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 5 (Conclusion)

Chapter Eighteen

"I want that." Derek stubbornly pointed.

"What's it called?" Gage asked.

"Truck."

"What kind of truck?"

"A tonka truck." The now four-year-old said perfectly. Grabbing it, he ran to his sister who was plopped down on the floor trying to put on some skates.

"See. I told you." Gage shook her blonde head. "He says every word perfectly now except my name."

Squeezing her partner, Lacy said. "You know why that is, don't you?"

"No. Enlighten me."

"Oh, I'll do more than that. Later." Lacy whispered then added. "Devlin, on his favorite cartoon sometimes speaks funny especially when talking to his hero Gentry. The other day I was watching hours of it with him." A bright smile bloomed on her face as she remembered spending this sacred leisure time with her son on his fourth birthday a few days before Thanksgiving. "It dawned on me that Derek picked it up from watching the cartoon."

"But why does he still call me Jage?"

"Oh, he does that to annoy you." Lacy walked ahead leaving a frustrated blonde behind.

"Just like his mother."

"Gage?" A voice from behind called.

Spinning around, Gage greeted the doctor. "Dr. Charles. How are you?"

"Fine." Spying Derek over the blonde's shoulder, the doctor asked. "How's his speech coming along?"

"Perfect actually." Gage stared at her family for a long moment before turning back around to the doctor. "The sessions with you really helped."

"I only got him started on the program. It was you that made the difference." Dr. Charles smiled sweetly at the blonde.

When a possessive hand clamped down on Gage's shoulder, she heard. "I couldn't agree more." Lacy stepped beside her partner. "And, who may I ask are you?"

Uh oh. "Lacy, this is Dr. Charles." Gage introduced her lover to Derek's speech therapist.

Surprised, Lacy choose not to hide it. "I didn't know you were a woman." Then slowly twisted her head to her partner who melted under the intense heat.

"All my life." Dr. Charles said smartly knowing she was the source of uneasiness between the two women.

"Anyway, I'm Derek's mother. It's nice to meet you."

Refusing to extend her hand, the good doctor said. "Yes, it's nice to finally meet you."

Dani scrambled around her mother and Gage followed by a shorter version of his dad. "Oh, hi Dr. Charles. Are you here to get Derek a Christmas present? He really likes that truck."

"Dani!" Lacy said more firmly than she intended.

When Derek peeked around Gage to see the doctor, he stood erect and began the word list citing it in perfect order. "Please, laces, limos, ready, wrap, roses, get, good, cage, shell, sugar….." Adding one of his own he'd learned from Gage. "Shut-up….."

Placing a quick hand over his mouth, Gage said. "Good boy. But, that's enough." Then shrugged to Lacy and the doctor. "See… perfect."

"Yes… perfect." Dr. Charles eyed the tall dark headed woman. "I should be going now. Merry Christmas."

Wiggling her fingers in the air, Lacy wished the attractive doctor a fond and 'glad you're leaving' farewell. "You too."

Not waiting for Lacy to confront her, Gage suggested. "Why don't we buy these things and then do some more shopping say…… for rings?"

That certainly got Lacy's attention. "Good save."

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

"Mr. Levine, you have the most perfect daughter." Cindy Traven, the dance instructor, said. "She certainly makes the perfect little star for our Christmas show tonight."

Placing two hands on his daughter's shoulders, David Levine agreed. "That she does." Dani beamed upon hearing her father's words. "If you'll excuse us, I'd like to talk with my daughter a moment before she goes on."

"Of course. We go on in ten minutes." Mrs. Traven exited leaving father and daughter alone.

"Daddy, thank you for coming." Dani gazed up at her tall father. "See, I wore the earrings you gave me for my birthday."

"Ahh… yes. They really make you look beautiful… like a little angel."

Dani rolled her sparkling blue eyes appreciatively as she soaked in her father's compliment. "I love you, daddy."

David stooped down. "I hope you do."

Dani couldn't miss the sad look on her father's handsome face. "Of course, I love you. I love very much." She hugged her father.

"We don't get to see each other much anymore." David shrugged as if it wasn't his fault.

"Mom said you can see us anytime." Dani assured him.

"That's what she says." David grumbled knowing full well his daughter would pick up on the insinuation.

"What do you mean?" In a small voice, Dani asked with confusion.

"Nothing really. Your mother wants full custody of you." Her father shrugged. "You can choose though, Dani."

Carefully, Dani restated her father's suggestion. "Choose between you and mom." Dani backed up a step away from her father. "Mom said I never have to choose…. that I can love you both. She said no one would ever make me do it." She backed up even further sitting on a nearby chair, very glum now. "So I won't."

Hurriedly, David tried to make amends. "I didn't mean you had to choose between loving me or your mother but you can decide if who you want to live with." Dani pursed her lips giving her father a hard look. "It has to be…. weird…" David used one of his daughter's favorite words to describe his wife's present relationship. "With your mom being with another woman. Come on, Dani, it's not right."

The young girl's head rose slowly carrying with it a very serious look. "Ri…dic…u…lous."

"Now, listen here, Missy." David spat scornfully.

"No, daddy. You should listen to me." The brave nine-year old plotted her next words carefully. "I love you and mom and Derek and…. Gage. Love is love no matter how it shows up in you're life. Mom loves her and Gage loves mom right back. Gage loves us, too."

"Why would she love kids that are not her own?"

"Because she chooses to and…. because Derek and I are quite…. loveable." Dani added with a smile. "In the beginning, I didn't want to like her either but…."

"Oh, she can choose?"

"Who she loves…yes. But, she didn't ask me to choose between loving you and mom or even between loving you and her." Dani drove her point home hitting the bull's eye.

"That's not what I meant?" David retorted.

"Yes, you did, daddy." Dani jumped off the chair, hugging her father again. "I still love you. Now……" The young star straightened her dress. "The show must go on."

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

After the successful dance show, Dani joined her anxious family waiting for the young star as she filtered through all the people in attendance that complimented her on her performance. Dani graciously thanked each and every one.

When Mrs. Traven approached Dani's parents, she noticed a blonde holding Dani's brother. "Mr. and Mrs. Levine…." Cindy Traven gushed trying to score points with the powerful Hollywood couple. "She was amazing… a real star. But, of course, no wonder look who her parents are."

Proudly, David nodded then draped a long arm over Lacy's shoulder pulling her closer. "We think so. You know, my wife's pregnant again. And, this is our son, Derek."

"Congratulations. How far along are you?"

Lacy jerked back away from David positioning herself next to her partner. "Five months and thank you."

"Mom? How'd you like the show?" Dani sought approval from her mother.

Caressing her daughter's cheek, Lacy smiled. "You were wonderful…. but, you already know that." Lacy winked then tapped her daughter's nose.

"Absolutely, Dani. I couldn't have done it better." Gage added.

"Jeez, like I didn't know that." Dani teased then unexpectedly hugged Gage.

"Oh, it's so nice when the kids get along with their nanny." Mrs. Traven stated innocently about the blonde standing next to Lacy.

"She's not the nanny." Lacy said. "She's my….."

"Friend." David interjected quickly. Nudging Lacy, David glared at her.

You're right, David. There's no sense making a scene…. not here not right now. And you would, too. But, one day…. Turning to her lover. I hope you understand, sweetheart.

And Gage did, reading her partner's mind perfectly. "Why don't we go get something to eat?"

"Yes." Derek cocked his arm in the air. "Ice cream."

"Sounds good to me." Dani agreed then marched off leading the way. Adorning fans are one thing, but ice cream…. that takes the cake.

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

Two overexcited kids were swallowed up in all the shiny pretty papers as they ripped open gift after gift. Derek collected several trucks, cars, clothes and building blocks while Dani received CDs, clothes, earrings (the pierced kind), skates and an assortment of glitter glue, pens and markers.

"Thank you, mom…Gage." Dani hugged her mom first then Gage.

Derek waited his turn patiently. "I love you, momma." He kissed his mother's cheek leaving a very wet spot then climbed over onto Gage's lap. He shyly shifted his gray eyes back to his mother who nodded then said. "I love you, too…..Gage."

At the sound of her name being spoken perfectly, a deep shutter vibrated through the blonde's body welling up tears in her green eyes. Gage closed her eyes briefly soaking in the love Derek unconditionally gave her. "I love you, Derek, with all my heart." The unshed tears in her eyes glittered red, blue and green reflecting the Christmas lights on the tree as she looked lovingly at her partner. Gage mouthed a silent 'thank you'. She now knew the secret behind Lacy's diligent work with her son regarding his speech lessons. And, they had paid off, worth more than all the gold and diamonds in the world.

A wet kiss brought her attention back to the little boy on her lap. "Merry Christmas everyone." Derek giggled. Looking around the room to his mother, sister, Mark and Chance, he continued. "And Happy New Year." Suddenly, Derek jumped down off Gage's lap when he saw his sister reaching for his new truck.

"What are you doing for New Year's Eve?" Mark asked.

Gage spared a quick look at her lover. "Staying home with my family. You?"

"Oh, I thought I'd take Lacy's advice and ask Julie out. Griffen's having a big party." A bit embarrassed, Mark continued anyway. "Things are going pretty good with us."

"What did she get you for your birthday?" Gage asked.

"None of your business. I thought having my birthday on Christmas everyone would forget but…" Giving Lacy a knowing look. "That didn't happen."

"Oh, Mark, Julie already knew it. We did, however, come up with a few interesting things she could give you." Lacy smirked.

Looking at his friend, Chance, happily playing with the kids on the floor. "Chance would be happy to watch the kids if you wanted to double date that night."

Lacy ran a smooth hand along her lover's arm. "Thanks but we have plans."

Mark crunched his brows together in question.

"A tickle fight." Gage revealed their plans. "And, since she's going to have a baby, I'm sure I'll get the brunt of it."

Lacy kissed her lover. "And you wouldn't have it any other way."

Happy to see his friend happy, Mark said. "I think it's bedtime….. for me."

Waggling her eyebrows, Gage's green eyes gleamed. "Good idea."

After Mark and Chance left for the evening, Lacy herded her kids into their own perspective beds wishing them a goodnight. She unplugged the Christmas lights and strolled down the short hallway to her bedroom.

Gage was in bed already after having rearranged the pillows and covers exactly the way she liked them.

"Why do we even straighten the bed in the morning?" She stood in the doorway admiring her lover.

"Beats me. You just mess it up again every night." Gage opened her arms. "Come here."

Once Lacy molded herself around her lover, she kissed Gage soundly. "Thank you."

"Mmmmmmm." Gage returned the kiss. "I didn't expect the leather bound editions of my books. Thank you."

"I have one more thing for you." Lacy reached over Gage, pulling out the top drawer of the nightstand. She retrieved a small burgundy box. Handing it to Gage, she said. "Here. I love you."

Taking it, a playful smile rose on her face then Gage pulled a small box of her own from under the pillow giving it to Lacy. "And here's something for you."

Gage started to open the box when Lacy stopped her. "You remember our first night together… afterwards?"

"I do."

"Yeah, keep those words in mind, will ya?" Lacy scooted closer, peering into adorning green eyes. "What I said to you?"

"You said not quite asking… you are going to marry me." Gage gently brushed her lips to Lacy's. "And I said?"

"Anytime, anywhere, anyway." A hopeful look passed across the star's face. "You still mean it, don't you?"

"I do." Gage reassured her lover. "Lacy, I love you. Forever. Always. I want to be with you… only you."

"Open it then." As Gage revealed what was in her box so did Lacy. A beautiful gold ring circled with diamonds that matched the sparkles in Lacy's eyes. "Here. Put it on me."

Gage carefully placed the ring on her lover's finger. It was a beautiful ring, the blonde thought but it didn't compare to the beautiful woman now wearing it. "You do me. Here."

I'm going to do you all right. "Later." Lacy took the ring she'd bought for the partner and placed it on Gage's finger. It matched her ring perfectly, which surprised Lacy but not Gage. When they were shopping for rings, both shoppers hinted about which ones they liked but decided to make their individual selections on their own.

Lying back in each other's arms, they admired the rings. "I am the luckiest person in the world, Lacy. Everything is perfect. You..me…the kids and this one." Gage rubbed her partner's swollen stomach. "Do you think it'd be okay if we…"

Lacy flashed her fire blue eyes smoldering now from anticipation. "Come here." They shifted on their sides molding their heated bodies together. The dark haired woman's ran her hand the length of her lover's back sending shivers through Gage which only caused her to move even closer. "We can't seem to get close enough. I want you inside me." Lacy purred as limbs tangled in pursuit of that very wish.

Gage locked onto willing lips brushing her tongue against them asking and gaining entry. Tongues fought for domination in a battle of heated desire enflaming their already overexcited bodies. Sucking in a quick deep breath after she broke away from the kiss, Gage declared. "I love you." Then drove in for another soul-searching exchange. Deep, probing, exploring and very stimulating as she felt a pool of moisture well between her legs. She jumped when Lacy's hand found purchase there.

"Let me return the favor." Gage slipped her hand between her lover's legs finding a warm and wet nest for her to play. Carefully the blonde maneuvered her lover slightly back so she could slide her thigh between Lacy's legs adding pressure to the already busy hand happily rooted there.

Moaning, Lacy exhaled a satisfied shutter. "Mmmmmm. I love that." The younger woman temporarily left her playground to stroke Gage's firm backside, which drew the expected grateful response.

"God, Lacy, you know that distracts me." Gage smiled approvingly.

"That's why I did it." Again, she squeezed her partner's very sensitive backside causing an even more appreciative groan from her lover.

Leaving a trail of hot kisses down Lacy's neck, Gage paused long enough to suck lightly near the star's collarbone several times. Being one of Lacy's favorite tactics, Gage felt the deep moan escape her lover's throat before she said. "Paybacks."

Lacy husked. "I do love paybacks." Returning her hand to her favorite playground, the star did her magic on her lover and only paused once when Gage suckled feverishly at her breast. "God, sweetheart, don't stop."

Neither woman did as they spent the rest of the night trying to out do each other. When all was said and done, the lovers were left satiated completely both waking with a satisfied smile.

Chapter Nineteen - February

The tall dark-haired star walked back out on the patio to a waiting blonde near the Jacuzzi. "Has everyone left?"

Turning around Gage did a double take gazing at the sexily posed woman standing in the doorway wearing only a robe. I hope. "Mmmmm. Just the two of us."

As Lacy walked forward she untied the cloth belt allowing the robe to split open slightly, she watched her lover stain to get a better view. "See something you like?"

"Mmmmm hmmmm. Hopefully more…soon." Wigging her eyebrows seductively, Gage continued. "Why don't you come here?"

Now standing in front of the blonde, Lacy removed the robe letting it drop to the ground to reveal her red bra and matching thong. "Not quite what you expected, was it?"

Wrapping her arms around her lover's waist, Gage kissed the swollen stomach. "It's everything I could have hoped for and more." With her blonde head leaning against Lacy, Gage felt the baby kick. "Wow… he's going at it today." Looking up. "Are you tired?"

"Hmmm." Lacy sat down in the lounger then leaned back. "This is nice."

"Can I get you anything?" Lacy shook her head and reached for the bottle of cocoa butter. Taking it from her, Gage squished some in her hand. "Here, that's my job." Gently rubbing the lotion over her partner's belly. "Mark called while you were changing. He wanted to know how the shoot went."

Lacy had just finished filming a public service announcement at Mark Calico's request to aid underprivileged children of the world. "Everything going okay with the movie?"

"Hmmmm. The director giving a bit of a hard time I gathered."

"Hugh Hayes. That doesn't surprise me. He directed a few episodes of my show."

"Mark wanted to thank you for doing this PSA today." Gage ran her smooth hands over Lacy's exposed stomach relishing in the pure bliss reflected on her lover's face. "You're beautiful." Leaning in, Gage kissed her. "And, I love you."

Lacy touched her partner's cheek. "You sure you don't want to go to New Orleans….sounds like Mark could use your help?"

Kissing her lover again, Gage replied. "No. I'm where I want to be. Besides, if he needs me I'll be there."

Admiring the ring on her finger as Gage continued with the welcomed sensual assault on her body, Lacy asked. "How long are we going to live here?"

The blonde jerked up quickly looking at Lacy. "You don't like it here?"

"No, that's not it. But, after the school year…. we haven't really talked about it… yet. Or when we're getting married." Lacy turned her head away after that last sentence.

Smiling, Gage hooked a finger under her lover's chin pulling it back around to her. "Now that you're divorce is final we could do it anytime really. I was thinking after the baby was born… this summer. Mark said we could have it here."

"Sweetheart, would you mind if we…." Lacy hesitated.

"Go on. What is it?" Allowing a small bit of fear to raise its ugly head.

"My dad…. always wanted one of us to be married in his garden behind the house. It would make him so happy. Besides, with Denny getting them a computer and throwing it in my face. He hasn't even hooked it up yet. My brother would never be able to out do this… and….."

"That would be perfect."

"When Jason and I married, I was pregnant. It was a rushed civil service. With David more like a production than a wedding." Lacy spilled out not paying attention to her partner.

"It's perfect." Gage repeated.

"I've always wanted something simple yet….Sweetheart, you did say anywhere, anyway." Lacy pinned her lover against the vow Gage made to her.

"Lacy, I said it would be perfect." Gage kissed her. "As long as you're there anywhere is fine with me. But, I'm not wearing a dress." Lacy cocked a perfectly sculptured eyebrow. "Uh, uh, uh…" The blonde cautioned her lover on this point of contention. "Now, relax, will you? You've tensed up."

Long moments passed with both lovers relishing the connection between them as the blonde stroked her caring hands over the unborn baby's temporary home. "Seven months. Wow." Gage stared in wonder as she continued rubbing the cocoa butter on Lacy's smooth stomach.

"You look so fascinated by it." Referring to her swollen belly.

"It's what's in there, Lacy. It's hard to believe….that a baby is growing inside. I don't know it so…so sexy." Gage continued her loving exploration across Lacy's skin dragging her fingers ever so lightly against it as the dark haired woman basked in her lover's touch.

"You're driving me insane here woman." A small laugh expelled. "Surely, sweetheart, you've seen other pregnant women?"

"Hmmm…. but not one that belonged to me and definitely not this close-up." Gage winked at her lover. "I love him already."

"Sure it's going to be a boy, huh?" Gage nodded her head remembering her partner's insistence at not knowing the sex of the baby claiming she wanted to be surprised. "As long as he's healthy."

"Oh, he will be. You are and… his father's… as much as I hate to admit it, he's a…." Rolling her slightly envious green eyes. "Pretty healthy specimen." Then when Gage leaned down brushing her lips against Lacy's belly, kissing it, off in the distance, she heard several very faint clicking sounds. Popping her head back up searching the open grounds, she asked. "Did you hear that?"

Amazed by her partner's tender display of love for her unborn baby, Lacy pulled Gage down. "Come here you."

Lost in the powerful feelings erupting from the passionate kiss she exchanged with her lover, Gage never noticed someone escape in the distance wearing a very satisfied smile.

Chapter Twenty - March

"Happy birthday, Lacy." Gage kissed the birthday girl.

"Mom, did you like my present?" Dani asked.

"Yes, it was wonderful." Her daughter presented Lacy with a very special dance performance Dani worked up on her own. Tapping her daughter on the nose, she forecast the future. "You're an excellent choreographer, too."

"Momma, what about me?" Derek scaled his mother planting himself squarely on her lap. "You like mine?" He blew the whistle he'd inherited from his sister and now presented to his mother.

"Honey, I love it."

"Derek, what about this?" Gage handed him a large piece of paper.

"Give me." Derek offered the drawing to Lacy.

A beaming smile rose on the mother's face. "It's beautiful."

"You, too, momma." Derek pointed to the facsimile of his mother on the drawing he'd spent over an hour working on with the help of his hero. "There's me….and Dani." Then he pointed purposely to the last figure on the paper. "Gage." Smiling triumphantly, Derek shook his head proud of himself.

Kissing her son, Lacy spared the drawing another glance. "We'll have to hang this someplace special."

"Mom, we should get a frame for it." Dani scooted between the two adults. "Maybe next week when my school's on break. I've been thinking about what we should do." When the telephone rang, Gage answered it as Dani continued with her thought. "Swimming is definitely on my list…." Dani eyed her mother's huge belly. "Maybe not for you. That won't stop Derek and I though."

"Being eight months pregnant does not stop a woman from going swimming."

"I'm going to swim, too, momma." Derek definitely would not be left out of any family activities. "Right now?"

"No, honey. Later." Lacy carefully watched Gage's demeanor change as she talked on the telephone. "Dani, why don't you and Derek change… swimming might be a good idea about now." Both children bolted at the suggestion. "In the Jacuzzi though." Lacy yelled after them. When her partner flopped down beside her, Lacy asked. "Gage, sweetheart, what's wrong?"

"That was Mark."

"Problems?"

Rubbing her temple, Gage nodded. "Sorta… Mark's dead brother-in-law…well, apparently he's alive. Mark needs to return to New York and find out what's going on."

"Oh. Is there anything we can do?" Lacy asked.

Reluctantly. "I really should go there… to New Orleans."

"I see." Lacy confirmed. "When are you leaving?"

"Lacy, I don't know how long this will take. Maybe you and the kids can

fly down next week…." Touching her partner's stomach. "If you feel up to it."

"I thought there might be problems with the director, Hugh." Lacy held a sinking feeling in check.

"Yeah, he's been giving Mark some grief on top of it." Leaning her head against Lacy's temple. "I don't want to go without you."

Ducking in for a quick kiss, Lacy steeled her resolve. "You have too. It won't be for long….the kids and I will come down next week. And, how bout I call Ryan. He can go with you…. just in case." Her good friend, Ryan White, the seasoned producer and director could provide her novice partner any required assistance Gage may encounter. And, keep an eye on things. Her jealous mind wandered to a certain redhead working on Mark Calico's movie.

"Thank you." Gage kissed her partner soundly. "I'll go get packed."

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

Alone in bed and after several restless nights without her lover's soothing presence, Lacy tossed again trying to find a comfortable position. When the shrill ring of the telephone permeated the air early Saturday morning, Lacy sighed in relief. "Maybe it's Gage. Hello." The sound of the irate voice on the other end of the telephone caused a heavy sigh to expel from the extremely fatigued woman. "Ron."

"Lacy, I'm having them delivered to your doorstep. I want you to see exactly what could destroy my picture and if it does….. there will be a lawsuit. I don't want to have to shelf this movie."

"Ron, calm down a minute. What could be that bad?" Lacy rolled her distressed blue eyes.

"You'll see." With that, Ron hung up the telephone and the doorbell rang.

The messenger shoved an armful of tabloid papers in Lacy's face. Plastered on the cover was a picture of Gage kissing the star's bare stomach. Inside a full photo layout of Gage and Lacy sharing an intimate moment on their patio. That's what Gage heard that day. My God. Someone was here lurking around after the photo shoot taking pictures. There was also a picture of her and Mark sharing a hug at the party they attended together. One of the captions alluded to a threesome between Lacy, Gage and Mark.

As the telephone rang off the hook from inquiring reporters, Lacy packed their bags. She'd tried to call Gage several times to no avail. Finally, reaching her mother, Lacy arranged for a limo to pick her and the kids up to catch a plane home. The star instructed Mark's housekeeper as to where she could be reached when Gage called. As the limo passed through Mark Calico's estate gates, a horde of reporters flashed their cameras shouting questions upon questions at the departing star.

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

Gage called that night only to find out that Lacy had suddenly returned home. Punching in the numbers to the Lewis household, the blonde waited patiently. I wonder why she went back home. "Hello…Nate?"

"No, it's Denny. Who is this?" Denny asked even though he knew perfectly well it was Gage.

"It's Gage. Is Lacy there?"

Denny plugged in the last electrical cord to his parent's computer. "No, she's out."

"How bout Lynn or Dani?"

"No one's here. Listen, I've got to see if this computer will hook up to the internet so….."

"Hold on… hold on a minute. Do you know where she is?"

"My parents took the kids out and my sister's…. out with Jason." Well, it isn't really a lie. My sister is out with Jason…. Lisa that is.

"Denny, would you please tell Lacy I called." Gage pleaded with the irascible man.

Denny grunted. "Bye." Hanging up, Denny never gave her request another thought.

Heavy shoulders dropped in frustration as Gage hung up the telephone. She turned when Ryan spoke.

"Problems?"

"Too many of them." Gage plopped down in the nearby chair exhausted from four days of non-stop problem solving. After Gage and Ryan arrived in New Orleans, they quickly took stock of the situation and realigned the chaotic production schedule. In the one day after Mark had departed for New York, the egotistic director rearranged the schedule causing havoc with the cast and crew. Having fired Hugh Hayes, Ryan took over as director much to Gage's relief. "Lacy went back home. I don't know why."

Ryan squeezed her shoulder. "I'm sure it's nothing. Come on, let's get some rest."

"What about reviewing what Hayes already shot?" The reluctant producer asked.

"It's late. Tomorrow's another day." Pushing Gage forward, they walked off into the dark night.

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

Frustrated, Lacy slammed the telephone down once again unbeknownst to her that a certain interested party intercepted her repeated attempts to contact Gage. "I can't get in touch with her."

After the younger woman sat, Lynn soothed her daughter's hand. "She'll call."

"This is such a mess." Lacy dumped her head in her hands leaning on the kitchen table. "And I don't feel well at all."

"You're tired. We shouldn't have gone shopping yesterday. I only wanted you to get your mind off things…. and with going to church this morning…"

Offering her mother a genuine but weak smile, Lacy said. "It helped mother. It really did."

"She loves you, Lacy."

"I know that….. it's everything else."

"Do you really think Mr. Griffen will file that lawsuit you told me about?"

"There's nothing in the contract regarding my personal life in conjunction with how well a movie does. Thank God for my agent. He's always watching out for me."

When the telephone rang, Lynn rushed to answer it. "Hello. Oh, hi. Yes, hold on." Handing the telephone to her distraught daughter. "It's David."

"Hello David."

"Lacy, honey, is there anything I can do?" David asked sincerely. "I talked with Ron and he's just blowing hot air. You know how he is."

"He can go to hel….." Looking at her mother, Lacy amended her statement. "Wherever as far as I'm concerned." Suspicious of her ex-husband's motives, she asked. "David, why did you call?"

"Heard Gage is in New Orleans…… you do know Griff's there, too?" David weaseled in the actual purpose behind his call.

"Thank you, David. That's the one thing I needed to be reminded of." Ending the conversation, Lacy's eyes welled up in tears. "He's such a bastard."

Lacy then explained to her mother the real reason behind her tears.

"Lacy, I'm only going to say this once….go get your woman." Her mother ordered.

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

Gage and Ryan spent the better part of Sunday reviewing film and fine-tuning the remaining schedule. With weary eyes, Ryan suggested. "Why don't we go back to the hotel room? I've got some calls to make about these schedule changes before tomorrow."

Grabbing the last donut out of the box, Gage replied. "No. I want to look at that one scene again. I don't like how it plays. Maybe I could make some script changes…. it just doesn't fit anymore. It's supposed to be a murder…. the way it is now it's more like self-defense."

Shaking his head, Ryan smiled. "Trust me. Everything will work out. It's really all in the editing."

"You go ahead. I think I'll try to call Lacy again." Gage watched the director who was proving to be an invaluable friend leave. "Well, let's roll this up again one more time." Gage hit the play button. As she scrutinized the scene carefully, the novice producer didn't hear someone enter behind her taking up residence in the dark room.

"Gage." A soft voice whispered.

Jerking the writer from her task, Gage spun around squinting her seeking green eyes trying to see who called her name. "Lacy?"

"Close." The dark figure stepped out of the darkness into the light revealing a shock of red hair.

Tired shoulders slumped. "Griff. What are you doing here? It's late."

"I could ask you the same thing." The younger woman stalked her prey, circling halfway around the blonde.

Gathering a few items, Gage stood. "I was just leaving."

"Wait." Griff pressed her hand to blonde's chest causing both of Gage's eyebrows to shot up. "Oh, don't worry. I came here to apologize. Back in LA. You know, in Lacy's trailer. When she came in I… panicked."

"Mmmmm Hmmmm. Right." Gage backed further away. "Why don't we forget about it?"

Stepping closer, Griff purred. "That's just it. I can't. You see, I'm…."

"In love with me?" Gage filled in the blank.

Griff scrunched her face, sucking in a short breath. "More like in lust with you. You are one fine woman, Gage. And she doesn't appreciate it like I would. Believe me, I could make you squirm…." Sumptuous green eyes flared. "Deliciously under my touch."

Gage would swear later that cat-like fangs sprang from her claws. "No, thank you. I get all of that from someone else and much, much more."

When the overheated woman lunged for Gage, she didn't hear someone enter the dark room taking up residence directly behind her. It was the iron clamped grip on her shoulder that made Griff take notice. "Hey."

Spinning the surprised woman around, Lacy growled. "Leave my woman alone."

Griff wiggled away from the strong woman's grasp. "What are you going to do about? The way I see it. She's up for grabs…. and to the victor goes the spoils." Glancing at Lacy's body. "You not exactly in your prime or the best shape for that matter."

Gage would have intervened but she knew one thing the poor young woman standing in front of her didn't but was about to learn. Never and I mean never mess with Lacy when it comes to protecting her family.

With predatory grace, Lacy circled her prey allowing her ferocious blue eyes to scathe the shorter redhead's slender body. "Oh, you may have something to offer. You might even be good at it. But, you will never take what's mine. There's no competition here. Not even close." Suddenly feeling a little sorry for the younger woman, Lacy said. "You could never even comprehend the kind of love we have." Lacy stalked forward backing Griff toward the door.

Losing ground quickly, Griff threatened. "I'll tell my father."

"You do that little thing and then a little bird may reveal that his daughter's gay. He wouldn't like that now, would he?"

"You'd do that, too." Griff spat unaware that Lacy had once prevented Mark from telling this very thing to her father.

"And, one more thing. You're father is in an uproar about some pictures of Gage of me. I suggest you quiet him down about it, Griff…. for your own good." Lacy's suggestion brooked no argument from the retreating woman.

After the frightened girl left, Gage walked up behind her lover wrapping arms around Lacy. Kissing her shoulder, the rescued woman declared. "I love you."

"You better." Swinging around, now facing her lover, Lacy suggested. "You've got a room, don't you?" Gage nodded. "Then let's put it to good use." Lacy kissed her woman for all it was worth relaying her message about what the two of them would be doing all night. At least as much as an eight month pregnant woman could muster and Lacy was willing to give it her best shot.

I guess Ryan will just have to do without me tomorrow. Walking out the door, Gage asked. "What pictures?"

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

"Mrs. Grant, when will Mr. Calico be back in town?" Stella Smith asked her employer.

Shuffling through some papers, Julie Grant replied off-handedly to her children's nanny. "I don't know he had some personal business to attend to in New York."

Shaking her head, Stella walked back out the door then closed it. She looked once again at the tabloid. I wonder what that means 'special friend'.

Chapter Twenty-One - April

"Wait…wait….now push." The doctor ordered.

Scrunching up in the bed Lacy pushed hard along with the contraction. "Uhhhhhhhhhh……" Lacy grunted before easing back into her partner's arms. Perspiration soaked the expectant mother's face and hair.

Gage brushed warm lips against the side of her partner's temple. "I love you." Then blotted a dry cloth to absorb the moisture on Lacy's face.

"Mmmmm Hmmmm." Lacy's only response.

Anxiously, David shifted around to see the birth of his third child. "Lacy, I can see it…." Cocking his head to one side then asked the doctor. "That's the head, isn't it?"

Ignoring the excited father, the doctor assured her patient. "One more, Lacy, and that should do it."

Whispering against her lover's temple, Gage quietly said. "You hear that? One more. You can do it." Although I don't know if I could.

With one final push and Gage supporting her from behind, Lacy delivered into the world her second son. Exhausted yet beaming with pride, Lacy fell back into her partner's arms.

The doctor quickly checked and cleaned the baby before placing him on his mother's deflated stomach. "Here. A healthy baby boy."

Lacy pulled her baby closer. The radiant woman smiled from ear to ear as she gazed in wonder at the newborn life she'd just given birth to. "Gage look. He's perfect."

"Mmmmm…. yes, he is." Again, Gage brushed her lips against her partner's head. "Just like you."

David reached out. "Can I?"

Lacy lifted her son to his father. Taking the baby in his arms, a smile rose on David's face then letting it fall just as fast suddenly feeling a sense of emptiness about the baby Hayston lost. "What are you going to call him?" He asked his ex-wife while still looking at the tiny baby in his arms.

The new mother spared her partner a quick look then said. "David Samuel."

Nodding, David replied. "Thank you." That simple gesture washed away several layers of animosity David held against Lacy and her lover. "Lacy, I know we've talked about custody and everything and my contesting it." Looking back at his innocent son, David thought of his other two children. "I want to be in their lives though."

"That was never in question, David." Lacy assured him.

Then David did something totally unexpected of him. He walked around the bed. "Gage. I guess you were a part of this……" Letting the words die on his lips, he handed his son to Lacy's partner.

Gage accepted the gesture holding the tiny bundle of joy in her arms offering her rival a silent 'thank you' then turned to Lacy. Shifting her eyes back and forth between mother and son. "I love you both." As the blonde planted warm lips against the shock of dark hair on his little head then did the same to her partner, David backed away silently intent on finding his absent lover, Hayston Rawlings.

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

Lacy, Gage and the three kids huddled together in the huge bed in their guesthouse on Mark Calico's LA estate. "Be careful, Derek." His mother advised him.

Derek pulled at his one-week-old brother trying to hold him. "I want to hold him."

"Me, too." Dani echoed.

"That's all the two of you have been doing all week." Gage said.

"But he's awake now…. most of the time he's sleeping." Dani protested.

The profoundly fatigued mother and her equally tired partner shared a knowing look about Lacy's new son's sleeping habits. Lacy reached over giving Gage a sweet kiss. Over the last week, Gage dutifully fulfilled every requirement she could in order to help the new mother with her baby.

Since Lacy refused to give up holding the baby, Dani opted for another avenue of fun. "Tickle fight!" The young girl ensued in the endeavor whole-heartedly with Derek following suit only to be thwarted as soon as they had started.

"No..no, no!" Gage commanded. "We don't want to hurt the baby."

"He's more trouble than he is fun." Dani pouted, crossing her arms and again her brother followed her lead.

"Come over here, Dani. You too, Derek." Both children obeyed their mother's wishes. After they settled next to each other on her right, Lacy placed David Samuel on both their laps allowing them to hold the bright blue-eyed baby. Then she leaned back into her lover's arms letting out a deep sigh of fatigue.

Nuzzling her earlobe, Gage said. "I love you."

Wrapping her lover's arms around her, Lacy replied. "Me, too." Happy and content, Lacy watched her three children as the two oldest kids made faces and sounds trying to get the baby to smile. It doesn't get any better than this.

Chapter Twenty-Two

The next two months flew by with the happy couple making plans about where they were going to live and now that Dani was out of school for the summer, Lacy and Gage talked about their upcoming wedding and honeymoon. But, before any of that could take place, Lacy was scheduled for several interviews for the upcoming release of her new movie scheduled to be out in a couple of weeks.

"Lacy, it's too soon. You just had the baby. You can't be gallivanting all over the countryside making appearances. I know you're still exhausted." Wearing an overt frown, Gage crossed her arms.

"Are you telling me what to do?" Lacy asked.

"No, I would never tell you what to do. But, I would do everything in my power to convince you if I thought it was for your own good." Gage admitted.

"Sweetheart, I know you're concerned about me. It's part of my deal with the movie though." Lacy placed her nearly two-month-old son in his crib before returning to her pouting partner. "Could it be that you're concerned…"

"Jealous." Gage supplied the word her partner truly meant.

"About my making several appearances with Koda." Lacy finished.

Allowing her woman to settle next to her on the bed, Gage shrugged. "Not really. After what you did to him at the wrap party, I doubt he'd want to get within ten foot of you." Smiling. "I did enjoy that though."

Laughing. "I imagine it did make an impression on him."

Turning to Lacy, Gage voiced her real concern. "You remember after you had Derek, and you went back to work too soon…..it took a toll on you. Don't deny it, Lacy. You told me it did."

Exhaling a deep breath, Lacy remembered David's insistence about getting back to work. "That was six weeks… it's been almost eight since the baby was born. And I went back to work doing stunts…. much more physical activity than sitting for a few interviews. It'll be okay."

"Fine." Gage agreed. "But the kids and I go to."

Kissing her caring lover, Lacy said. "I wouldn't want it any other way."

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

Crossing his legs, Koda shifted uneasily in the chair as he remembered his last encounter with Lacy Levine. This along with other factors motivated him to embellish the facts he was about to reveal to the nosy reporter, Tony Kussler.

"And you now admit that you and your co-star, Lacy Levine, had an affair?"

Smiling. "That's exactly what I'm saying."

"Just during the movie or was it going on before? Lacy did give birth recently. Could it be…."

"No!" Koda cut off the flamboyant reporter. The thought of another pregnancy ran perilously through his mind. "I had nothing to do with that."

"Why bring all this out now? Is it because your new movie is about to be released?" Tony quizzed.

Damn you, Griffen. Lacy wasn't the only one who had the trapped star by the shorts. "We were in love. I think that still may be true…. in some ways." Koda reluctantly admitted. The Casanova always did fall for his leading ladies at least until he bedded them. Since this didn't happen with Lacy, Koda's infatuation with the beautiful and talented star still lingered.

"This doesn't have anything to do with dispelling the rumors about Lacy and her female 'partner'? After all, this is a romantic comedy. You wouldn't want the audience to stay away from it." Tony dug deeper into the advantageous exclusive interview set up by his friend.

You sure don't stay bought, do you? Griffen will be pissed. "You know all about rumors Tony. It's Hollywood. They come and they go. People will go to any lengths for a cover story….."

"Not people…the media. But, I didn't break the story about Lacy's special relationship. It was one of those tabloids." A barracuda smile bit sharply as he thought he evaded Koda's insinuation.

Tapping a long finger to his lips, Koda consciously delivered a direct hit. "You did work for them once, didn't you? It was the same tabloid that fired you when you lost a major interview?" Koda wasn't expecting an answer and didn't get one.

Ending the interview abruptly, Tony seethed. I'll have to do some major editing on this. You haven't heard the last of me Koda, you or Lacy.

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

After the interview on the talk show was over, Lacy yanked Koda off to the side. "Just what do you think you were doing?"

Koda shrugged. "It's called…." Using his fingers as if quoting. "Selling our picture."

"More like deception." Lacy countered referring to Koda's continued subtle insinuations that they had an affair.

Squirming again under Lacy's verbal assault, Koda admitted.

"Okay, I embellished it a little."

"Out and out lied more like it. Koda, you fix it and make sure it stays fixed." Lacy ordered.

"All right. God, between you and Griffen, I'll be glad when this whole thing is over." Running his hand through his unruly light hair, Koda tried to make amends with his fuming co-star revealing to her a very guarded secret about a certain vindictive reporter.

Gage walked up with the kids in tow then escorted the simmering star to the guest's dressing room. "Excuse me, Lacy. I'll be right back." Closing the door behind her, the determined blonde marched the short distance to the other guest dressing room opening the door without knocking.

Spinning around quickly, Koda noticed his uninvited guest. "Oh… it's you."

"Caught you with your pants down, I see." Gage perused the long muscular legs of the surprised actor.

A devilish smile carried with it an inviting wink. "See anything else you'd like to catch…. cause I'm not running."

"Not from what I heard. My friend, Mark, told me Griffen has you by the balls. I'm not sure about what but whatever it is causing you to lie about Lacy….."

Holding up a stilling hand. "Save it. I've already been read the riot act." Gage nodded knowingly. "A little piece and quiet that's all I need."

"Really. And I thought you just needed to get laid." Gage disappeared leaving the frustrated man standing all alone.

Flopping down on the sofa, Koda groan. It has been a while.

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

"Mr. Calico, Mrs. Grant will be down in a minute." Stella Smith informed her employer's date. Hesitant, Stella asked. "You're going to Miss Levine's new movie?"

"Yes." The eagerly waiting man smiled. "She's a good friend of mine."

"Could I ask you a question?" She cocked an inquiring brow.

"Sure, Stella. What is it?" Mark watched the nanny walk across the room then remove a newspaper from the top desk drawer.

Shoving it at him, she asked. "Who's that with Miss Levine?"

Recognizing the tabloid, Mark scanned the caption under the picture of Lacy and Gage. "Gage Ballant."

"Is she a friend of yours, too? It says you make movies together." Stella inquired.

"Very much so. And, we are partners. Why?"

"I'd like to talk to you about this…..later." The nanny said evasively.

Guardedly, Mark nodded as his date made her entrance.

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

At the premiere of their movie, Koda and Lacy posed for the media and fans as hundreds of flickering lights flashed all around them. Koda allowed an interview with a rival entertainment show instead of stopping to talk with Tony Kussler leaving him livid. Tony scooted closer to get a bead on what was being said.

"That's right. None of it was true." Koda proffered a charming smile at the cute young reporter. "Lacy and I were and are just friends. Although, I do admit to fancying myself a bit in love with her. She is a beautiful woman… and I can't seem to resist beautiful women." Koda waggled his eyebrows at the woman before him who was feeling a bit weak in the knees under the onslaught from the sexy and captivating Adonis.

Tony Kussler fumed then mumbled under his breath. "You son of a bitch."

"You know how it is…Tina, isn't it?" In a bit of a seductive haze, she nodded. "Sooome…." He drug out the word referring to Tony Kussler. "Twist your words around… for a story. The affair to which I was referring was in reference to our characters in the movie. That's all. I won't mention names but it wasn't very professional of him. Now was it?"

Tony repeated his earlier name-calling. "You son of a bitch."

Gage walked by Lacy's side down the walkway with Mark and Julie following close behind. Noticing the hordes of fans calling to Lacy as they fawned over the tall statuesque star, Gage whispered so only her partner could hear. "Should I be jealous?"

A loving smile spread across Lacy face directing it at her lover. "No."

"Do you mind if I am… at least a little bit anyway?" Gage returned the loving smile and added a wink.

"No." Lacy leaned in closer. "Later." Proud of the way her partner was now handling these types of 'fancy' events with calm, steady assuredness albeit still somewhat dubious at times.

Sucking in a deep breath, the blonde had to cool her overheated jets. Oh, yeah. Later.

Catching Lacy walk by, Tony Kussler shoved pass several people to get to her. "Miss. Levine. One moment please." He grabbed her arm, twisting her around sharply.

"Mr. Kussler." Lacy held her smile even as she spoke his name.

Kussler postured himself for the confrontation he planned. "Lacy… do you mind if we do a live interview….for my show. It's on now?"

Lacy braced herself for the interview, as Gage, Mark and Julie stood close behind her. "Okay." She waited patiently for Tony to get his cameraman wired in for a live feed to his studio.

"We're here with Lacy Levine whose new movie opens tonight to what we are assured will be rave reviews." Tony played the nice host with sugary sweetness. They chatted for a few moments regarding general things about the movie when Tony suddenly zeroed in for the kill. "Tell me, Lacy, Koda Kannon, who is well known for all the women revolving in and out of his bedroom door, is now recanting about his affair with you. What do you have to say about that?"

"He's right. We were never involved."

"Mmmmm. Or is it a foiled cover-up to white wash you're illicit relationship with a woman. Maybe a last ditch effort to savage your career and…. this movie? The viewing public wants to know. Enlighten us." Tony jammed the microphone in the star's face.

"Koda enlightened me on a few things." She said with a predatory smile. Covertly reaching forward, Gage rubbed the small of Lacy's back offering support giving the aggravated star the fuel she needed to alter the course of the battle she was engaged in with the combative reporter. "Mr. Kussler, you remember a few months ago when that story came out…." Lacy pulled her partner beside her interlocking her arm with Gage. "The one to which you just referred to about me and my relationship with Gage."

Tony furrowed his brows together not know where the conversation was heading.

"It was the biggest scoop of the year and….I was interested, since you have your own show, why did you sell the pictures you took of us together to one of your competitors?"

Stunned, the usually verbose reporter grappled helplessly for some sort of retort. I….I..I…"

"That's what I thought." Wearing a victorious smile, Lacy walked off with her partner to watch the premiere of what would become a huge box office success.

Watching the television set from his massive studio office, the TV executive of Tony Kussler's show bristled. The executive yanked the telephone from its cradle, punching one number then said out loud while waiting for someone to answer the ring. "That son of a bitch."

Chapter Twenty-Three

On a warm July day, Gage stood next to Mark Calico as she waited anxiously. Nudging her friend. "I'm glad you made the trip back from England for this. Sorry Chance couldn't make it."

"Wouldn't miss it. Though tomorrow I head back to my grandfather's castle. Julie and her kids are meeting me there." Mark returned a nudge to his friend then nodded. "There she is."

Gazing down the rose pedal lined aisle, Gage stared lovingly at Lacy standing next to her father, arms entwined. Beaming. Here comes my woman.

As Daniel Lewis prepared to escort his daughter down the aisle surrounded by hundreds of blooming flowers in his well-cared for garden, Lacy noticed her father flinch favoring his left leg. Worried, Lacy whispered. "Maybe you shouldn't…."

"Nonsense." Patting his daughter's hand. "I'm not going to miss walking my oldest girl down the aisle. Besides, I'm having surgery on my knee Monday. Now, stop worrying about it."

As the proud father guided the beautiful bride dressed in an ivory gown up the short walkway, those in attendance didn't notice his slight limp except for his dutiful wife, Lynn. He is stubborn. One of the many reasons I love him.

Lynn cradled her three-month-old grandson with his siblings seated on either side of her when great aunt Matilda, sitting directly behind her, leaned forward. "Lynn, my goddaughter is absolutely radiant. Takes after me." Causing her fifty-five year old niece to shake her head laughing.

Anchored to her father, Lacy walked down the aisle to the waiting love of her life she was about to vow before God, her family and friends to spend not only the rest of this life with but eternity. She smiled when she remembered their discussion about who was going to preside over the wedding. Since Lacy's home state didn't condone same sex marriages, Gage suggested that they in effect marry themselves. "After all, Lacy, we've already asked God for His blessing…..we don't need someone or a piece of paper to officially proclaim what's in our hearts….our very souls. I love you. I want to marry you." She kissed her lover's temple. "Who better but you and I to declare our love to each other in front of our family and friends." It was an argument Lacy couldn't and didn't want to argue.

Dan offered his daughter's hand to Gage then whispered. "You take good care of her."

"I will." Gage vowed.

Facing each other, the music faded away as Lacy and Gage exchanged their sacred vows. "Lacy, I love you. And I give you my love unconditionally. Through all the days of our lives and throughout eternity I'll always be by your side. You're my life. When I look at you, I see my world. And I am complete." Tears filled the blonde's eyes.

Before Lacy spoke her wedding vows, she wiped an errant tear falling from her lover's eye. "Gage, sweetheart, I love you. And, I will be by your side now and throughout eternity…. always. You're my world, too. You make me feel so loved…." Sparing her children a quick look. "All of us. You belong to us. You've become our world." Welling up inside with an overwhelming emotion a small shutter quaked through her body as she gazed at her partner. "God, I love you."

Then the maid of honor handed her sister the ring. Lacy placed the ring on Gage's finger. "With this ring I thee wed." Then Lacy added hurriedly. "Forever."

Retrieving the ring from her best man, Gage slid the ring on Lacy's finger. "With this ring I thee wed." Gage winked. "Forever."

Together they proclaimed. "Before God and everyone here, we pronounce ourselves….married." Gage kissed her gorgeous bride.

Lisa hugged her sister while Mark did the same to Gage. Holding hands, the happy couple turned to the crowd. Derek completely on his own accord ran the short distance, tugging on Gage's dress pants. The newlywed lifted the small boy up in her arms as Lynn gave her grandson to Dani who then walked carefully over to stand before her mom and Gage.

Looking first at Dani holding her brother, Gage glanced at the baby then to the young boy in her arms. The happy and grateful blonde leaned over and whispered to her partner. "I love my family."

Hearing those words, Lacy claimed her lover's lips in a passionate all consuming kiss filled with love so overpowering it permeated every being present.

Sitting behind the bride's mother, Lacy's great aunt Matilda, feeling the residual effects of the kiss she just witnessed, said out loud. "What did she say to get that kind of response?"

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

At the reception to everyone's surprise, a slightly inebriated Denny offered a toast. "As everyone will say today, a very special day. A day filled with love… you cannot hide it. Two lives now united. And, a dream that has come true….for the both of you."

When Denny lifted the glass to his lips, Nate slapped him on the back. "Atta boy."

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

Abroad the jetliner, Lacy held her sleeping baby. "Gage, maybe we should get a nanny….for times like these?"

Gage shoved Derek over the seat landing next to his sister. "Now, Dani let him play with you."

"Jeez, okay." Dani watched as her brother pushed buttons on her electronic Simon game. "Derek, only the ones that light up." She rolled her eyes when he continued to hit the yellow button over and over again.

"I like that one." Derek declared, grabbing at it. "Let me."

Gage watched the two siblings for a few moments before leaning back in her first class seat next to her partner. "Perhaps." She shrugged. "Mark won't mind."

"With dad's knee surgery, I didn't feel right asking mom to watch the kids. Although, she would have." The original plan was for her parents to take over babysitting duties while they honeymooned. But, when the doctor insisted Dan Lewis get the surgery immediately or be confined to a wheelchair, Lynn scheduled it forgetting about her earlier commitment.

"It's okay, Lacy. Really." Gage pulled back the light blue blanket taking a peek at her……What? "Lacy, what….. Do you think I could… never mind." Gage allowed a hopeful thought to dissipate in her mind.

"What is it?" Lacy watched the pensive look on the blonde's face. "Sweetheart, tell me?"

Gage allowed a deep sigh to escape. Looking back at the three-month-old baby, she said. "I don't know what I am to them. I mean, I think of them as…. mine, too." The blonde said with some trepidation. "My kids."

Brushing approving lips against her lover's mouth, Lacy confirmed. "They are. You remember when I said that you belong to us?" Gage nodded. "And that means we belong to you…. in every sense of the word."

Beaming. "Here let me hold him." Gage retrieved her child from his mother. Settling him in her arms, Gage cocked her head and smiled. I am so lucky.

Sitting silently next to her, Lacy read her partner's smile. We both are.

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

When Gage and her family arrived at Stonewood, Mark welcomed his friend to his grandfather's estate in England. "Welcome. Come on in. We're going to eat in about an hour."

"Thank you, Mark." Lacy said. "Is Julie here?"

"And her kids." Mark confirmed.

"Great." Gage offered off-handedly as she soaked in the ambience of the castle allowing her smiling green eyes to followed Dani and Derek's impromptu exploration of the huge room. "I can't wait to stand up for you."

A stunned look popped up on Mark's face after digesting his friend's words. When Julie Grant wrapped her arm in his, that same stunned look softened considerably. It's an idea.

"Hello, Lacy." Julie held out her arms to hold the baby.

"Are you sure you don't mind?" Lacy asked as she allowed the older woman to hold her son.

"Of course we don't. As a matter of fact……" The forty-five year old woman winked. "I'd love it."

Without even the slightest hint of what he was getting himself into, the never before parent said dismissively. "Absolutely, Lacy, what's three more kids to watch."

A concern look crossed Mark's face when both women eyed him then in tandem shook their head knowingly. "Uhh Hhhh."

Gage pushed against her friend, smiling. "That'll teach you to leave the country. You didn't think we'd hunt you down to baby-sit." Seeing her 'adopted' grandfather, Gage took the baby from Julie. "Samuel, I want you to meet…." Sparing Lacy a glance and getting her partner's whole-hearted support. "Our son, David Samuel."

Motioning with his hands, the spry ninety-year-old man beckoned to see the child. Peeking under the blanket, he unintentionally christened the baby's given name. "Hello there little Sammy." Looking up smiling. "He looks like me."

"Samuel, I want you to meet my partner, Lacy." Gage pulled the dark haired woman closer.

"And he has you're blue eyes…. beautiful blue eyes." Samuel flashed a wink then offered a charming smile to Lacy. "Welcome to my home….. and my family."

"Thank you." Lacy hugged him.

"Please call me Samuel… grandfather…whatever." Not letting go of her, he inhaled deeply. "You do smell nice."

"All right. That's enough." Gage reclaimed her woman from her grandfather who used to be a dashing womanizer in his heyday. "Dani, Derek, come here."

Dani helped her four-year-old brother down the long spiral staircase directing him back to the small group gathered near the door. "Hello." Dani curtsied then nudged her brother who bowed at the waist just as his sister taught him. The young girl prepared for this meeting figuring that anyone who owned a castle must be royalty.

Leaning over, the elderly man bowed then said. "What are your names?"

"Danielle and this is….."

"Derek." The dark haired boy spoke up offering his small hand to the old man.

"But you can call me Dani…. all my friends do." Dani finished.

"Then I will. Have you met Julie's children?" Samuel asked. Both shaking their heads, the old man offered. "Come on. They're at the stables. You like riding horses?"

Dani grabbed one hand while Derek clasped the vacant one of the tall man. "Can we call you grandfather?" Dani asked then quickly added. "Gage said it would be okay."

Lacy and Gage watched their children disappear through the archway. Turning to her friend. "Is Chance still in New York?" .

"Yes." Mark said with a somber frown.

"Is he with Dash?" Gage asked wondering about Mark's brother-in-law.

Shaking his head, Mark confirmed. "Nine years.. we thought Dash was dead after…." Mark let the words die on his lips. As Julie offered her support, Mark further explained. "Apparently, he had and to some degree still does have amnesia. Chance has been with him. I wanted him to join us here but he's anxious to reunite with his wife and…. son."

Squeezing his forearm, Lacy offered. "If there's anything we can do…"

"Thank you."

"Then Stella's here to help watch the kids." Gage changed the subject from the foreboding thought on her friend's mind.

"No." Julie answered. "She's wanted some time to get some family things in order. As a matter of fact, she tendered her resignation. My kids are sixteen and fourteen now….said she's looking for another couple with younger kids." An idea popped in both her and Mark's head at the same time. One considered it a bright idea while the other entertained a dimmer musing at the implications of Julie's next words. "Could you use a nanny? She is absolutely the best and the kids just love her."

Gage caught the apprehensive look that flashed across her friend's face. "Mark. What do you think?"

"It's a thought." He finally conceded.

Gently leaning against her partner, Lacy said. "We will then."

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

With Gage and her family settled in, Lacy sought out Mark. Stopping near the patio's stonewall, the anxious woman turned to him. "Mark, you remember when I asked you about a favor?"

Mark nodded.

Leaning in, Lacy whispered.

The shocked CEO stumbled through his next words. "I.. I thought it was about helping Gage find her parents."

"In time." Lacy assured him. "Well? Will you?"

Hem-hawing around for a moment, he finally agreed. "I'd be honored."

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

As night fell outside one of the small cottages on the huge estate, Gage lit numerous candles scattered around the room. When Lacy stepped into view, Gage sucked in a desperate breath. "My God, you are beautiful." Holding up two glasses of wine. "Come here." Gage slipped down on the silky sheets waiting for her lover.

Accepting the proffered glass, Lacy said. "I love you." Kissing Gage before she sipped her wine. Still standing beside the bed, Lacy retrieved her lover's glass placing both of them on the side table. Sliding into bed next to her partner, Lacy molded her body closer.

"I love you." Gage brushed her lips against willing ones. Drinking deeply from the bluest eyes she'd ever seen Gage repeated. "I love you so….so very, very much, Lacy."

"Show me." Lacy husked.

Gage rolled over on top of her woman claiming those same willing lips. Kissing each other passionately, the fiery flames of love seared higher and higher.

The dark haired woman nuzzled the sensitive spot behind her lover's ear then left a trail of kisses down Gage's neck.

When her lover sucked on Lacy's collarbone, they younger woman arched her back against her lover demanding and getting Gage's full attention as the blonde's lips dropped lower suckling each breast with loving devotion.

Negotiating her way down, Gage's mouth came to rest over Lacy's navel. Dipping her tongue in and out then swirling it around furiously, the blonde's hands found purchase on Lacy's breasts massaging them methodically, stimulating them to full arousal. The overriding sexual tension building in the young woman stoked higher and higher bringing her to a dizzying crescendo. "That really sends me." Lacy barely husked.

Descending lower with lustful reverence, Gage paused briefly as she always did inhaling deeply the scent of her lover. Looking back up to her lover, Gage asked. "May I?"

Swallowing hard. "You better."

Kissing Lacy's mound lightly first Gage then buried her face between her lover's legs. So, intent on what she was doing, Gage didn't notice right away the small giggles erupting from her partner.

Looking down at her lover, Lacy asked. "Gage, sweetheart, what are you doing?"

"Shhhh…. I'm trying something new." Focused completely, the blonde diligently tried to perfect her technique.

Attempting to muffle a small laugh but failing, the woman being sexually aroused said. "Okay."

Frustrated from her lover's response, Gage dejectedly scooted back off the bed. "Fine, go on without me."

Before Gage took another step, Lacy yelled. "Gage!"

Spinning around, Gage hiked up a questioning eyebrow.

"Get back here NOW." The sexy woman commanded. "Sweetheart, I didn't mean anything. Please believe me. Are you really going to make it into an international incident?" Lacy's blue eyes flared sensually calling the blonde back for what would be a night of rapturous lovemaking.

Like a willing soldier, Gage did as she was ordered wearing only a slight frown. I am just putty in her hands. Gage reclaimed her position between Lacy's long legs kissing her passionately then descended slowly again to the place she'd recently vacated. Inhaling deeply, she once again kissed the heated alter. "All right. Now bare with me here and I guarantee you'd be begging for more." Gage waggled her eyebrows seductively. It was a promise she delivered with perfection over and over again as he lover did indeed beg for more.

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

Lying in each other's arms, Gage ran a hand along the curve of her lover's body. "I love you."

"Mmmmmmm… I love you, too." Hesitant to approach the uncertain runway, Lacy stilled her resolve determined to land victorious. "Gage." Running her fingers across her lover's chest. "I want to have your baby."

Like a deer caught in the crosshairs, Gage was blindsided by her partner's words. "What?"

"Technically, I guess it would be carry your baby." Lacy amended her earlier statement.

"How? When? Have you thought about this?" Gage rambled. "I wouldn't even know where to start." Suddenly, a smoldering idea knocked. "It wouldn't be for my lack of trying……" Gage recaptured her lover's delicious lips. "But…. Lacy….." With a surrendering sigh, she asked her original question again. "How?"

"Mark agreed to father your child and I'll carry it." Lacy laid out her plan succinctly. "Making it our child."

"He did, did he?" With raised eyebrows, Gage shot her lover a jealous look. "He would….." She said with pursed lips. When she thought of the traditional way of making a baby, she added quickly. "But he really wouldn't…. you know." Please don't make me have to spell it out.

Shaking her head at her partner's irrelevant concern, Lacy had to laugh. "No. He'll just provide the needed….. donation."

Shifting her eyes quickly toward her lover, Gage conceded then leaned back down. "It's a thought." Wallowing in one last splinter of doubt about being good enough for Lacy and deserving her family, Gage mumbled half-heartedly. "I don't know why you'd want to…I mean, let's face it I'm not in your caliber. I'm not even sure why you love me."

"Gage Ballant! You frustrate me sometimes, you know that." Lacy said as she cocked her arm up so she could look into her partner's beautiful green eyes. "Sweetheart, you're a wonderful writer…. extremely talented. A kind, generous person who loves me and the kids with every fiber in you. You are a great parent." Gage smiled at that compliment. "And lover…sexy, beautiful…." Seeing another doubt fleet across her lover's face. "Yes, beautiful and perfect in every way. Who wouldn't love a woman like you?"

Her lover's ardent words chased the last sliver of doubt from the blonde's mind. "The question is… who better?" Reiterating Lacy's words to her when they were in the shower at the cabin on the lake, Gage flashed her piercing green eyes commanding her lover to, well, love her.

And Lacy did just that embarking on a journey she hoped to take a million times over. The dark haired woman wrapped her arms around Gage, 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. Their journey had begun and no matter where it led they would always be together.

The End

Thank you for taking the time to read this story. Feedback is greatly appreciated at xxgsb@hotmail.com

The next story entitled HERE COMES MY WOMAN continues on with the lives of Lacy and Gage a few years later as the writer reveals more about her dark past. The dynamic duo work together on a movie while raising their family and someone from Gage's past makes an unexpected appearance.

The WOMAN I LOVE Series is expected to have six installments where Lacy and Gage's lives span over ten years. I hope you come along for the ride. Thanks again, GSB


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