Lee was just opening the door into the large office where all the Detectives worked when she met resistance and then it started to swing back in her direction. She stepped back in alarm, saw it was Sam and then the look on her face and asked abruptly, "What is it?"
Sam's eyes widened as she realized what she'd almost done, "Sorry!" She stopped for a second with the door open, "I ... I have a personal thing I have to do." Looking at her watch, she asked, "Can we meet at eight at the first bar on the list?"
Lee nodded immediately. "Of course. Is everything okay?"
"Yeah. I uh ... just need to do something real fast. I'll see you later." The tall, dark haired woman began to step away, then turned her head and spoke again, "Thanks."
"Sure." Lee responded, watching her partner rush out of the building with a frown. She had almost started to follow to see if she could help but several officers walked by just in time to block her path. Reaching out and catching an errant softball one of them was attempting to juggle, she smiled and said, "I heard you're in the finals, great job." Then tossed the ball back to one she recognized as Officer Farmer.
He replied, "Thanks!" And then asked in a somewhat shy manner, "Will you come and cheer for us?"
Lee laughed as Hamilton and a couple of other faces she recognized lightly teased Farmer. She was already so much more at home here than the last precinct. "I'll try to come watch but cheer leader I'm not, sorry." She watched them walk away and smiled. As they walked out of her sight she couldn't help but wonder if she shouldn't put off her transfer request for a while. It hadn't been long but it really felt different here. 'No, I'll wait a bit longer I think. It's too soon.'
Kris was somewhat apprehensive, she wasn't quite sure about her mother's motives but what she was seeing in the other woman's eyes gave her hope. She was struggling for a way to ask when her mother spoke up.
"Sam's on her way, it's going to be just fine. I'll get you some water for the pills, okay?"
Kris swallowed, even that seemed to make something ache inside her head. She hadn't felt this bad since the first day in the hospital; stress was definitely not on the list of prescribed activities. It was a chore, but Kris was able to say, "Mom, I don't..."
Kris' mother leaned over and pushed back her daughter's bangs. "Honey, it's okay. It's really okay. I'll be right back."
Closing her eyes, Kris turned her face into the bedspread and turned her face into it, relaxing slightly. If she was reading her mother correctly, it really was all right. 'God, I hope so.'
A short while later, Mrs. Scott opened the door for Sam. Concern was written all over the detective, from the ramrod straight back, to the tensing muscles, elevated breathing and piercing eyes. Lisa took a breath, "I gave her the medication, it should start working soon. She's in the bedroom and ... could use you I think."
Sam frowned for a second, she sensed something was going on but it was going to have to wait. "She ..."
"Will be fine. Go to her."
Pausing for a second in surprise then nodding, Sam thanked Mrs. Scott and in a few long strides she was at the doorway to the bedroom. One hand gripped the frame tightly as she looked at the small figure curled up on the bed. Kris was obviously in pain and Sam took a shaky breath before heading inside. Kneeling, careful not to jostle the bed, she reached out a hand but stopped its progress when bloodshot eyes opened.
Kris could feel the presence but wanted visual proof that the person she most wanted to see was there. Slowly, she cracked open her eyes and saw worried bright blue beams staring at her. The beams winced and she watched the hand reaching toward her drop to the bed. She reached out her good hand and curled it around Sam's fingers, smiling ever so slightly when the long fingers tightened on hers. "You're here."
Gently, she responded in a soft voice, "Of course I am." Mindful of Kris' mother, she turned her head quickly to see the door closing. Filing that away for the meantime she turned back and concentrated on Kris. "Your mother says this happens sometimes. You sure we shouldn't be taking you to the hospital?"
"I'm already feeling better." The blonde let out a soft sigh. "I think I'd done a little too much bending over trying to clean up."
Still concerned, Sam asked, "Can I do anything?"
Kris let her eyes roam over the dark haired woman's face for a few seconds, taking in every tense muscle. Then, blinking sleepily, she smiled and asked, "Hold me?"
Sam's eyes widened at that and her gaze went back to the closed door for a moment.
Correctly interpreting the detective's thoughts, Kris said, "She knows. We were ... discussing it."
Taking a deep breath against the stab of anguish from the thought that something to do with her had caused this pain for Kris, Sam leaned back slightly. Doubts suddenly darted in from all directions.
Kris' stomach dropped for a second, concerned at the look in Sam's eyes. She tugged on the other woman's hand and relaxed slightly, relishing in the fact that there was little opposition. Still, she asked, "It's okay. Please?"
There was no question, of course. Somewhat apprehensively but willing to fight any battles for the woman in front of her, Sam gingerly moved to the bed and stretched out next to Kris. The detective smiled slightly as Kris instantly moved towards her warmth and settled with her blonde head resting on Sam's chest. She closed her arms around the blonde's body. Kris immediately let out a deep sigh and snuggled closer. The detective craned her neck and watched as Kris' eyes closed in obvious contentment.
In the safety of Sam's arms, the blonde felt the stress drain away. There was just nothing like this feeling of complete safety, warmth and love. Her lips twitched as she remembered wondering if Sam didn't just scare the pain away and she drifted off with thoughts of her hero slicing and dicing her way through black clad figures wearing t-shirts with lettering that read 'PAIN'.
Eyes that appeared almost colorless in the filtered light coming in from the outside tracked around the room aimlessly before settling on the clock by the bed. Sam had been at the apartment for about an hour and had another forty-five or so before she had to meet Lee.
Soon after Kris had snuggled in, Sam had drawn the cover of the bed over as much of Kris' body as she could and could see that the blonde was obviously deeply asleep. The entire time had been spent absently trailing her fingers lightly in various patterns across Kris' back and thinking.
The occasional sound from beyond the door had made her tense each time, expecting Kris' mother to come in at any time. She had thought about that, a lot. Kris' mother knew about them, yet she was the one who told Sam to come over and obviously was making no effort to interfere in what was going on.
The detective's lips twitched when Kris moaned softly and melded her body even tighter to Sam's. 'I could get so used to this.' It only took a few seconds for her to realize that the first time had just been that morning. Only a few more seconds to understand that it apparently only took one instance to get used to some things.
Kris had always been allowed closer, had always been the one to reach out and was now firmly and perhaps irrevocably entrenched within every part of Sam's heart and ...'Okay. Do I really mean that? Heart and soul? Better be very, very sure, Sam girl, because if you're not someone or something will step in that gap and tear you into little pieces.'
She took a hard look at herself, reconciling the emotion of the last few weeks to the feelings she held inside. Lips touched the top of the blonde head still resting on her chest, then once more. Even that tenuous connection seemed to set off skitters of nerve endings down her spine. 'Am I sure? Give me a break.'
Letting out a soft sigh, she thought about the night Kris had been hurt, then when Kris had been in the bank doorway and every other time the blonde had found trouble. Then her mind turned to the memory of the night she took Kris home and various pictures of Kris laughing, walking, dancing ...'Whoa!' The threatening flush of warmth made her chuckle slightly at herself and blow a breath of air up through her bangs.
A thought ran through her mind, causing a pang of worry in her chest. She very much doubted Kris had any experience with women, not that the blonde seemed to be the slightest bit uncomfortable with that idea but still. Forcibly pulling her mind back from the depths of depravity where it had plunged, rather quickly at that, Sam's mouth twisted into a wicked grin in memory of just how comfortable Kris had seemed.
Still, it was a concern and the detective needed to be sure she was very careful. Not only because of Kris' injuries but because it was almost certainly something very new to her. It wasn't as if Sam had taken hundreds of women lovers herself but she, at least, did have experience. As if on cue, Kris took that moment to move a little in her sleep and found a softer pillow than the shoulder she had been using.
Swallowing, Sam sent the ceiling a pained look as Kris' bent knee moved up and over her leg, resting on a good length of thigh. 'Don't go there, Sam. Don't do it.' Groaning slightly, she grimaced as Kris' soft, warm breath caused another problem to arise. 'Okay, I always knew this warm cuddly stuff was torture!' Sam closed her eyes and then opened them again, tensing her jaw in a firm nod, 'I am strong, I am woman!'
Thus fortified, she sent her mind on a search mission for something to get away from what Kris was unconsciously, in more ways than one, doing to the tall woman's body. Rapidly filtering through anything that might even remotely bring her back to what she was feeling; she stopped at the memory of what had been bothering her earlier about the murders.
Somehow, the murderer knew when people were going to be out of town and used the knowledge to leave surprise packages of death for the owners. They had to have a vehicle and yet all of the various delivery and maintenance people had checked out. Something was still niggling at her and she couldn't quite grasp it yet, the fact that they were almost out of time was not helping matters at all.
After a while of thinking about that, her attention was brought back to Kris when the blonde made a tiny sound in her sleep and then another. Frowning, Sam tilted her head and focused on the pale face with its aura of golden hair. She touched her lips to the top of Kris' head again and whispered, "Shhh, it's okay." There was another sound from the blonde. "I've got you, it's okay." She tightened her hold slightly and leaned a little more pressure on her fingertips, which had not ceased their restless motion on the blonde's back.
Once the other woman had settled, Sam took another look at her face and sighed softly. 'Oh yeah. You have found places in my heart that I didn't know existed and have certainly never been touched before.' Turning her head so that her cheek rested lightly on the top of Kris' head, she whispered, "Be gentle with me because I don't think I can live without you in my life."
Glancing at the clock again, Sam had a feeling in the pit of her stomach that time had better be spared to talk to Kris' mother before meeting Lee. Slowly and carefully, she extricated herself from Kris' grasp and felt the pang of loss dart into her heart when the blonde moaned slightly and flexed her hand as if searching. With a sigh, she carefully slipped the pillow she'd been using next to Kris and waited for a minute until Kris seem settled again, the pillow tucked against her.
Dark hair cascaded over her shoulder, forming a rippling sheet as she leaned over and ever so gently kissed Kris' temple. With her lips still close to the blonde's skin, she breathed, "I love you." Trying not to feel the loss of warmth from where Kris had been lying, snug against her body.
She didn't want to leave, it was that simple. For once in her life, this small blonde package of wonderfulness had usurped every inclination she had to duty. With a jerk, Sam straightened to a standing position and her eyes rounded as she stared at the wall for a minute. 'I didn't just think that, right? Right? I did not just think of Kris as a "package of wonderfulness." No, no, no, I did not do that.' She shook her head. 'I refuse to believe I did that. That was not me, that was some Ö some ... evil pod person that took me over. That's it! That's the ticket. Yep. I would never, EVER think something like that.'
Her mind worked frantically, 'Me? Psht! Never. I mean, there couldn't be a level of mushdom after mushiest, could there?' Her eyes tracked back down to the bed and she sighed, her hand had reached out automatically to caress the pale cheek. 'Oh god, maybe there are degrees of mush? Level twenty three mush?' She frowned. 'Get a grip, Sam.'
A soft sound from beyond the door thankfully broke her out of her thoughts. She quickly turned to listen and approached the door, head cocked in a listening mode still. Hearing nothing else, she stood at the door for a moment collecting her thoughts. 'You can do this.' Quietly turning the knob, she opened and slipped through the door, closing it with one last glance at the blonde, who was now pooled in the soft slatted light coming through the window. 'For her, anything.'
Unfortunately, that didn't stop her stomach sinking to her toes when she turned and found another blonde with green eyes tracking her every move. Taking a breath, Sam said quietly, "She's asleep. And, I think, better."
Nodding, Lisa Scott looked up at the tall woman and sipped from the teacup she had picked up just before Sam had opened the door. She'd frozen for a few moments, stuck between not wanting this confrontation to happen and knowing it had to. Now, the familiar movements and taste of the tea helped her stay calm but her heart began racing anyway. Taking the opportunity to collect herself, she leaned over and placed the teacup squarely back on the coaster and took a breath.
Her eyes found the blue that were focused so intently on her. Trying to read what they said, she only caught tiny hints of swirling emotions. The one that surprised her most was the apparent touch of fear. That surprised her. The only time she had ever seen Sam show fear was when Kris was in trouble. Yet there was no doubt in her mind that emotion had been one of the flickering facets in those cerulean depths.
She took a breath and then held back, mentally slapping her forehead. 'Kris must have told Sam that I know.' The reaction, which could have been so many things, was, of course, what it always was, fear for Kris. That eased something inside and she found herself asking, "Would you like some tea?"
Blinking, Sam stared at Kris' mother with no small amount of surprise. That was one question she had certainly not expected, not after meeting Mrs. Scott's gaze. There was no doubt in her mind that she had understood Kris correctly after that look. Yes, the blonde's mother did indeed know. What the older woman was going to say or do was most definitely a tangle of infinite possibilities. However, tea hadn't been one of the possibilities that had initially come to mind. Clearing her throat, she replied, "No, thank you. I'm fine."
Nodding again, Mrs. Scott put down her cup and leaned back against the cushions. Her eyes traveled back to Sam and she asked softly, "Would you mind sitting for a minute please?"
As she sat, a tiny part of Sam wryly noted that Mrs. Scott was indicating the well-used chair that was as far away from the older woman as the furniture got. Sam would have to sit on the kitchen counter or the floor to move farther away.
After settling herself, she took a deep breath and brought a clear, calm and fairly cool but interested gaze upon Kris' mother. The detective wondered idly whether she'd prefer to have this conversation or face down a crazed killer and somewhat sadly decided the killer would be preferable.
Taking in the almost impossible to notice play of clenched muscles about the dark haired woman's jaw and hands, Mrs. Scott smiled inwardly. 'Not as tough as you like everyone to think you are, are you? Not when it's Kris. Definitely not then.' The older woman looked down at her clasped hands and thought for a moment before squaring her gaze directly on Sam. "When I was a lot younger..." Her eyes dropped to the clasped hands again. "My best friend was my older sister, Kate."
Sam frowned slightly, she had been prepared for anger, fear and a myriad of other emotions but, once again, Mrs. Scott had surprised her. This soft, sad tone of voice was nowhere on her list of things that might happen. Wary but interested she listened as Kris' mother told her about Kate and Holly, how their father had thrown Kate out and Mrs. Scott's own role in Kate's segregation from her family. When the older woman began to cry, Sam felt slightly ashamed at herself for thinking the worst when certainly Kris had always shown her the best, why not her mother.
With tears still forging an uneven path down her face, Lisa Scott finally met Sam's eyes again. She wasn't disappointed in what she saw, the baby blues held deep sadness for her where they could have held anger, pity or several other emotions she hadn't wanted to see. Taking a moment to wipe her tears with a hastily grabbed tissue, she composed herself as best she could.
Sam took a breath to speak but stopped when Mrs. Scott held up a hand.
"Now you know, if you didn't already, why I asked you to look for Kate. You should also know that I will never allow that to happen to any of my children. They are my flesh and blood and will always be, no matter their choices in life."
A hint of fire touched the green eyes across from her and Sam relaxed ever so slightly. She'd seen the look on Mrs. Scott face so many times on her daughter's that she knew without a doubt that the other woman wasn't yet finished and kept her silence.
"I want to protect her. From everyone. Everything." Her eyes flicked over once again at the tall woman, who was still intent on her. "I think you understand that feeling."
Sam couldn't help the twitch that flickered across her lips at that. A few seconds were spent looking down at the carpet but then the gaze move upwards again. The detective responded with a low rumble, "Very much so."
Lisa narrowed her eyes and searched for all the truth of the ages on Sam's face, in her eyes and set of her body. Not really sure of what she could possibly find but needing to know something. The dark haired woman held up against the scrutiny, straightening her back and leveling her chin. Finally, Kris' mother asked slowly, "Do you love her, Sam?" And waited with a held breath.
Sam blinked in surprise. This was getting to be a habit. In the space of a very short length of time, Mrs. Scott had thrown her off guard repeatedly. Yet again a Scott woman had caused her to look beyond her lengthy list of potential questions or responses and had come up with something that surprised her. It was yet another interesting lesson and made it quite obvious where Kris had obtained that particular talent.
Regardless, Sam could easily see that the question was asked honestly and it deserved the same type of reply. And if there was nothing else she'd realized in the last few days, hell, last few hours, it was how to respond to that question. She took a deep breath and released it. "With everything that I am."
Again, Lisa searched Sam's face for something she wasn't even sure she could name. Finally, she nodded and said quietly, unable to meet the other woman's piercing gaze, "Don't let her be hurt." It wasn't a fair request and the older woman knew it but it didn't matter. This was her daughter and she needed to say it.
An image of Kris lying on the pavement flashed before Sam's eyes, accompanied by a sharp pain in her chest. After a long moment, she replied softly, "I'll always do my best. Whatever it takes." Sam took a deep breath, wondering what to say. Words were not usually her forte and emotional ones certainly weren't. 'What would make her feel better?' An inward snort at that. 'As if anything would. Look at what she's getting in me and what she's used to with Kris. Good lord, talk about opposites. She's probably sitting there scared to death of what I'll bring to her family. Sad thing is I can't blame her.'
A swirling sadness hit the detective. Digging this deep was very difficult, exposing herself unthinkable but would it help Kris? Sam spent a few moments thinking about that and let out a deep sigh as she kept her eyes on the same speck of carpet fluff she had been staring at for the last few minutes. 'Okay, let's be novel and try some more honesty.'
Licking her lips and swallowing a little nervously, she spoke up, "I ... I did try to try to keep my distance when I realized what was going on with me. But, well, it was ... very bad for both of us. I could hear the ..." Sam broke off; this was getting too personal, even for Kris' mother. The knowledge that she'd already caused Kris pain by trying to stay away was still a bit raw to be uncovered.
She wanted to thank Mrs. Scott for understanding, Sam had been quite sure that it would go very badly. But, she was aware that was asking for trouble. The understanding came from a mother's desire to protect her child from what had happened to her sister, not because she was truly all right with her daughter's relationship with a crazy female detective. Casting out a wild line, she searched for something to divert the attention and conversation and almost slapped herself in the forehead. "I uh ... received a call earlier."
Interested green eyes flickered in her direction. Mrs. Scott had been watching the other woman intensely. Sam was obviously a bit off center because of her own response to the relationship the detective was having with her daughter. It was more than apparent that Sam had been expecting the worst, what surprised Lisa was that it was also apparent that the tall woman had deliberately put herself in the position of facing the older woman without Kris.
She had deliberately stepped into the breach and would have taken whatever weapons and ammunition that had been thrown her way without any type of shield that Kris might've offered. That spoke volumes about Sam and the strength of what she felt for Kris, making the ache inside Lisa ease off a little.
"I have some information about Kate. If this is a good time?"
Blinking for a moment, she tried to slip her mind into another gear. Somehow, she hadn't thought that it would be so quick, that Sam would have had the time. She'd only just asked her, hadn't she? Finally, her brain fired on all cylinders. "Yes?"
"She's a very successful advertising executive near San Francisco. I have her address if you'd like it?"
So, she was okay, she'd made it. Tears tickled her eyes and pooled, it had been so long. Did she dare? The part of her stomach that had moved in fear of what Sam was going to say was taking its time getting back into position. She swallowed and found a safe question to ask, "How did you find out so quickly?"
A faint smile rolled across the dark haired woman's lips before fading as if it had never been. "Pure luck. I had been checking on some other data and added Kate's to it at the same time. When it came back and said San Francisco, I called a friend there and she happens to know her."
Lisa stiffened in surprise. "Your friend actually knows my sister? Is she..." She stopped, not sure what to ask. 'Is she okay, is she still with Holly, is she what?'
It was Sam's turn to surprise by almost reading the older woman's mind. "According to my friend, who's met Kris and was annoyed at herself for not seeing the similarity, Kate seems very happy, is one of the best at what she does and ... is still with Holly."
Sam could still hear Micki's tone when she'd realized that Kate must be related to Kris. The detective hadn't said that but her oldest friend in the world wasn't the top of her game for nothing. Micki had actually been thrilled, recognizing traits in both women that were now quite obvious. Kate was one of her favorite people it seemed. "Even if she is in advertising," Micki had quipped.
Unexpectedly, that brought a smile to Lisa's face and the tears began to fall in earnest. It was just a little too much. The proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. Not that she wasn't happy, oh no, quite the opposite. But today had just been definitely over the top and that had been the capper on a few days of hell. A soft touch on her hand made her jump slightly, only to find Sam had moved across the room and was now kneeling in front of her, holding out a tissue in one hand and the box in the other. The kind act was piled on top of everything and she grabbed the tissue, then put it and both hands against her face.
Sam was completely out of sorts. She thought she'd given Kris' mother good news and the woman was crying her eyes out. This wasn't the way things were supposed to go. 'Dammit!' Putting down the box of tissues, she reached out a hesitant hand towards Mrs. Scott's shoulder, and then curled it up before it reached its goal. Making it worse wasn't an option but making it better seemed a difficult prospect at best.
She tried again, this time very gently touching the older woman's shoulder and, in an unconscious decision, then moving her fingers gently around to her back. Her fingers kept up a light pressure and moved in small patterns that always seemed to help Kris relax.
At the touch, Lisa fell against Sam and the tall woman simply held her as sobs wracked the small body.
The maelstrom subsided after a few minutes and Sam freed up a hand to hold the box of tissues out again.
Several sniffles and tissues later, Mrs. Scott apologized, her voice still thick from the tears, "I'm sorry, I guess it's just been a rough few days."
Sam smiled kindly and shook her head. "Don't I know it."
"Yes, you certainly do." The older woman looked at the detective with eyes still distressed and puffy. Reaching out a tentative hand, she took hold of Sam's free hand and squeezed it tightly. "Take care of her, Sam. Please."
Swollen and red-rimmed, the green eyes still looked very familiar to the detective. She smiled. "Always."
"No problem, it's been an eye opening experience. For sure."
"Something like that." Lee grinned, pleased that Sam felt comfortable enough to tease. She'd been reassured when her partner had shown up on time at the first bar and there weren't any outward signs of problems. 'Not that I'd necessarily know.'
Sam had tried to get her head back on straight on the drive to the first bar from Kris' apartment. Her stomach was still tied in a few knots but, at least, she seemed to have gotten past one hurdle. Kris' mother wasn't terribly happy about what was going on but she was going to support her daughter, no matter what and that's what counted.
Lee caught a glance of her partner's face and realized she was obviously thinking about something very hard. "You ready for home?"
Chagrined that Lee had apparently asked her something and she hadn't caught it, Sam looked over and smiled with a wince. "I'm sorry, what?"
Lee stopped, lifted a hand to put it on the taller woman's arm and then let it drop again with a frown on her face. "Hey, Sam, is everything okay?"
It took a couple of strides but the dark haired woman stopped and turned when she realized Lee wasn't with her. "Yeah, I'm sorry. It's just been a long night." It had definitely been an interesting evening. It had been quite some time since she'd been a uniform on the streets and seen that many bars in one night. She fervently hoped it she wouldn't have to repeat it any time soon.
And, exactly how was she supposed to tell her partner that she'd been daydreaming about the last glimpse she had of Kris asleep on her bed, curled up with a pillow. The filtered light from the street and the garish bright of the light spilling into the bedroom from the apartment's interior met in an uneasy battle over the still form. Not willing to risk waking Kris up, she'd just barely resisted the urge to move strands of hair from Kris' face. Instead, she'd let her eyes roam for a few moments and then softly closed the door.
"Well, I know we're still pretty new but if you need to talk ..."
'Good grief, have I descended to the depths of mushdom where someone that I haven't known for that long wants to help me? Am I THAT transparent?' Sam let that sink in for a few seconds and grabbed a hold of her apparently out of control emotions, mentally throttling them. "Thank you, but I'm fine."
Lee recognized the shields rising again from the other woman's demeanor and tried to not let the little dart of hurt show. It wasn't as if she was planning on staying after all, it wasn't as if she thought Sam would be her regular partner and it's not like they'd known each other long. 'Geez.' Nodding, Lee started walking again, slowing only slightly when she got even with Sam. "See you tomorrow."
'Son of a Ö! Why me?' Sam, of course, recognized her mistake instantly. Lee's poker face wasn't nearly as refined as it needed to be for the dark haired woman to miss the signs that the other woman was bothered about something. 'Christ, couldn't you have closed the door behind you, Kris? This crap about people caring and stuff is just too damned annoying!' She thought for a few moments as she caught up to and then kept pace with Lee. Casting a glance in her partner's direction, she said, "Thank you for offering but I'm really fine. And, I'm sorry again for needing to take off for a few hours."
"No problem. You've spent plenty of time waiting for me and my movers, cable and God knows what else." Lee graciously replied.
"Okay, I'll meet you in the office in the morning and compare notes about tonight. Nothing seems to click but some rest and a very long shower might help."
"Sounds good to me, see you in the morning."
As soon as they were both in their cars, Sam pulled out her phone and began to dial and then stopped when she realized what time it was. It had been the final discussion she'd had with Mrs. Scott before she left. Kris' mother still wanted Kris to come home with her and Sam wanted to be sure that the older woman knew about the alarm and security offered in within the housing estate itself. Sensing a slight problem, she also made it plain that she was fine with Kris staying wherever she wanted; it was only that she hadn't felt the blonde should be by herself just yet. Mrs. Scott had definitely agreed with that part.
She waved a goodbye as Lee's car passed her parking space and pulled out herself. Kris had called about an hour after she'd left, still a bit groggy, and provided Sam's mushdom with an apparently necessary infusion of even more mush. Sam pulled up to a stop light and rolled her eyes at how she'd smiled when Kris had quietly told her how much she appreciated the pillow service and how good it made her feel that the detective had taken time out to make sure she was okay. There were a few whispered comments about her mother as well, but it had been all right. Amazingly enough.
It was one of the final statements Kris had made that sent a shiver of happiness through Sam, "Okay, I'll wait but I want a full disclosure of what went on with my mom when you get home. Be careful." Of course, that was followed by a bout of irritation at herself for being so needy. Still, Sam had been confident that Kris' mother would persuade the blonde to stay with them and Kris' statement obviously meant that Kris was still planning to stay with her and this was perfectly great. 'Very perfectly great.'
The rest of the ride home was spent thinking about the perfectly great thing and all that brought with it. 'It wouldn't be so bad if it was just Kris taking up residence inside, but someone seems to have posted a "Move right on in" notice somewhere.' Damned if, for some reason Sam couldn't fathom, people seemed to think that was reason enough to involve themselves in her life and let that breeze Kris started when she opened the door to her heart blow 'em right in. What was just as bad was that somehow that meant that Sam had to reciprocate. 'How the hell do they do that?' She pulled into her driveway with a final grumpy thought, 'And why the hell do I let them?!'
"Thanks, Mom. For everything. I know it hasn't been an easy night for you."
Lisa thought about that. In one night so many things had changed but the most important thing was still the same, the love between them was still intact. In addition, Kris was in a safe and protected place. She took a shaky breath at that one, but it was true. Kris was safe and protected physically but it was going to take some time before Lisa felt better about the rest. Not the she doubted Sam's love or Kris' for that matter; she'd seen far too many instances of the depth of those feelings to have any doubts. "You either and I'm sorry for that."
Kris smiled kindly, "I know you're worried and I understand why. I really do. Just know that I'm fine and so very sure of what I'm doing and where my heart is that there's just ... no hesitation. It feels so very right and nothing ever has before." She was so glad that her mother had spoken with Sam and things seemed better but the underlying tension was still thick enough to cut with an unsharpened knife.
Lisa carefully watched her daughter speak and smiled sadly. That her daughter had found something as strong and special as it obviously was should be a time of joy, of celebration. Yet, here she was still trying to find ways to tell her how wrong it was for her. She had to wonder about herself. Stupidity didn't run in her line by rule but it sure seemed to be making a statement lately. She let her eyes roam over her daughter's face. Sea green met their like and searched hard.
Kris straightened under the scrutiny, not quite sure what was going on in her mother's mind. She frowned slightly.
With a tiny shake of her head, Lisa broke off. She knew her daughter extremely well and there truly was no doubt on her part. She already knew how Sam felt and had been impressed with how the detective had faced her. Not only that, had comforted her. Truth be told, she liked the tall, dark woman a lot. She had always come through for Kris and, for all that she was definitely dangerous, there was something about the pair of them together that seemed solid, seemed ..., as Kris had said, right.
Lisa looked up again into the eyes so like her own and saw the apprehension apparent in them. But not only that. There was intelligence, strength amidst a myriad of other features and emotions that suddenly made her heart swell, made her take a deep breath and smile. 'Get over it!' Taking a step forward, she put her arms around her daughter and squeezed lightly, "I love you. Very much. And, in case I don't say it enough, I'm very proud of you. Never doubt that."
The frown still firmly in place, pulling her stitches slightly, Kris returned the hug and let her mind whirl around what had just taken place. She had been sure that her mother was going to push her again about...well, everything. She waited for the "but".
A couple of barriers had been hurdled and the older woman thought perhaps it was time for another. She pulled away from the hug and looked down at her clasped hands for a moment then back to her daughter. "Kris, I need to talk to you about something."
Kris took a deep breath to try and calm the surge of apprehension, fighting the urge to stand and move away from the couch where they'd been sitting.
"I need to tell you about my sister. Her name is Kate."
A long while later the story was finished and both women were wiping tears away. "I've been doing that too much lately!" Lisa said with a smile.
A watery smile of her own in place, Kris responded, "Yeah. But thank you for telling me and I'm so glad that Sam could help you find her. Are you going to contact her?"
Another deep breath. "Yes. Yes, I am. I just hope that she'll talk to me. I can't believe how terrible I was to her."
Laying a hand on her mother's arm, Kris leaned slightly closer, "Mom, you were a child. Granddad made a bad choice, for everyone. You can't be blamed for that."
"I know but I should've found a way to stay in contact. She was my best friend and I loved her so very dearly. Kate deserved more from me."
Kris' lips moved into a gentle smile, "Then tell her that, mom. Tell her that you never stopped loving her, that you're sorry and then tell her that she has a niece that would so very much love to meet her."
Covering Kris' hand with her own, she replied, "I'll do that. You're so much like her you know."
"I am? Poor thing!" That got a chuckle out of her mother and pleased Kris to no end.
"No, honey, lucky for the rest of us that you both are who you are. Amazing women with even more amazing hearts. We're blessed to know you." Seeing the tears forming again in Kris' eyes, she smiled and rushed on with her words, "I need to get going, it's pretty late. Will Sam be home soon?" She had brought her daughter to Sam's house about an hour before. Initially, she'd resisted going inside but Kris had insisted that Sam had specifically told her to invite her mother in for as long as she liked.
Getting control over her emotions, Kris responded. "She said before midnight and hopefully by eleven. Almost there, so should be soon."
"Good." The older woman reached out a hand and cupped her daughter's cheek, caressing it lightly with a smile. "Your head doing okay?"
Kris nodded as her mother's hand dropped away, "Yeah. I really feel much better. I think I just needed some sleep."
Smiling, Lisa said, "Just needs time, honey." She turned slightly and bobbed down to pick up her purse, then stood again. "Call me if you need anything okay? And I hope you stay with us this weekend but no pressure, I promise."
Smiling, Kris nodded again. "Thanks, mom. You've been awesome and I think you're a pretty amazing woman yourself." She initiated the hug this time and put everything she could into it. Keeping it tight, even when her ribs began to protest a bit.
Relieved beyond measure that the evening had turned out this well, Lisa returned the hug and kissed her daughter's cheek. "Call me anytime you need me, day or night. Got it?"
"Yes, mom, I've got it," came the smiling reply.
Kris walked back inside the house after seeing her mother off and reset the alarm. What a difference a few hours made, she reflected. Just a few hours ago she had been in the middle of a very tense discussion with her mother and in an enormous amount of pain, now she found herself with an aunt she had never met, and never really knew existed, and with a mother who had apparently decided to support her daughter in whatever she did.
"Wow," she breathed as she laid a hand against the door and carefully closed it. "What a day." Leaning her weight against the door with her hands, she let out a breath and then pushed away with a snort of amazement. 'What a day indeed.' She thought as she looked around the now very quiet house. What she saw caused a tiny smile to touch her lips. So very different from her apartment and yet, it too felt right. Just like Sam. The smile on her face grew. Sam.
Her eyes focused on a distance far beyond the wall in front of her and brought her arms around her chest, holding her cast in the crook of her other arm. An odd sense of peace enveloped the blonde and she closed her eyes for few moments, just trying to hold onto it. It was so sweet that it was hard to fathom the depth. There was such a strength of unyielding conviction behind her feelings for Sam that nothing else was acceptable.
The only thing she regretted was that she hadn't acted on it sooner. It had taken a brush with death to make her realize just how long she'd loved her friend. Just how long she'd wanted ... needed to ... she sighed at that and closed her eyes. 'Be close to her. Kiss her. Feel her fingertips feather their way across ...' Her eyes flashed open, "Ooh boy. Knew it was a mistake to keep on reading those stories on the Internet, but wow ..."
Her mind started wandering again and she frantically tried to rein it in, especially since it seemed to be frying brain cells along the way. "Need those! Oh yeah, need every one of those. Enough of that!" She muttered to herself as she stood up carefully and moved to the kitchen for a drink.
It was halfway to the kitchen that she realized that she hadn't cleaned out the cache or location bar on the computer's browser. She froze. That meant that it would be really easy for Sam to see where she had gone. 'Oh god, why do I doubt that's what Sam meant when she told me to enjoy myself with her computer after she left today?' Incredibly relieved that she remembered, she headed off in the direction of the computer room and then stopped with wide eyes and not a small amount of dread as headlights shone in the front room and then turned off just a few moments later. Frantically, she whispered, "Crap, please don't want to go on the computer. Please, please, please. I'll die!"
Sam exited her car and stopped with a smile when she realized that the porch light had just been turned on and there was a light in the living room as well. 'She's still up.' That widened the smile slightly and, for the umpteenth time that night; she rolled her eyes at herself again. 'She's leaving tomorrow; don't get too used to it.' The fact that she was going to miss Kris hadn't escaped her, oh no.
She knew from trying to stay away just how firmly attached she was to the young blonde. Knew from that morning that waking up with her was something she wanted to do as often as possible. And knew without a shadow of a doubt that this was something she never thought she'd have. Ever. Yes, she'd loved in the past but this was beyond anything she could have even imagined.
Before she had time to reflect more and start the worrying process all over again, that very same blonde opened the front door and stood with a smile just inside the house. On one glance, she could see that Kris wore a pair of tight jeans and a simple blue cotton top. Her sneakers were loose, as if she'd just slipped them on. Still, Sam's steps faltered slightly at the sight but she recovered quickly, adjusting various files tucked under her arm to try and cover.
Kris caught the extremely uncharacteristic stumble and a flash of worry painted her face for just a second before she tucked it away and watched her friend carefully. Sam looked okay but she knew from experience that this didn't mean a thing. Whereas she'd gotten better at reading Sam and Sam had gotten a little better at divulging things, it still wasn't easy. Kris also knew that excessive badgering would only make the tall woman hide herself away as far as she could. That was definitely not the plan. That made her wonder, 'What exactly is the plan?' A pale eyebrow rose slightly at that in an unconscious parody of a certain detective.
Stepping close to the blonde, Sam sighed softly to herself and said, "I'm glad you're here."
Kris' smile grew slightly and she reached out a hand to the edge of the detective's jacket, fingering the leather lightly in an effort to curb her initial instinct to grab the dark haired woman in a tight hug. She looked up from absently watching her fingers and replied, "Me too."
Sam held the sea green eyes with her own for a few long moments and just barely resisted the urge to lean in for a welcome kiss. She unconsciously licked her lips, noting, and barely concealing a grin, that Kris' gaze moved to her lips as she did. Her mouth closed as a pool of tension began to form somewhere around her stomach and the thought, 'Grip! Grip! Need to get one! NOW!' Raced through her mind as her hands began to move. 'And not there!!'
Kris saw the flicker of indecision in the slightly darker than normal blue eyes and moved backwards, tugging Sam's jacket along with her.
In a matter of seconds they were behind a closed door and very firmly involved with each other. Lips nipped and tasted, thoroughly devouring every morsel they came across.
Several minutes later, Sam opened her eyes and wondered just when they'd maneuvered so that Kris' back was against the wall and how her hands had ... She stepped back quickly and looked at her hands as if they were alien artifacts from the pod person she already knew she had become. With some chagrin, she brought her gaze up to Kris', stuffed the pod hands behind her and tried not to wince.
Kris tried very hard not to laugh at the unbelievably adorable expression on Sam's face. She knew exactly why the tall woman's face held that look. Even more amusing, however, was the fact that Sam hadn't noticed just how many buttons were now open on her own blouse and how Kris' hands had been quite busy themselves. Once she'd started to touch the soft skin under her fingertips, it had become a mutual exploration that still had her heart pounding and breathing elevated.
It pleased her to no end that Sam was in much the same state. Deciding to be kind, she leaned forward and pecked Sam on the lips as quickly as she could and moved backwards out of temptation's reach. 'Oh yeah, right. Not even if she was in New Zealand.' With a smile, she said, "If you're going to greet me like that every time I open the door for you, we should make sure that I never open one in public."
A quirky grin settled on Sam's face when she realized Kris wasn't upset and an eyebrow rose. "And if you're going to greet me like that every time I walk through a doorway, how about you change professions to door greeter?"
Kris wafted a hand in the other woman's general direction. "As if! I have enough jobs, thank you very much." Sam's bottom lip poked out in a pronounced pout and Kris couldn't help the laugh that escaped her now. It made her ribs ache just a little but the rest of her felt far too good to care. She reached out two fingers and grabbed the lip, "Didn't your mother ever tell you that your face might freeze like that?"
Sam grinned, deliberately not putting herself too close to the blonde in front of her as she firmly kneaded the other woman's shoulders. It was far too easy to get lost in Kris, far too easy indeed.
Kris let her head fall forward and groaned.
Sam swallowed as a flush traveled up her body but kept up the steady pressure. 'Yep, definitely out to kill me.'
Kris put a hand on one of Sam's, rubbing a thumb against the soft skin, and brushed the side of her head against the other until both hands stilled. "You relax too. You've had a really long day and my shoulders are feeling much, much better."
With a final squeeze, Sam slipped her hands from Kris' shoulder and moved them around her waist.
"Ooh! Great idea." Kris immediately squirmed and, mindful of her own injuries, shuffled her way back to lean against Sam. Sighing happily when the arms around her tightened somewhat and laying her own arms over the other woman's.
Sam reached down and pressed her lips into the still warm skin on Kris' shoulder and then lifted up to place her chin on the same spot.
The blonde smiled as she felt Sam's head tilt back and her own cheek dropped to the shoulder the dark haired woman's chin had just been resting on. Reclining her own head back carefully, she rested it against the other woman's, closing her eyes at the feeling. She'd thought just being in Sam's house, having her trust and having her love was sweet. This ... being bathed in that love she could easily feel surrounding her was awe-inspiring. Her breath hitched and she whispered, "I love you so much."
The dark haired woman's lips tensed into a tight smile as she tried to control her emotions. Breathing in the familiar scents, she began to rock their upper bodies very, very gently and slowly before replying, "Then I'm an incredibly lucky woman." Taking a long breath, she continued, "I love you too."
After a few minutes of peaceful contemplation, Kris spoke up again, "You realize, of course, that we can't fall asleep on the couch again tonight."
Sam started, realizing she was probably heading that way if she didn't get up and move soon. It was pretty amazing, really. Her comfort zone lately seemed to be anything to do with Kris. Idly, she wondered if lying on a bed of nails would be make comfortable just by Kris lying on top ... 'Ah ah ah!' A finger waggled in her mind, 'Don't go there. When she's ready and only then.' "You're very right but so very comfortable." She let out a sigh. "Why don't I get the spare room turned down and stuff and you sit here?"
Kris felt a pang in her chest at that. She hadn't even thought of that part and confused eyes tracked the path of the gorgeous woman heading towards the bedrooms. 'Dammit, Kris, what do you want?' She groaned inwardly as her little devil popped up and prodded her, 'You know very well what you want.' Sam left her sight and she let her gaze drop to the floor, 'Yeah, boy do I.'
It seemed the detective was trying very hard to not push Kris in any direction at all. She was being incredibly careful and considerate and allowing Kris to make the decisions at her own speed. Whereas the blonde truly appreciated this, needed it and loved Sam just that much more for doing it, part of her... well, 'Part of me wants Sam to just sweep me off my feet and have her way with me.' A wry grin tweaked her lips, 'Okay, me have my way with her too.'
Thinking about that for a minute, Kris watched the shadows flicker occasionally in the spare room as Sam moved around. She was having a hard time with the thought of the dark haired woman being so close and yet not being in contact with her. After Sam had gotten out of the shower when she got home, Kris had found the need to just be close overwhelming and gladly succumbed when Sam had pulled her close into a delightful snuggle on the couch.
It was as if sleeping together on the couch had opened up a big black hole of need. Constant contact seemed very important. She'd always been pretty much a tactile person but this went so far beyond that. 'Maybe I shouldn't have said anything about the couch and just enjoyed it for another night.' The problem was that she wanted too many things and some of those things conflicted with each other.
She checked them off in her mind, going through them all and came to the conclusion that she really wanted to ask Sam if they could just be close again tonight but there was a core of fear that kept telling her she wasn't ready for anything more. Even if their 'make out' sessions were getting so hot and heavy that she might combust soon if they didn't take it further. It was just that she felt she would know when it was right, when it was time to take that step. Somewhat troubled, she pulled golden locks behind her ears and waited on the couch for Sam's return.
In the spare bedroom, the tall woman was holding an internal monologue of her own. 'Good grief, you are the world's largest chicken. You are every piece of chicken in a KFC bucket ever sold but with the feathers. Ask her, you jerk!' Instead, she busily readied the room for Kris and wished that she could find some way to tell the blonde that she wanted to wake up holding her again and not have it sound like a proposition.
Sam let out a deep sigh as she pulled back the comforter on the bed. She probably only had Kris for one more night and just couldn't think of a way to put it into words. The detective thought about being pretty sure that the blonde appreciated not being pushed in any way and that Sam was letting her take everything at her own speed. That decided Sam's mind, 'Don't be stupid and spoil it now.' She walked back towards Kris. "Hey, it's all turned down. Your bags are in easy reach and I turned the light on in the bathroom for you."
Kris smiled up at the dark haired woman. "Thank you. You've been so awesome, you know." She pulled the other woman into a quick hug and reluctantly let go.
Cocking her head slightly, Sam smiled. "Just ... giving back some of those friend duties that you've taught me about so well. It is the very least that I can do, believe me. And ..."
Charmed by the slightly shy ducking of Sam's head, Kris bent down just in time to see pinpricks of a flush appear on the tall woman's cheeks. "Hey, I'm the smaller one here. Don't be thinking you can hide from me." Smiling at the smile that brought on the other woman's face, Kris said, "And?"
Smoothing imaginary wrinkles on her shirt, Sam said quietly, "And, I really like you being here."
Even more charmed by the admission, Kris lifted the dark head up with a finger under the chin and said, "I really like being here." With that, she leaned forward and stretched up, moving the hand from Sam's chin to her stomach to steady herself, and captured the tall woman's lips with her own. This time pulling back before they could become entangled again. "And I reeeaally like that."
It was about two hours later when Kris gave up reading the book that she had read an entire six pages from in that period of time. The truly sad part was that she couldn't guarantee she remembered one word, even after starting again several times. She had fallen asleep once, only to be woken up after a short time by a nightmare involving a balloon, walls of fire and very high mountains. After the nightmare, her head had started a low-density throb and that was still present.
Tossing and turning didn't help; it only served to annoy her ribs. She sighed. 'This will not do.' Craning her neck, she looked through the doorway and tried to notice if Sam had a light on. Being only about the tenth time that she had done so since she'd gotten into bed, it wasn't a surprise to her to find out that it didn't appear that anything was different. 'Maybe some TV?' She thought to herself and then nixed that idea due to the fact that it might wake Sam up.
Frowning, a little petulance popped out at the wayward thought of, 'At least she could be pining for me too.' Then she chuckled at the thought of tall, dark and gorgeous pining over her and how that was a pretty ridiculous thought. Running her legs up and down the sheets didn't seem to help, smoothing the comforter didn't either. She tried punching her pillow, but that didn't seem to be an effective sleep aid either. When she felt the presence of her private little devil, she yelled at him, 'No, no! Don't need suggestions about sleep aids!' Then rolled over again.
Finally, she pulled the covers back and slipped to the carpet. Telling herself that she just needed a little walk around and that it had nothing to do with watching Sam in the moonlight, Kris padded to just before Sam's bedroom and stopped, listening.
Sam heard movement and instantly stilled, locating and identifying the source of the noise. It seemed Kris was up but, for some reason, had stopped out of sight. A twitch of a grin touched Sam's lips when she wondered if Kris was having the same problem she was. She'd counted everything she possibly could in the room, twice. Rearranged the patterns on the comforter over and over again, thought about everything under the sun and still was very wide-awake.
Sighing dejectedly, Kris began to turn away and head back to her room.
Sam leaned up on an elbow at the sounds of movement away from her room. "Kris?" She smiled when a pale head popped into her doorway almost immediately.
"Did I wake you?"
"No, just been thinking. You okay?" Sam smiled a little more as more of Kris' body appeared in the doorway.
Kris leaned against the jamb and asked, "Yeah. Anything I can help with?"
'Ugh! Don't say it!' Innocently, Sam replied, "Maybe. But what are you doing up?"
"Umm. Had a nightmare, couldn't sleep."
Pushing off her elbow, Sam sat up and looked carefully at her friend. "A nightmare? You okay?"
"Yeah, just a stupid one. I get them sometimes."
"Can I help? Hot chocolate?"
Kris grinned, her white teeth showing in the gloom. "Hot chocolate? Good for what ails ya?"
Chuckling, Sam replied, "Something like that."
"Thanks ..." The grin faded as she realized she wasn't sure how to ask for a hug in this type of situation. Normally, she'd just go get one or Sam would somehow just know. But it was the middle of the night and Sam was probably very comfy and ...
Quickly pulling the covers back from her body, Sam was over to Kris in just a couple of seconds. Ducking her head, she asked, "What is it?"
"Could I ..." Before she could finish, Sam had gathered her up. Kris sank gratefully into the embrace and let out a deep sigh.
"Right guess?" The tall woman smiled softly as Kris responded by nodding her head against Sam's chest. Arms wrapped around the smaller body and chin resting on the blonde head, she asked, "Just the nightmare?"
"Hmm. Hard time sleeping, I guess."
Kris inhaled a deep breath, savoring the scents and softness so close, and then realized she'd been asked a question. "Hmm?"
Chuckling slightly, Sam carefully moved herself backwards towards the bed. "Tell you what. Let's just sit down and maybe we can bore each other to sleep or something. How's that?"
"Sam?" a muffled voice questioned from the tall woman's chest.
"You couldn't be boring if you were unconscious."
"In a box."
Laughing, Sam steered Kris to sit on the edge of the bed. She moved herself to sit next to the blonde.
"Wrapped in wool blankets."
"Enough, enough! You give me far too much credit but I get it, I really do." The tall woman looked over at her friend and shook her head ruefully.
Kris leaned into the warm hand that had just appeared against her cheek, delighting in the feel of soft skin. Her lips curved into a quiet smile.
Whispering, Sam reflected the smile as her head tilted to the side slightly and said, "What you do to me." Her thumb tracked restlessly over the blonde's cheek.
There were a few moments of silence as the women allowed their gazes to roam over each other's faces and then Sam spoke up again, "Just five minutes ago I was ..."
A pale eyebrow rose slightly. "Dreaming up new interrogation techniques?"
Almost coughing up a lung, Sam laughed. "No, but maybe watching a beautiful woman sleep can be added to the next round of potential ones!"
Green eyes narrowed slightly and Kris growled, "Over my dead body."
A dark eyebrow rose high under bangs that appeared rather askew. "Is that your guard dog interrogation technique?"
"Keep talking about watching beautiful women sleep and you better beware of other tendencies I might share with guard dogs." Kris bared and then chomped her teeth together.
"Ooh, promises, promises."
This garnered the detective a swat on the arm from the blonde, one side of Sam's mouth quirked up in a grin. They both laughed for a few moments and then Kris looked up at her friend seriously.
"Just five minutes ago ... I was wishing you were holding me."
Sam's breath caught as she watched Kris moved to the side slightly, the moonlight bathed her in a silvery translucence. That went on for a long moment as the detective allowed herself to glory in the beauty of the woman she loved. The words spilled out before she could stop them, "And just a few minutes ago I was wishing I could watch you sleep again."
Green eyes blinked in astonishment. However, Kris wasn't willing to risk the chance that Sam might withdraw into herself after that statement. She looked at the bed, laying a hand on the opposite side that Sam had been laying in, and asked, "Can I?"
Hesitating only long enough for a pleased grin, Sam stood, drawing the blonde with her, and quickly turned down the covers, fluffed the pillow and then helped Kris into bed. Within a few seconds she was back to the other side, suddenly quite nervous. Moving carefully, she positioned herself on her side, close to the blonde but not quite touching.
Kris smiled to herself, she'd had the temerity to crawl into Sam's bed and it hadn't even occurred to her to be worried that Sam might want more than just snuggling. Kris felt unbelievably safe and no pressure at all. In fact, if she hadn't begun to feel the length of the day, she might have enjoyed creating a little pressure of her own. Instead, she watched the long body get comfortable and was able to see just the palest hint of color in the blue eyes. "Hold me?" she asked, in complete confidence of the act being done without question.
A full smile graced the beautiful face this time, charming the blonde with its intensity. Closing her eyes, she mumbled a "Mmm" against Sam's body as she snuggled into her favorite cocoon.
It wasn't but a few minutes later that a much happier detective kissed the blonde head held tightly against her body and followed her friend with her own dive into the land of slumber.
Continued in Part 3