Disclaimers: All characters referenced in this story are mine and mine alone. Any similarities between them and anyone else living, dead, or fictional, is purely accidental/coincidental. Basically, hands off without my permission-pretty please.
If you like them, feel free to let me know about it at Jeaninehemailfirstname.lastname@example.org if you don’t, please don’t be mean.
Warnings: This story will depict relationships between women. If that bothers you, I’m sorry for your narrow-minded approach but please leave now and come back when you come out. If it is illegal for you to view this type of story due to age or location then please come back when you age or move. There will at times be somewhat graphic descriptions of medical events, nothing too graphic but not for those who faint at the mention of an IV. With that said, I hope you enjoy!
I’d like to thank Vic and Trish, the two people that encouraged me to put this out to let others decide its fate.
Also, for Sue, the reason I want to do my best is to be the woman you deserve-I’m always on call for you!
“Here you go!” Caty proclaimed proudly as she handed me a check.
Puzzled, I took it and glanced at it. “What’s this for?”
“My half of the mortgage here.”
“Caty, I told you, I’m fine with paying the mortgage. You don’t have to worry about it.”
“And I told you that once I had my house handled, I wanted to pay half here. Pauly and Gina just took over the payments and now I can afford to pay more here.”
I sighed. We had helped move Gina and Pauly into their new home last week, but I hadn’t thought about how that would affect anything at home. “Baby, I was paying the mortgage here long before we started seeing each other. I can handle it. You do help out with the other bills and stuff.”
“Chloe, I hate to feel like you have to support me. I can afford to pay half of the mortgage, so please, take the check.”
“But Caty, I make more than you do. Shouldn’t I pay more than you do? It only seems fair.”
“Fair? You want to hear what isn’t fair? It isn’t fair knowing that I live in your house, with you paying the mortgage, and half of the other bills, while I have almost no expenses. It isn’t fair that I’m not a full partner with you here.” Her volume had increased as she continued and I didn’t know what to do or say.
“This house is our home, not just my house. We share everything Caty, I don’t think of it any other way.”
“Yeah? You have a funny way of showing it! Why is it that whenever we go out to dinner or order in, you have to pay? You drive most of the time when we go places, and you don’t let me pay for household purchases? How is that fair?”
I was stunned. “I didn’t know that stuff would bother you. I thought I was showing you that I could take care of you and the house. You know, be a good provider and stuff. I like taking care of you Caty.”
A small smile whispered across her lips then faded. “Honey, we have to come to a more fair solution. I’m not a fifties housewife, and you aren’t my breadwinning husband. I know you’re used to being in charge and taking care of things, but it is time to share the responsibilities.”
“Do I really treat you like that? Like Donna Reed or June Cleaver?”
She nodded, “Sometimes, yeah, you do. You don’t do it to be mean, I know that honey. But, I don’t need to be insulated from reality. I have a good job too and I can afford to pay bills share the duties around here.”
“I’m sorry, I really hadn’t thought of it that way. I guess chivalry is dead after all.”
“Honey, that isn’t what I’m saying at all. If you want to hold my door for me, drive me places, or do any of the other wonderful things that make you the sweet woman you are, then please do. What I’m saying is, let me be a partner to you. Let me help with the bills and stuff. I want to be your equal, not a kept woman.”
I thought it over and decided she was right. Maybe I was shouldering too much for no real reason. “I’ll make you a deal. I’ll share the bills but we pay based on percentage of earnings. We’ll figure out who makes more and break down the bills so that it is equal based on percentage of pay, not on dollar amount. Deal?”
“Let’s try it. I think I’ll feel easier about this being our place if I’m actually helping to pay for it.”
I hesitated but then plowed ahead. “If you don’t like it here, we can look for a place to buy together. I can sell this place if you want to move.”
I didn’t want to sell it, I loved the house, but I loved Caty more and I wanted her happy with our home.
“We don’t have to move Chloe. I love this place almost as much as you do. You are sweet to suggest it, but we can work it out honey.”
I gave her a hug, accepted the check, and promised to sit down with her and the bills on our next day off to figure out the new financial arrangements.
There were more adjustments to make like the one about money, but we worked through them one by one as they came up. Gina and Pauly were doing well in their new digs and I was training Gina to take over my old spot as a Field Supervisor after I was promoted to Senior Field Supervisor just about a month after they settled into their house.
Caty and I spent a lot of time working on the house and changing things around to reflect both of us. We were even talking about getting a furkid of some kind as practice for the real thing eventually. We were coming up on our one year anniversary as we worked on the yard one day. I decided to suggest something to Caty just as she turned to speak to me. As we chuckled I told her to go first.
“I was just thinking, would you mind if we had a small party for our anniversary? Nothing fancy, just Pauly and Gina, maybe Tony and his girlfriend, Kristy, and whomever else you want to invite from the station. What do you think?”
“I think you have been sharing my brain with me again woman! I was about to suggest the same thing. I didn’t have a much different list either.”
We discussed plans for a small backyard shindig as we worked on the landscaping and agreed on a menu. Things were coming together in our lives and we wanted to celebrate and share that with the people we spent the most time with and considered family. For both of us, that meant Department members.
“You didn’t mention inviting Bran, something going on?” I asked Caty as we finished clearing the tree trimmings from the ground. I turned around to see Caty looking a little bashful. “OK, out with it, what happened?”
Caty pulled off her garden gloves and threw them down on the ground. “Those two stubborn women don’t see how good they are together! I’m tired of trying to get them to see it. I have washed my hands of them.”
Puzzled, I had to ask, “What do you mean? What have you been doing to get them to see it?”
“Well, I may have mentioned to them how good they looked together. I might have told Bran about how we started out as best friends first.”
“And? Out with it Caty, I can tell you’re keeping something back.”
Looking frustrated, Caty threw herself on the ground next to her gloves. “I might have taken Kristy to see some cheesy movie about a woman coming out late in life that was playing in the art district last week.”
She kept her head ducked down, refusing to meet my eyes.
I was stunned for a moment, then roared with laughter. When I could finally speak again I managed to choke out a question. “What did she do? Was she upset?”
Caty shook her head sadly. “She had no reaction at all other than to tell me the move was pretty B grade. The lousy acting was the only thing she talked about. Maybe I’m just not right about them. But go ahead, invite them both. I just didn’t want to look like I was still trying to set them up.”
“Got it, I’ll take care of it. I promise, no problem.”
The day of the party rolled around and we were ready for the group to come over. We had chairs and tables set up out back, the food was ready for the grill, coolers were packed with beverages. All we needed were the people.
Just then, we heard Gina and Pauly coming around the side of the house. Gina was carrying a small cooler and Pauly had a rather large gift wrapped box in her hands. Caty went and took the box, scolding her sister for getting us a present after being told no presents for the day. Pauly just shrugged and gave her a hug. I took the cooler from Gina, adding it to the stuff near the food. She had made some sides to go along with the food, but she left the potato salad to us, the self-proclaimed experts.
Eventually, everyone filtered in and we started grilling, tossing around a Frisbee, and chatting. I saw Kristy arrive with Bran but didn’t say anything to Caty. I didn’t want a repeat of her “They belong together” speech. Bran came over to the grill to say hello while I saw Kristy head towards Caty.
“Hey, what’s going on? You two just get here?” I asked.
“Um, yeah. I kind of wanted to talk to you about that actually.”
“Sure, something going on? Did you have car trouble or something? Tony’s here and he’s a whiz with cars.”
Bran turned a little red and I kept an eye on the grill. “No, actually…Hell, I wanted to ask you if it was alright to make an announcement at your party. Kristy and I wanted to let you guys know that we’re dating.”
If I hadn’t been holding on to the grill I might have fallen over. I think my jaw actually fell open for a moment. “Are you kidding me? After all this time? Really?”
Looking a bit bashful, Bran shuffled her feet and them smiled. “Yeah, we’ve been taking it really slowly. It’s her story to tell but, yeah, we’re together. I hope to make that permanent at some point. I waited a long time for this to happen.”
I couldn’t help it, I gave her a big hug, and laughingly told her to make any damn announcements she wanted to make. “Is that what Kristy is doing? Asking Caty?”
Bran shot me a wry grin. “Um, that and, well… apologizing to her. She’s been kind of playing with Cait about all the matchmaking attempts. She told me she almost lost it at that movie a few weeks ago. Did Cait tell you about it?”
I started turning the chicken as I chuckled. “Oh yeah! That was the final straw for her. She swore off matchmaking you two after that one. She’s gonna have a cow!”
Bran agreed as we watched Caty come storming over towards us and Kristy came following behind. Cait grabbed Bran by her shirt and pulled her in for a big hug
“Whew, I thought you were gonna deck me Cait,” said Bran.
“I should, but I’m just too happy for you both! You guys deserve it. Go, make your announcement! Then we can eat!”
As we watched the couple, since that is exactly what they were now, move to the center of the lawn, Caty put her arm around my waist and snuggled in tightly. I felt that warm and calm feeling spread across me that I felt whenever she touched me. We watched our friends announce their relationship and receive congratulations. I sighed, just happy that I had Caty and our lives were so filled with good things.
I was in bed that night, after the party, waiting for Caty to join me. As she joined me, she shut off the overhead light in the bedroom and slid into bed with a sigh.
I grinned. I knew she had no idea what was about to happen and I loved that I had managed to surprise her. I couldn’t wait to see the expression on her face. “Caty, I know we didn’t really talk about gifts or anything but I had an idea and I wanted to do this for you to mark this anniversary.”
“Honey, you didn’t have to get me anything. I thought we weren’t going to do anything big this year.”
“I know, but it isn’t big, really. Just something I thought you should have to commemorate the occasion.”
Cary leaned over her side of the bed and pulled out something from her nightstand’s bottom drawer. With a grin on her face she calmly said, “I kind of got you something too, so I guess I should give it to you now as well.”
We sat grinning like idiots before I remembered what I was doing.
“You didn’t have to honey, but thank you. Now, as I was saying, Something special, for you, to let you know how much you mean to me.” I handed her a long envelope and waited.
She looked up at me, then down at the envelope in her hand. “Well, it isn’t a teddy bear.”
“Go on, open it!” I was ready to burst and I prayed that I was doing the right thing.
I watched as she slid a finger under the flap and worked it loose. She reached inside and pulled out a sheaf of paperwork. She looked up at me, a little confused. “What is it? I don’t get it.”
I leaned over and showed her the new deed to the house, in both of our names. “I know you felt weird about this being my house, even after everything we talked about. Now, it belongs to us both, equally. I went to a lawyer and had it changed. I even had him draw up some partnership papers and power of attorney stuff for us. I was hoping, well…”
Clearly confused but amazed, she just stared at me. “Honey, you didn’t have to give me your house! You worked so hard for it!”
“I wanted to do this. The whole point of this place was that it would make a great house for a family some day. I figured I could work on it and sell it, or I could have a family of my own. Until you came along, I thought I’d be selling it.”
I smoothed a tear from her cheek, “What’s wrong Caty? Did I do something bad?”
Before I could say anything else, she was kissing me with everything in her. When we parted, Caty finally spoke. “Honey, I was crying because I finally found home again. I found it when we became an us. You wanting to do all of this, it just proves that I was right. I’m so in love with you!”
“I love you too! Does this mean you’ll marry me?” I asked.
“What? Are you serious?”
“Well, yeah! That’s what those partnership papers are for. It’s the closest the lawyer said we could get to a legal marriage for now. He’s gonna do wills and stuff for us too, when you’re ready.”
“Oh Chloe, of course I’ll marry you! But, I think you need to open your gift now.”
Puzzled, I agreed and opened the envelope she handed me. Inside were two plane tickets to Canada. “Umm, thanks! So, we’re going away?”
She smiled and took my hand. “We can get married in Canada. I was going to ask you to go there and marry me. I know it isn’t legal here, but I wanted to let you know that I want you, and only you forever.”
We started laughing and crying at the same time. I kissed her, she kissed me, until we were gasping for air. Finally, we both calmed down enough for me to say, “Yes, I’ll marry you in Canada. I can’t believe we were both thinking the same thing again. You think we share a brain Caty?”
She shook her head as she leaned in to kiss me again, “No, just a soul.”
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