…."

"No way…. I don't want to get on Gage's bad side. If I let you go home alone… she'd…. well, it wouldn't be pretty." Mark teased.

"She has a bad side?"

"Only when it comes to protecting the ones she loves. Come on." Mark touched Lacy's back guiding her toward the door.

She only mildly protested. "I thought you might want to stay and get reacquainted with your 'friend'?"

The astute older man didn't miss the insinuation. "Julie was married to an old college buddy of mine and Ron's. That's how I know her." Recalling the day his friend Joseph talked with him about having children, Mark continued. "They were married for ten years before they had kids. Both obsessed with their careers. They have two of them…. Joe, Jr. he's…. sixteen and Jessie. She's fourteen now."

"He's not here tonight?"

A hesitate pause stilled the moment. "No, he's dead. Julie and Joseph… when they had kids…" Mark shook his head. "Things changed. Julie's career stalled wanting to be an… involved mother didn't compliment her career."

Pondering that statement, Lacy concurred. "I know all about that."

"As happy as they were with their children, Julie, actually both of them felt they'd given up something. Not that they'd traded the children for their careers but they lost something in their relationship to each other…. finally, they divorced. Two years later Joseph died. That's when Stella Smith came into their lives. When Julie says she was a godsend, she doesn't say that lightly. Stella put all the broken pieces back together again."

"Head of her own studio… I'd say she's doing rather well." Lacy stated.

"Yes, and women always pay the price for having a career and family that men never do." The very insightful man said.

"Mark." Lacy stopped the tall man. "That's what I'm afraid will happen with Gage. My life, my career, my…. children. She's giving up everything she's every dreamed up…. for me."

"Lacy, she's not giving up anything. Gage is finally getting what she always felt she never deserved. Talk to her… she's very honest in her feelings. Trust me." When Mark pulled the young woman in his arms, the sneaky Tony Kussler flashed his camera.

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

The next morning after Lacy left for the studio and the writer dropped Dani off at school, Gage searched for Mark finding him near the seawall as he gazed out at the ocean. "Thinking of her?"

Still looking out to sea, Mark smiled. "Yes. And you… you're thinking of Lacy, right?"

Gage nudged her friend. "We're both pathetic, aren't we?" Carefully eyeing her producing partner, the writer cautiously said. "I know Sharon's on your mind, but… what about Julie?"

Pulling the CEO from his musings about his dead wife, Mark turned to Gage. "I will always love Sharon…. always. And, no, I've never really given it a thought about Julie or any other woman for that matter. It still hurts."

"Twenty years is a long time, Mark."

Mark Calico chuckled. "Between you and Lacy's advice last night, it looks like I might have to give some consideration to another… woman in my life."

"Say…. Julie?" Gage poked her friend.

"Maybe." Mark capped the discussion with a change of subject. "Where's Derek?"

"I'd say right about now… he's completely soaked your ever loyal assistant."

"The pool?"

"Mmmm hmmm. The pool." Gage looked back over her shoulder.

Mark hooked his friend's arm. "Let's go see."

"By the way, I received a letter from your grandfather." Gage stated.

"I did, too. I gave him a computer but as he says 'the old fashion way…" Mark started.

"…is the best way." Gage finished.

"I plan to visit before I start shooting the film in February. Then I told him I'd spend all next summer with him. He refuses to come here."

"He invited me and Lacy. You told him about us?"

"He'd love it if you'd come. He's quite anxious to meet his 'grandchildren'. His words." Mark laughed. "You know, he thinks of you as his own flesh and blood, and with you and Lacy together that means Dani and Derek are his, too. He doesn't care who the father is…. but he definitely now thinks he's the grandfather."

"He would. I'll talk with Lacy about it." Gage assured him.

"May I give an old friend some advice?" Mark suddenly asked.

"Sure." Gage hesitated.

"You need to talk with Lacy and be honest."

"I am." Gage said adamantly then asked with the same determination. "What do you mean by that?"

"It's time to come clean, Gage. She deserves to know about your past…. all of it."

A deep sighed enveloped from the blonde. "I'd rather not go there."

Twisting the writer around squarely facing him, Mark insisted. "You have to resolve your feelings about the past in order to have a future with her. She has to know where you're coming from… and why. Doubt is the seed that has destroyed many wonderful things."

"She has doubts about us?"

"More like……" Mark walked arm in arm with his friend providing her with sound advice unlike the counsel he offered her regarding the feelings of a pregnant woman.

Chapter Fifteen

"Derek, come back here." Gage yelled after the little speeding daredevil.

"No." He shouted, running through the kitchen around the table and back to the living room finding refuge behind his sister. "Save me."

"Derek! I'm watching my favorite episode of mom's show." Her brother paid no attention to her warning, snuggling closer and finally wiggling onto her lap. "Mom, there you are. Look, Gage." Pointing to the television set. "Red hair."

Gage cocked her head at the screen. "Spiked, too."

"See. I told you." Dani stated firmly.

"Come here, sit down." Lacy requested of Gage.

Shaking her head. "I broke a glass in the kitchen. Chasing…" Derek peeked his dark head around his sister. "Him." When Gage walked back into the kitchen, Lacy followed.

"What happened?"

"Careful." Gage picked up the big shards of broken glass charily while Lacy grabbed the broom. As the blonde stood, Lacy absently handed the broom to her partner smacking Gage in the forehead. "Thanks."

"Oh, sweetheart. Come here." Lacy kissed the sore spot.

Gage swept up the remaining glass depositing it in the trash can then proceeded to mop the same area on the floor as Lacy watched. Handing the mop to the younger woman, Gage said. "Wait here. Don't let either one of them back in here." When Gage returned, she vacuumed the same spot over and over again.

"Sweetheart, what are you doing?"

"What? You know how Derek runs around with no shoes on and those little bitty tiny feet of his… he's liable to step on a piece I've missed." After Gage turned off the vacuum cleaner, she dropped down to the floor running her hand along it checking for any errant slivers of glass.

Amazed, Lacy watched her lover. God, I love that woman.

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

After putting the kids to sleep, Gage jumped into bed getting into position first fluffing the pillows and getting the covers exactly the way she liked them. "Okay, now I'm settled."

"Like every other night." Lacy crawled up against her lover.

"What do you mean by that?"

"Nothing." Lacy lay on her side form fitting the length of her body next to Gage. Lacy knew without even looking that her partner was pouting. "Sweetheart, it's nothing really."

"Ummmm hmmmm." Not convinced.

"Okay." Lacy shifted up to see Gage's face. "What's on your mind?"

"Nothing." She mirrored Lacy's words.

"Right." Not convinced. "Do you want to talk about it?"

"I don't know what you're talking about." Gage looked away.

"Gage…..I'm tired. But, if something is on you're mind then let's talk, okay?"

"Wouldn't want to keep you up?" Even Gage knew her tone dripped with caustic acid.

Lacy cocked up on her arm. "Do you mind telling me what is on your mind?"

"I said nothing."

"You can be so frustrating sometimes."

"When?" Gage scooted away claiming some distance between the two. "Are you talking about the other day on the movie set? I told you I was sorry. Are you going to hold that against me forever?" What started out to be a wisp of smoke soon blazed into a full head of steam.

"Where did that come from?" Lacy asked.

Gage crossed her arms determined not to look at her now seething partner.

"This has nothing to do with that. That's… forgotten." Lacy attempted to assure her lover. "Though something is on your mind and I want to know what it is." When Gage refused to respond, Lacy added. "Sometime tonight would be good."

As Lacy shifted her position moving near the edge of the bed, a frightened writer hurriedly tried to stop her. "Don't go." Gage pleaded. "I'm sorry." Gage bowed her head in shame then quietly whispered. "I love you."

The spiraling fury raging inside Lacy dissipated with those softly spoken words. "Come on… get settled again so I can lay down."

Gage quickly did as commanded then offered her opened arms. After Lacy slid down next to her lover, the blonde addressed her fear. "I thought you were going to leave me."

"No, sweetheart. Never. Why would you think that?"

"At the cabin, we never argued and now since we've been here…. well…." Gage trailed off along a path she wanted to avoid.

"It's called getting to know each other and it was just an argument. I really don't want to have them with you but it's not going to break us apart. I don't even know what we were arguing about." Lacy said.

Summoning up the courage Mark instilled in her from his counsel, Gage gently traversed the path down memory lane leading to her past. "Any other time there was fighting…. someone always left. I always left."

Lacy adjusted herself closer to Gage wrapping reassuring arms around her lover. "Do you want to talk about it?"

"Not really." Sucking in a deep breath. "I guess I should though."

Lacy leaned in planting a soft kiss on her lover's lips. "I'm here now or whenever you're ready."

Staring into trusting blue eyes, Gage said. "I really want to believe that. I really need to believe that."

"Trust me, sweetheart. I will always be here for you. Always."

Swallowing the fear that had festered for years, Gage let it surface as she laid securely wrapped in the comforting arms of her lover. "I've always felt…. rejected. First by my parents especially my mom. I don't know why but I blame her." Gage spared a quick glance to her partner. "I don't really think about my dad. It was my mom that carried me and…. left me. Ever since I can remember, I've been passed around like some second…. hand me down, worthless….. that nobody wanted. Nobody loved."

"I love you." Lacy wiped away the unshed tears brimming in the beautiful green eyes she'd come to love. So warm and caring.

"Lacy, I don't want to fight… ever. It triggers something in me, reminds me of what I went through. Can you understand that?" Overwhelming emotions welled up inside the very vulnerable woman lying completely exposed for the first time in over twenty years.

"I think I do. What were we fighting about anyway?"

"I talked to Mark and…. I told him about… Lacy, are you ashamed of me?"

Stunned, Lacy sat up. "No! What is going on inside that mind of yours?" Lacy tapped the blonde's head.

Gage turned away afraid to face her partner. "You didn't even ask if I wanted to go to that premiere with you the other night." A heavy sigh. "There I said."

Hooking a finger under her lover's chin, Lacy brought the writer's face around to meet her. "I didn't think you wanted to go with me. It being fancy and all."

"I guess I wanted you to ask." Gage admitted.

"And I guess I wanted you to offer." Lacy countered then smiled. "We are something, aren't we? Both concerned about what was best for other one and in doing so….. I didn't want to make you uncomfortable by dragging you with me…"

"I am never uncomfortable with you." Gage retorted.

Lacy continued without entertaining Gage's last comment. "And you didn't want to do anything to embarrass me…." Then quickly added. "Which you never would."

"Next time we talk, huh?"

"Next time we talk. But, right now I want you to make love to me."

It was a command to which Gage dutifully fulfilled many times over much to Lacy's complete and utter satisfaction. The reticent writer didn't reveal all of her past but it was a start. One she could journey into with Lacy by her side. Forever.

Chapter Sixteen

"Mark, I can't tell you how thrilled I am to be working on your movie. New Orleans, right?" Griff gushed.

Mark nodded impatiently waiting to be rescued. Where's Gage when you need her.

"You sure Gage isn't going to be on location too? Even for a little bit?" Griff hunted for any information about the sexy blonde's future agenda.

"No. Not even that." Mark replied wishing to avoid any further conversation with the over bubbling daughter of his friend.

"She's a great talent. I really wished she'd be there." The redhead hoped beyond hope. It was the only reason she had taken the job. After all, it was only a small production nothing major like the film they had just finished shooting.

"Well, she's not!" Lacy staunchly put an end to Griff's nosy questions about her woman. "She'll be with me. And you are right about one thing, Griff. She is verrry talented."

With a counterfeit grin pasted on her face, Griff said. "Excuse me."

Ron Griffen walked up as he daughter was leaving. "Where are you going, honey?"

"I need some air." I only need a little bit of time with a certain blonde and she'd soon forget about Miss tall, dark and smug.

Her father called after her. "Kathy, don't be too long." He wanted to introduce his carefree daughter to a couple of eligible men he specifically invited to the movie's wrap party. "Kids! Who knows what they're thinking."

"She is twenty-eight, Ron. Not quite a kid anymore. A woman with a mind of her own." Lacy said. With her mind squarely targeted at my woman.

"Nonsense." Dismissing his daughter for a moment, he directed his next statement to Lacy. "Speaking of a woman with a mind of her own. Lacy, I know all about this…… affair you're having. And…." Flipping an unapproving hand up in the air, Ron said. "I don't approve. But, it's your business. However… " Ron sucked on his cigar. "When your business interferes with mine and the release of this movie next summer is my business….let me get straight to the point, we can't have this….." Twirling a firm finger in the air. "Matter buzzing around the country keeping the audience away. Some people won't take this lightly and your career is….."

"My career is my business." Lacy interjected.

"Fair enough. Though some people won't be as understanding as….." Ron was cut off.

"As you are?" Mark asked smartly. "Come on, Ron, even you should know that your….."

"Mark!" Lacy silenced Mark from revealing his friend's daughter's persuasion regarding women. "Ron, I have no intention of parading my little affair as you call it around town or anywhere else. But, I will not hide the love I have for Gage. Savvy?"

"You're contracted to promote this film in the spring, Lacy. I don't want anything standing in the way of my movie's success."

"You mean profit." Lacy corrected him.

"That too." The big man hooked his thumb in his vest pocket. "There are some unsavory….. elements in society and I'm willing to overlook certain aspects of it. Don't let it be at my expense though or you may feel a squeezing tight hand around your pretty neck."

"Fuck you." Lacy spat.

"My, my… your parents must be proud of you." Ron snickered.

"You're an old friend, Ron. But don't go any further or you may discover some unsavory things about your family." Mark determinedly vowed.

"Okay, I'll back off. You have some very loyal friends, Lacy." Looking at his old college roommate. "I quelled Kussler for the time being about what happened on the set." Rubbing his thumb and fingers together indicating the cash payoff. "So keep it on the QT…just some friendly advice….. you might want to consider. Now, if you'll excuse me."

"There's no excuse for you." Lacy mumbled loud enough for the disappearing man to hear her. "To think, I used to like him. Oh, he's a dinosaur for sure but…."

"Sometimes it's hard to break away from something that's been ingrained in you from birth. He's so grounded in the physical aspects of life with all its boundaries and limitations that he can't see love for what it is…. limitless." Mark explained.

"You're around the same age. You don't."

"My parents….. raised me to believe that love is love no matter what package it arrives in." Smiling, Mark recalled when he announced to his prominent and well to do parents that he was going to marry Sharon Grayson, the daughter of poor immigrants. Instead of offering any signs of disapproval, they welcomed her with open arms. That reminds me, I need to check on her dead brother's son.

"Am I interrupting anything?" Gage asked.

Lacy pulled her partner closer. "Never. Just in time as a matter of fact. Where were you?"

"That Kussler guy is here. Michael and I were trying to find out what he's up to." Gage said before leaning closer and inhaling deeply. "God, I love the way you smell."

"What about me?" Mark asked with a wink.

"You too. Oh, I saw Julie out on the balcony. She looked like she needed rescuing." Gage hinted.

"I'm on it." Mark handed Gage his drink. "Take this."

Gage studied the wine glass for a few moments before sitting it down on a nearby table.

"You want something to drink?" Lacy asked.

"No. You?"

"I noticed you haven't drank anything…. alcoholic since the first party we were at."

"Neither have you." Gage countered.

"I'm pregnant."

Smiling. "I know and as long as you are…. neither one of us drinks. Okay?"

"I love you. You know that, don't you?" Lacy surrendered to her partner's benevolent wishes.

"Well, just keep remembering that. Here comes Mr. Adonis himself." Gage watched Koda Kannon strut toward them.

Grabbing Lacy's hand, Koda brought it to his vampire lips intent on seducing the reluctant woman. "Lacy, Lacy… the divine Levine. Here it is the movie's finished and we're left with…. unfinished business." Koda completely ignored the blonde standing next to the beautiful woman now in his sights.

Retrieving her hand, Lacy anchored it in the waiting port at the end of Gage's arm. Smiling at Koda, Lacy said. "There's no business like show business and that's the only business we'll ever engage in. Come on, Gage."

As Lacy passed the over confident, oversexed and quite drunk star he patted her behind. "How's that for a little show business?" Koda beamed from his overture.

Coming to an abrupt halt, Lacy's cool blue eyes flared at the unwelcome act. Preventing Gage from retaliating against the rude man, Lacy spun around taking one-step forward and grabbed Koda's crouch. Squeezing slowly with a vise like grip, Lacy caused Koda to ascend on his tippy toes, grimacing from her torturous gesture. "Well, it's showtime. Shall I continue?"

"No…no." Koda screeched several octaves higher than normal.

Watching from a few feet behind Lacy, Gage wore a satisfied smile. God, I love that woman.

Chapter Seventeen

A few days before Thanksgiving at Lacy's parents house, they celebrated Derek's fourth birthday with his father nowhere in sight. Having spent hours with his mother as they watched his favorite cartoon Derek was unconcerned. Yet Dani's usually exuberant personality was held in check favoring a more subdued attitude until Thanksgiving Day when her cousin came to visit with his new chemistry set. Both Dani and Derek stared intently as Jonathan dashed a pinch of yellow powder in the mixture causing it to foam over.

"I'm thirsty." Derek complained.

Ignoring her brother. "Hold on a minute, will ya, Derek? Jonathan…." She said excitedly. "Can I do that?"

Reluctant, he finally handed his younger cousin the powder. "Be very careful."

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

"You must love her." Lisa said as she cleared the table after the Lewis Thanksgiving feast.

Lacy walked around her sister as she placed several dishes in the dishwasher. "I do."

The shorter sister leaned against the counter. "And she must really love you… and the kids."

The older sibling twisted around, cocked her hands on her hips and asked. "Okay. What's going on? Why do you say that like it's…. something amazing?"

Lisa pulled back a chair and sat at the clean table. "I noticed when we started to eat that you asked Gage if she wanted you to fix her a plate…."

"Lisa, she does things for me too." Lacy felt the early signs of an up and coming battle about to ensue.

"No..no. It's not that. It's…." Lisa fondly remembered the incident. "She said she'd get it herself then helped Derek eat his dinner all the while watching his favorite cartoon. Like it was the most important thing in the world for her to do at that moment."

Lacy covered her sister's hand lying on the table. "That's Gage for you."

"Lacy, this thing with Gage and you… it's really going to last, isn't it?"

"Is that a needle about my first two marriages?" Lacy teased her sister then said seriously. "Yes… forever."

The shorter woman placed her hand over Lacy's and squeezed. "Good." Then Lisa carefully treaded down a path she'd been meaning to approach with her sister. "Though both Jason and David were absolutely gorgeous."

"They were.. are." Lacy confirmed. "Gage though… she takes my breath away. When I think of her, look at her… when she touches me." Lacy inhaled a very deep and satisfying breath as she thought of her lover in the next room having to fend for herself with the rest of the Lewis family as they watched football.

Seeing her sister practically salivate at the thought of the blonde, Lisa said. "All right, Lacy. I get the point."

Lacy laughed.

"So, you and Jason…and David." Lisa quickly added. "It's over… there's no going back."

"No, Lisa. No way."

"Even if Gage and you….."

"That's not going to happen." Lacy stated firmly. "Why all the questions?"

"Just wondering." Lisa turned away not wanting to reveal her true intentions regarding this subject. Lacy could read her too well if she allowed her sister to studied her hazel eyes. "You deserve the best….and it looks like you have it with Gage."

"I do. And, so do you, Lisa." Concerned now. "Is this about Chris James?"

"No. I haven't even heard from him since…. that day."

"Lisa, there is someone out there for you." Lacy assured her only sister.

"Mmmmm. But, he's out of my league. He still loves someone else. I'd only end up as second best." Lisa would not meet her sister's worried blue eyes.

"That is absolutely ri..dic…u… lous." Lacy enunciated the word with fervent belief to dispel her sister's low self-esteem.

"Ri…dic…u…lous." Dani repeated from the doorway. "You're the best." Dani scooted close to her aunt. "You're my godmother and that alone makes you number one."

Lisa hugged her niece. "Thank you. That means a lot coming from you."

When her aunt winked, Dani returned it. "Mom, Derek wants something to drink."

Lacy pulled a small carton of juice from the refrigerator then handed it to her daughter. "Here. Are you guys down in the basement?"

"Yep. Jonathan's got some new chemistry set. He's showing off." Dani turned to leave but spun around before she did. "Aunt Lisa, maybe you should get someone like mom did." Without another word, Dani hurried out of the kitchen returning to the basement where her eleven-year-old cousin promised to show her several other experiments.

Both sisters laughed at Dani's remark. "She's that good, huh?" Lisa asked.

"Mmmmm."

"I didn't know you were into women." Lisa quizzed.

"Not really. But I do love her." Lacy leaned in conspiratorially toward her sister. "If I could only make love to her once… just once or have sex on demand with all the great lovers of the world…." A broad lascivious smile beckoned with her next words. "I would take that night with her and……"

"As your father says TMI." Lynn stood behind her two conspiratorial daughters. "Sex talk at the kitchen table. I guess things never change. Come on, Crystal. You might as well get in on this, too." Lynn sat next to Lacy as her daughter-in-law took a seat along side Lisa.

A very timid shorthaired woman asked. "Is it really that good…. with her?"

"Crystal, it's the very best. It's about love not sex…." Lacy started.

"No sex!" Crystal exclaimed. "I don't know about you, Lacy, but… I've got to have it." Those adamant words spilled unchecked from her mouth. Stunned by this admission, the thirty-five-year old woman cautiously looked at her mother-in-law.

A few long decidedly awkward moments passed as each woman soaked in Crystal's revelation. Blue eyes shifted back and forth from hazel ones to meet her mother's hazel eyes then back to her sister-in-law's brown eyes. "So do I." Lacy finally said igniting an eruption of laughter from everyone seated around the table.

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

"Look at that. They had the ball….what are they doing?" Hank pulled his hair.

"I believe that would be called a…. fumble." Nate rubbed it in again now that his team had possession of the football. "Wouldn't you say so, Gage?"

"I should stay out of this. I don't know that much about football." Gage admitted.

Mumbling. "It figures." Denny sat off in the distance avoiding his sister's 'date'.

As the four Lewis men and Gage watched a football player take a hard hit during the next play, Dan grabbed his own knee. "Ooooo… I know how that feels."

"Is it hurting now?" Gage awkwardly left the older man's name out not knowing how exactly to refer to Lacy's father.

"Nah. When the weather's bad… a little." Dan added off-handedly.

"You should get that surgery like mom said." Nate offered with his eyes still glued on the game.

Hank jabbed his brother in the side. "Wanna bet she gets him to have it before…. say, next summer?"

Nate slapped his older brother's hand. "You're on. That's another fifty dollars I'll win from you…. easily."

"The game's not over yet." Hank hurled the youngest brother a grudging look. "Gage, you want to get in on the action?"

"No. Leave me out of this."

Mumbling again only louder, Denny tossed his two cents in. "If only we could."

At that remark, Dan flung his oldest son a silencing glare.

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

"Anyway, as I was saying. It's about love… making love. She takes me to places I've never been. A place where only true love can take you. It's not about technique. Oh, she's good." Lacy smiled then sucked in a deep shuddering breath with that thought. "Very good. And it's different than with men…."

The now unrestrained woman asked. "That's the part I want to know about. How?" The rest of the women at the table were no longer shocked as Crystal unleashed a barrage of questions. "I mean…. how do you do it not having the same…." Crystal rolled her eyes as if to say 'you know'.

"It's about the way she makes love to me. With love, reverence… as if I am the most precious thing in the world to her. It's the way she makes me feel…" Lacy's blue eyes flared. "She sets my body ablaze."

Thoughtfully, Lynn agreed. "I know what you mean."

"Mother!" Lisa exclaimed.

"Well, I do know what Lacy means. Honey…" Lynn reached across the table capturing her youngest daughter's hand. "You have got to go for it." Then Lynn supplied a knowing wink to Lisa.

Lacy recognized something transpire between mother and daughter and held her suspicions in check for the moment. "Gage made an interesting point the other day. She said that hate has no boundaries. You can hate anyone. But, with love…. we, as a society, put up boundaries.. limits in search of that ideal relationship. Look at David and me. Except for religious differences… we were seemingly perfect together. All the ingredients for a happy couple according to society. It was the same with Jason and yet neither one of them made me feel whole… made me feel loved." A tender soft look crossed her beautiful features. "No, only Gage does that for me. And, she loves me enough to change for me and not because I demand it or even ask it of her. Just because she loves me. Love is love no matter how it shows up in your life."

All heads nodded in understanding of Lacy's profound words including her daughter standing at the doorway waiting patiently to deliver the bad news. "Mom….ahhh…" Dani hesitated, scrunching her face. "Jonathan is crying in the living room."

"Why?"

"I… hit him?" Dani stated in a questioning way. Dani reluctantly followed the herd of woman from the kitchen mumbling. "Guess I've got some explaining to do."

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

With his crying son in his arms, Denny's face grew redder. "Is this the way your daughter acts now that….. that you're with her?" His angry brown eyes shifted from Lacy to Gage.

Inhaling deeply, Lacy pulled her daughter in front of her. Seeing that Derek was safe in the arms of her partner, she calmly asked. "Dani, what happened? Why did you hit your cousin?"

The frown on the young girl's face was unmistakable. "Because."

Lacy squatted in front of her daughter. Lifting Dani's chin, she prompted her again. "Because why?"

"Because of what he said. It wasn't nice." Then Dani declared. "And, it's not true."

Twisting around to her nephew, Lacy asked gently. "Just what did you say, Jonathan?"

Proudly, Jonathan recounted his words. "I said that she…." Pointing to Gage. "Was a freak and what goes on between the two of you is unnatural."

Crystal hauled her son from his father's protecting arms. "Why would you ever say that?" A revelation popped in her head. "Jonathan, where did you come up with that?"

Looking from his mother to his dad, their only child responded. "Dad said it."

Slowly standing, Crystal seethed glaring at her suddenly shrinking husband having never seen such a look of disgust on his usually placating wife's face. "Denny. I know how you feel and you can keep it to yourself." Looking back at her son. "Jonathan, go get your coat… but first I want you to apologize."

With the spotlight burning brightly on the young boy, he covertly looked to his father for a cue as what to do. Denny remained silent under his wife's hard stare. "Okay, I'm sorry. But, I don't know why."

Then Dani prompted by her mother spoke. "Me, too. I'm sorry for hitting you."

"Go on now, son. When we get home, we'll talk." Crystal pushed her son toward the door. She caught her husband with another angry glare. "We will not teach our son to be a…. bigot." Leaning in very close to her husband, she continued. "I am putting my foot down this time, Denny. Mark my words. Do not cross me on this one."

Astonished, Hank and Nate, never having seen their oldest brother cower before anyone except their parents, looked on in awe holding a newfound respect for their sister-in-law. The football game forgotten now that they had witnessed history in the making.

Continued in Part 5.


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