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.
Warnings: No violence, sorry. This does involve a look at loving relationships between women. If this is not your style, you are under 18, or if this is not legal where you live: Either don’t read it, don’t get caught reading it, or forget you ever saw this stuff.
For those who think lesbianism is wrong -sorry, perhaps one day after we cure stuff like cancer and AIDS we’ll work on stupidity-until then, don’t read and don’t flame.
Sex: Of course-not in all sections but it does happen now and again.
Sue: Always for you!
Anything I missed? Fill in the blanks or email me.
All comments, questions, suggestions and nice stuff are LOVED!
About three weeks after Jay’s last treatment, she was able to start slowly doing more work from home. She had been keeping up with e-mail, other than the week right after treatments, when all she did was sleep. Now, she started tracking employee reviews, class schedules, and other aspects of her job, and picked up some of the load from Bailey and Sharon. She was hoping to get back to her full duties soon, but she understood that she needed more time to heal and rest, before she could tackle things like a full day in the office. Things were starting to look up after close to eight months of surgeries, treatments, hospitalizations, and illness.
According to the LiveStrong website, all cancer survivors become survivors the moment they are diagnosed. Jay was really only starting to understand that concept. She realized finally that the whole time she had been going through this battle for her life; she was showing the skills of surviving against the odds.
Jay finished her musings, when she heard the door slam, announcing Bailey’s arrival home and the start of a three-day weekend. They had decided to go away for the weekend just to get away from all things cancer related. Their bags were packed and ready, all they needed was Bailey to get changed, and they could hit the road. They had decided to take advantage of the early spring that seemed to be happening, and head to the Pocono Mountains. Jay’s family had a cabin up there and they were going to spend the weekend enjoying the solitude and relaxing.
“Hey baby, are you ready to head out soon?” asked Bailey as she joined Jay in the living room.
“You bet! I’m ready to blow this place anytime you are! Of course, I’m curing cabin fever by actually going to a cabin, but what the hell, let’s get on the road!”
Bailey took a playful swat at Jay as she went past, on her way to the bedroom to change clothes for the drive. Jay grabbed her jacket and felt in the inner pocket again to make sure that Bailey’s present was still there. She had gone out with Riley last week to make the purchase, and it had been burning a hole in her pocket ever since.
Bailey came out of their room with their bag and grabbed Jay for a kiss before saying, “Let’s get this show on the road woman! I can’t wait to see trees, grass, and mountains!”
The drive up was uneventful and Jay even took a turn at the wheel for a while to give Bailey a break. Close to four hours later, they reached the cabin and unloaded the groceries they had stopped for in the last little town. Bailey brought in their bag, and Jay brought in some firewood for the huge stone fireplace in the great room. The cabin was a two-story log cabin, built by one of those companies that builds it off site, takes it apart, and rebuilds it where the owner wants it. There was a great front porch, and a back deck that looked out on a small lake about half a mile away. The cabin had open space, lots of exposed beams, and huge glass windows. It felt like you were still in the middle of the outdoors, while warm and snug inside.
Jay got the fire going while Bailey pulled together a light snack for them. They had stopped for dinner just before they got their groceries. However, that was a while ago and Jay’s appetite had changed to more of a grazing pattern, many smaller meals throughout the day, rather than two or three larger meals.
After settling in, they relaxed on the couch in front of the fire and listened to soft music as they talked. Finally, after letting the fire burn down a bit, Jay banked it and they headed up to their bedroom. They decided to take a quick shower to wash off the grime of the road before going to bed. Jay still felt self-conscious about her scars, so she waited for Bailey to finish before heading in for her own shower. She knew logically that Bailey had seen her scars. Hell, she had treated her scars! However, between the scars and other damage from the surgery, pain and tingling from damaged nerves and muscles and her hair loss, Jay felt less than attractive. She was also so tired that while the idea of sex with her lover was enticing, she was worn out at the very thought of using that much energy. She found it easier to avoid situations where she might get carried away and then disappoint Bailey.
The sun was up and so was Bailey. She knew something was going on with Jay but she wasn’t sure what it was yet. She was still acting a bit off, not sharing showers anymore, not wanting to cuddle as much, and she was certainly not interested in much physical activity. Bailey understood her lover must have issues with her changed body image and with her energy levels, but she missed that feeling of closeness that they had shared. It wasn’t about the sex, though she missed that as well, it was the lack of any real physical intimacy.
Bailey was afraid of causing Jay pain in her injured side, while Jay seemed afraid of something that Bailey couldn’t name yet. She certainly planned to find out about it this weekend. She went outside and turned on the hot tub that was on the back deck, checked the chemical levels, and adjusted them a little bit. There was a property manager who kept up with things for the vacation homes in the area. He had gotten the place ready when they had called to let him know they would be using the place this weekend.
Bailey snuck upstairs quietly and slid back into bed next to Jay. She rested her head lightly on the other woman’s stomach, and started drawing random designs on her skin with one hand.
Slowly, Jay stirred and gazed down at her. “Having fun?” she asked.
Bailey shifted up the bed so she was lying on her side facing Jay. “As a matter of fact, I was thinking of ways we could have fun. For example, remember the hot tub? I just made sure it’s working and as we speak it’s warming up and ready to relax us.”
Jay grinned at her lover and said, “Give me ten minutes and I’ll be there.”
“I’ll give you twelve if you forget your bathing suit,” returned Bailey with a devilish grin.
Jay chuckled and said, “We’ll see, you evil woman! Now get out of here and let me get up and get ready.”
Bailey agreed to meet her out there, saying that she would take care of breakfast while Jay got herself together.
Jay got up and looked in the bathroom mirror. She stared at her reflection, trying to figure out why Bailey would still be attracted to her. She just didn’t see a reason. All Jay saw was the scars running up and down her neck, staple marks that looked like railroad tracks, the smaller scar from the port, which had just been removed the week before, and the scars from her drains.
Jay grimaced as she continued to look at her reflection. My neck is lopsided from the muscled they had to remove, the scars are red and hideous, and of course, who was the fool who said that bald is beautiful? With a sigh, she readied her self to go outside, slathering on water resistant sun block, even though the hot tub was in a shaded area. She had been warned about sun damage on her already damaged and sensitive skin, so she invested in a large amount of sun block and used it daily, even for car trips or hanging out by the windows during the day.
She pulled on a long tee shirt to walk through the house in. Isolated or not, she just didn’t feel comfortable traipsing around naked. When she went out on the rear deck, she found the small table had been set up with chunked up fruit, fresh orange juice, and croissants. She also found her beautiful Bailey, luxuriating in the warmth and bubbles of the hot tub, with her eyes closed. Her heart clenched at the sight and she felt a stirring of desire for her lover. She was surprised, but also afraid of starting something she wouldn’t be able to finish, so she pushed the desire aside for now. She slid the shirt off and slipped into the water to rest adjacent to her lover in the water.
Bailey opened her eyes when she heard the door open, but quickly shut them again. She was afraid of scaring Jay off. She leaned back and remembered her talk from the previous day with Riley.
“I don’t know what else to do Riley! She keeps pushing me away!”
“Bail, you know she loves you, right? I think she just isn’t really secure right now.”
Exasperated, Bailey threw her hands in the air and started pacing. “What? Not secure? I moved states, took a lot of risk to come back and ask for another chance. I stood by her and watched her almost die! What more can I do to prove that I love her?”
Rye just sat and watched her friend pace. “Listen, I think you two need to sit and talk some things out. I don’t think she doubts your love, just her worthiness of you and that love. I think she’s also afraid to be happy.”
Bailey turned a puzzled look on Riley and just stood still for a moment. “What do you mean?”
“Think about it Bail. She had been surviving until you came back into her life. Everything started to come together in her life and then she was diagnosed. Now she’ has physical and emotional scars that need to heal. Maybe she’s afraid that if she is too happy, the cancer will come back. I read about it in one of those cancer books I bought. Sometimes, the survivor is afraid to trust in their health returning.”
With a sigh, Bailey flopped back down onto Riley’s couch. “What do you think? She tells you stuff, right? What is it that she needs from me? I just want my life with Jay back.”
Riley paused and then suggested, “Just be patient Bail. Try to show her that you’re aware of the changes but that you aren’t afraid of them. She’ll come around. I know she will. She misses things too.”
Bailey stood again and pulled Riley up from her seat as well. “Thanks Rye. I’m sorry to dump on you but I appreciate your friendship more than you know.”
Riley chuckled. “Trust me on this one. Don’t push, she’s on her way back to you...it might take a little while, but you will get her back fully.”
Bailey knew that Jay had gotten sensitive about her looks and couldn’t seem to understand that she found her every bit as beautiful now as she had before the cancer. Even more so in fact, because the scars were badges of honor and courage in her eyes. They showed her that Jay loved her enough to fight for her life, even when giving up was so much easier. She felt Jay enter the tub and kept her eyes closed until Jay was settled in the water. She opened her eyes lazily and looked over to find Jay watching her.
For a moment, she could have sworn she saw a hint of desire. Feeling encouraged, Bailey moved a little to be closer to Jay on the bench. Jay moved, so that her right arm could drape around Bailey and hold her close while they relaxed into the water.
“That feels so good on my bad shoulder,” Jay said, as she let the water work its magic. “Maybe we should get a whirlpool tub for the condo. Or, maybe we should move out of the city and buy a house. Perhaps up in Chestnut Hill or Mt. Airy,” she suggested. As she said it, she watched Bailey for a reaction about buying a house together. Bailey looked up at her, her green eyes bright with excitement.
“Really? You would be willing to leave the condo? We could get a real house with a yard, and a basement and stuff? Could we get a dog too? I love dogs!”
Jay laughed at Bailey’s burst of enthusiasm. “So, I guess that’s a yes? Let’s give a call to a realtor when we get home and see what we can find. If we don’t find anything we like in Chestnut Hill or Mt. Airy, we can always look at Media, it’s close enough to work , and either area has a good lesbian population and a Trader Joes.”
“Well, as long as we have a Trader Joes,” Bailey joked but looked at Jay with adoration. “I can’t believe it Jay, I’ve wanted to own a house for so long, but it never seemed like a good time. Then when you got sick, I didn’t let myself think past each day. I think we should do it! And I really do want a dog, what do you think of the name Bob?”
Jay laughed again, starting to feel her fears lessen, “I take it we’re getting a male dog?”
“I don’t care if it’s a male or female, I just like the name Bob.”
Jay shook her head but grinned at her lover, and agreed to let her name the dog whatever she wanted, as long as she also cleaned up Bob’s accidents while he or she was getting house trained.
As Jay leaned back and relaxed, Bailey decided it was time to reassure Jay about her desire for her. She started trailing her hand up and down Jay’s stomach and side as she leaned against her lover; enjoying the feeling of the muscles as they shifted and tightened in response to her touch. She leaned down and captured a nipple in her mouth, licking it to attention and swirling her tongue around it, as she sucked gently. Jay started to protest and Bailey shushed her.
“Jay, I know your body is different now, and I know you don’t have as much energy. I get it, but I miss you so much. Just lie there and let me make you feel good. Please, just let me love you.”
Jay hid her face as she started to turn red and her eyes welled up with tears. “How can you want me when I’m so scarred? I’m not the woman I was when you fell in love with me!”
Bailey straddled Jay’s hips and pulled her chin around with one hand, so they were looking into each other’s eyes, green into brown.
“Jay, the woman I fell in love with has been through a fierce battle and come out with scars that show her courage and faith. These scars are a part of you and that’s fine with me. It is a constant reminder of all you went through to give us a chance at a long life together.” She leaned forward and gently kissed Jay’s lips.
“Baby, I love the person you are inside and outside. But, as long as the inner you is there, the outside doesn’t matter. Would you love me less if I were scarred in a car accident?”
Jay shook her head, slowly understanding that Bailey meant it, she still considered her sexually attractive.
“Does that mean you accept that I still find you unbelievably hot and desirable?” asked Bailey.
Jay chuckled, “I get your point, and I’ll try to feel less self conscious about my scars around you. Be prepared to remind me now and then.”
“Let me remind you right now,” murmured Bailey as she leaned in for a kiss.
Jay leaned back and she let herself believe in the strength of their love for one another. She felt Bailey’s mouth as she kissed and licked her way over her body and felt her body responding. She gave herself over to the feelings Bailey was stirring up and reached out for Bailey. As Bailey rode her thigh, she entered Jay with two fingers and used her thumb to stimulate her clit. Jay reached down and positioned her fingers at Bailey’s entrance so that as she moved against her thigh, she would move along Jay’s fingers. Their mouths met in a frantic kiss before Bailey threw her head back and screamed Jay’s name. With the evidence of Bailey passion, Jay fell over the edge, holding Bailey tightly against her as she shook and trembled.
Eventually, they had to leave the hot tub or risk turning into soup, but they had already decided to use it again later. Getting out, they wrapped themselves up in the big bath sheets that Bailey had set out earlier, and sat to enjoy their light breakfast. They traded looks and started laughing.
Bailey wondered, “What if any of the other cabins had people in them? Do you think they heard us?”
Jay chuckled and pointed out that if they were occupied, and they had been overheard, then the other couples either got some good ideas of how to spend their morning or got jealous of the lucky woman screaming in ecstasy.
After lazing around a bit, the two women headed upstairs to get dressed and go for a drive down to the lake. Normally, Jay would have hiked the meager mile or so, but between getting there, walking around or hanging out, and then hiking back it, would have been too much exertion for her. They drove down to the dock and left the car in the parking area while they walked along the waters edge, holding hands and talking softly about their plans for a house.
Feeling emboldened by their lovemaking, Jay decided to test the waters a bit further and see how far she could take things in one day. “Um, Bail, if we’re going to buy a house together, maybe we should see a lawyer about some paperwork. You know like wills, living wills, that kind of thing. I was thinking that it would have helped you when I was sick if you had my power of attorney but we didn’t think to do that in advance. Maybe we should get all that stuff done, what do you think?”
Bailey felt her heart thumping in her chest. Part of her was thrilled with the idea of legal documents binding them together, and part of her was terrified because she thought that Jay might be doing it to protect her in case the cancer came back. Bailey didn’t want to think about that happening so she hesitated.
Jay read her response incorrectly and started to recant the idea as just a silly thought, until Bailey stopped her. She took Jay’s hand and led her to an outcropping of rocks not far from the water, and pulled her down to sit.
Looking her right in the eyes, Bailey took Jay’s hands in her own and said, “Honey, please don’t think I’m not interested in doing the paperwork to legalize our lives. I was just afraid that you were doing it because of the cancer. Like you might have been trying to protect me just in case and I got scared. It has absolutely nothing to do with how I feel about you or us. I would be happy to see a lawyer and do the whole thing. Wills, living wills, power of attorney, partnership agreements, whatever we need.”
Jay took a tremulous breath and let it out slowly. “Are you sure baby? I don’t want to rush you. I know we haven’t been together that long officially, but—”
Bailey interrupted her with her emerald eyes flashing, “Jay Conway, we’ve known each other most of our lives! How are we rushing anything? If I hadn’t been so stupid we’d be married and in a house already, celebrating our fourteenth anniversary or something.” Suddenly, she stopped, realizing what she had said in her moment of ire.
Jay on the other hand, took the chance. Jay looked at Bailey for a moment with love pouring from her eyes. She motioned for Bailey to stay where she was, but pulled her hands away for a moment to reach in her pocket for something. She knelt by the rocks and took Bailey’s left hand in her right one. Bailey looked shocked, but didn’t say or do anything, afraid to break the moment, and afraid she might be wrong.
Jay looked up at her and with a slight tremor in her voice, started speaking. “Bailey, you’re right. We’ve known each other a very long time and if things had gone differently, we might have been all the things you just said. The truth is, we both had some growing up to do before we were ready for the intensity of our feelings. I’ve always known you were the woman I should be with, but I wasn’t ready to be the woman you needed. I am now. I’m ready to live my life with you, and beside you, for the rest of our time here.”
She opened the box that had been concealed in her left hand. “I know we have a lot of challenges to overcome, but if the past year has taught me anything, it is that we can handle whatever comes our way by sticking together. Bailey, will you marry me? Please?” Jay’s voice shook as she asked the all-important question.
Bailey’s eyes welled up with tears, and she was overwhelmed with emotions, as she realized what Jay had said and asked. She knelt down next to Jay and kissed her gently on her lips. “I would like nothing more than to marry you, my love. You have no idea how long I’ve been hoping to hear that from you.”
They flung themselves into each other’s arms and embraced tightly before Jay pulled back and took the ring from its box. She slipped it on Bailey’s left hand ring finger, and they both looked down at it. Only then did Bailey register the design of the ring on her hand. It was an Irish Claddagh ring, but it was different from many she had seen. It was made of platinum, with a small green stone held by the traditional hands. The band had a design of Celtic knot work that connected one hand to the other. She looked up at Jay with a question in her eyes.
“I got it because the emerald reminded me of your eyes,” she said softly. “As soon as I saw it, I knew it was the perfect ring for you.” Bailey was overcome with emotion and kissed Jay, with all of her passion and love. Jay returned her kiss with fervor, until she realized they were in a rather public place.
“What do you say we take this back to the cabin?” suggested Jay, with a twinkle in her eyes. Suddenly, she wasn’t too worried about being bald or scarred. All that mattered was being with the woman she had loved since she was much younger, and still naïve about the world.
(16 months later)
She saw a few clouds in the sky and instantly worried. A perfectly sunny day was too much to hope for, thought Jay, as she glanced out the window of the second bedroom. The home that she and Bailey had found in Chestnut Hill last year was perfect for them. It allowed a couple of guest rooms and space for them to have a workout room, a shared office, and good amount of storage. The second bedroom had become Jay’s dressing area for the events of the day.
Riley sat on the edge of the queen size bed as she bent over to tie her shoes. Looking up at Jay, she grinned, and asked a question she already knew the answer to a long time ago. “So, you sure we should just be friends? Maybe we didn’t give ourselves enough of a chance? What do you say we ditch this shindig and go on a date?”
Jay started laughing before Riley could even finish her question. Wiping her eyes, Jay leaned over and gave Riley a big hug. “Thanks Rye, I can always count on you for support and laughter! I don’t know if I would be holding it together if it weren’t for you.”
It was Riley’s turn to laugh, “Jay, you held it together for a long time before I met you. I suspect you would do just fine without me. Rest assured though, I’m not going anywhere. Remember, as long as you cook, I’ll be around to eat.” She smirked at Jay, knowing there was little the other woman liked as much as an appreciative audience for her cooking.
Suddenly, there was a knock at the door and Laura stuck her head inside. “Jay, are you ready? It’s almost time for things to get underway.”
Jay smiled at her mother and nodded her head. “I’m ready Mom. Let’s get this thing started!”
Laura chuckled at Jay’s enthusiasm, “I’ll go down and let everyone know to get seated. Get ready to join us and start the next phase of your life honey. I just want you to know how proud I am of you! I love you, and I wish you nothing but a long life of health and happiness.”
“Thanks Mom, I know, and I love you too! Now, I’m keeping someone very important waiting, so let’s get going.”
After Laura left the room, Jay looked at Riley as she let out a long, slow breath of air. “Let’s go man, I’m ready for this show to end and the rest of my life to start.”
Riley clapped her hand on Jay’s right shoulder and nodded. They walked out into the hallway, headed down the stairs, and out the back door into the spacious back yard. The guests were settling in the chairs rented for the occasion inside the large white tent. Jay had insisted on the tent to prevent rain from ruining this special day. Cautious as always, but it also served to keep the sun from shining directly upon her and the guests.
Then the back door opened and Bailey came out of the house, looking radiant and lovely as always. She joined Jay in the open space inside the tent, clasping her hand as she did so. The Wiccan priestess that Bailey had studied with was there, waiting at the small table serving as an alter for the event. Jay, Bailey, and Riley stood quietly as the door opened again, and Scott, Jay’s longtime personal assistant came out with Sharon. Scott was carrying a small bundle in his arms as he and Sharon joined the women under the tent.
The Priestess spoke, her voice ringing out, loud and clear in the calm spring day. “Ladies and gentlemen, we are gathered here today for a truly blessed event. The creation of a family. Just over a year ago, we rejoiced in the joining of Bailey and Jay in matrimony. Today, we bring into this family a new member of this strong household.”
She held her arms out and accepted the small bundle from Scott. “This is Brigid Regina Conway-McIntyre. Her name comes from the Celtic High Goddess Bríghid and the Celtic word for Queenly. I think that growing up surrounded by such strength and love, she is destined to live up to her name. Who stands for her as God and Goddess parents?”
Riley and Sharon clasped hands and stepped forward, as did Scott. Each in turn took the baby in their arms and promised to help her grow to be a strong, healthy, well-cared for adult. The Priestess took the baby back and handed her to her tearful parents.
“Remember, children are a gift whose future is determined by how well you do your job as parents. Love her and each other well, be firm, but show compassion. Be her example and let her make mistakes. May the God and Goddess bless you all.”
Bailey looked at Jay, her eyes brimming with tears. “Jay, I love you and Brigid, thank you for this today. It was perfect!”
Jay leaned over and kissed the soft fuzzy head of their daughter, before kissing her wife. “Honey, this is just the start. Did you forget, we have a celebration planned! Let’s show this daughter of ours how the Irish throw a party!”
As Jay escorted her wife and daughter she realized how blessed they truly were. When she and Bailey had gotten married, Bailey’s High Priestess had flown in to do the ceremony, just as she had today. Scott had run things at the office in her absence, so well in fact, that she had arranged for a promotion for him. She was flabbergasted when he turned it down. He announced that he was very happy working where he was, as her assistant. So, Jay created a new position for him, a management position that kept them working together, with him as her right hand still, but with more money and authority behind him.
When Jay told him of her and Bailey’s marriage, he had asked if they wanted kids. The truth was, Jay hadn’t really thought about it because of the cancer. They decided they did, and Bailey would try to conceive after they were married and settled in the new house. That was when Scott offered to be their donor. He willingly signed away parental rights and agreed to help them inseminate again if they wanted more children. Thankfully, the pregnancy had been uneventful and led to this amazing day, their daughter’s introduction to her family and her parents’ friends.
The new family led the way out of the tent, followed by the godparents, the pastor, and finally, the guests. As they walked, Riley and Sharon held hands and smiled at each other.
“So, what do you think Sharon? Ready for this new responsibility of ours?” Riley gave her a teasing grin as she asked, but there was something else behind her question.
“I think that I can handle one small kid, honey. I do run a rather large division every day. What’s one more small person? Besides, you have to help too!”
Riley smiled softly as she held the hand of the woman she loved. She swung their hands and decided to hold off on the talk she had planned until later that night. For now, this day was about Brigid, and welcoming her to the clan. Everything else could wait until later.
Return to the Academy