1. Copyright: These are all my characters. Started this story 02/10/04 Copyright © 2005 All Rights Reserved. Send comments to JLNickymaster@aol.com

2. Violence: Vicious over eating here! Look out!

3. Sexual content: Kissing…mmm HOT!

4. Special thanks: nanu nanu (I know you understood that)

5. Language: Pretty clean at this point.



Sam and Sydney spent the next hour chatting with and getting to know everyone better. Sydney fell into conversation with the two wives and they began to discuss music, believe it or not. The wives, Patty and Terri, were both musically inclined and Sydney mentioned her store at one point.

Patty, one of the guitarist wives, recognized the name. "You own that store? It's great! I talked to a few guys that said you carried the best of the best. I heard you just bought a Martin that's worth a small fortune." Sydney nodded. She knew the word had gotten out but didn't think it was this far yet. Music communities had a cliquesomewhere that gossiped about the strangest things.

"What kind of guitar?" JT's husky voice cut into the conversation. Sydney noticed instantly the entire group was listening. JT just had that kind of presence.

"It's really sweet. A D-45. It's got pearl inlayed frets and everything," Sam boasted loudly. "Sydney sounds tight on it!" he included as he praised his sister. Sydney blushed with embarrassment. She really didn't think these professional artists would want to hear about her music world.

JT's eyebrows rose with that and the rest of the band became a little more animated.

"You play guitar?" Chuck asked Sydney. She nodded, feeling the bluest eyes beaming into her flushed features.

"She plays anything. She rocks!" Sam boasted seeing Sydney's blush. He grinned at her and caught the towel she threw.

"I can play a few instruments. So can Sam. He has the trophies to prove it. He's best at piano though." Everyone caught the affection between the two blondes and smiled.

"Looks like someone's gonna have to prove it!" Chuck grumbled and stood up. He went inside and brought back an acoustic Gibson guitar. Sydney frowned at him and shook her head when he tried to hand it to her. He looked over at Sam and gave an evil chuckle.

"You play guitar, boy?" Sam's grin faltered a little. Guitar was not his best. He was a keyboard man. He gave a hopeful look at his sister and she melted at it. She could tell he wanted to shine. She sighed and gestured to Chuck to hand it over. At least she could shine for him. Chuck gave her the guitar and she made a quick strum.

"What do you want to hear?" she asked the big burly monster sitting back down near Sam.

Chuck gave a shrug and glanced over at JT. JT raised an eyebrow and shook her head.

"You started this. She doesn't have to play if she doesn't want to. You pick a song." Chuck grinned sheepishly and looked over at Sydney. "Give us some blues."

Sydney nodded and looked at Sammy. She drew a quick breath then strummed the strings lightly. Launching into a tune she deftly drew the music out. A quick picking of the strains of Summertime came out. It had been performed by many artists and was a popular song but Sydney liked the rendition done by George Benson, a saxophone player. She played the lead tune with the guitar. It was a sultry, sexy rendition. The music fairly spoke with the twang of the South. She let her hands fly over the strings and felt the summer air stir with each note.

After she finished the people around her clapped. She ducked her head slightly and handed the guitar back to Chuck. He bowed in defeat as he grinned with playfulness.

"Thank you, my lady." He teased warmly. Sydney grinned. She glanced over at Sam and he was beaming. As the general talk resumed, she quickly glanced at JT and noticed she had covered her eyes with sunglasses. She had a small smile across her lips. Sydney looked away and joined into another conversation nearby.

The pace around them was very relaxed. Sydney found out they had been on tour for the last 3 months. This week would end the grind with a final concert. Around 5:30 the band began to disperse to different areas of the house. Many of them went to a doorway off the house wing. The first floor held a wing of rooms eastward following the same layout as the top floor. Sydney and Sam were urged to go shower and change and get ready for dinner at 7 p.m. Sydney led the way as she listened to Sam discuss all the favorite things that had happened today. She grinned at his innocent wonderment. She thanked God mentally for this opportunity for Sam to have such a great experience. So far it was fantastic! Sydney hope it would continue to be.

After they had changed into dinner clothes, they met up in the hallway and were greeted by Chuck in dress slacks and a nice button down. Sam had on blue jeans and asked quickly if he needed to change. Sydney had decided to wear a summer dress and was feeling very comfortable. Chuck shook his head. He admitted the dress up thing was a little overboard for dinner, but he hadn't had a chance to wash his laundry yet since they had just got back off the road. They all laughed.

Sam still wore his baseball cap and whispered to Sydney that he felt kind of "too casual". She just grabbed his T-shirt and dragged him after Chuck.

They descended toward the living room and made their way around back out to the patio. The umbrella tables and patio chairs were now assembled into three tables side by side with chairs all around, umbrellas expanded. The pool lights were on full force and the garden lights lit up the backyard with a magical essence. Chuck steered them to a couple of chairs and told them to relax. The other members began to arrive, each carrying a covered dish. They set them down and uncovered each one as they moved to take an empty chair. Sydney and Sam watched wide-eyed as all ten people covered all the spare table space with food for many more than were present. JT was last and managed to kick the sliding door shut with a tennis shoe as she carried over the plates. Setting them down she started handing them down the length of the table. Everyone kept passing until they all had one. The silverware was next, then napkin's. Sam giggled as the adults around him sighed and groaned dramatically with anticipation.

"Grace!" JT stated. The whole band reached out and clasped hands next to each other. JT gave thanks for everyone and for continued success and for the bounty before them. Sydney managed to squeeze Sam's hand as JT wound it down with "Amen". The larger group Amen'd in the normal closing response to a finished prayer. The two blondes continued on silently their heads bowed. They both remained still for as long as it took to mentally say the ending of their own mealtime litany. Sydney met Sam's eyes seconds later and recognized the silent gratitude he sent her with a glance. They shared a special moment before the rest intruded.

Sam flushed slightly looking around at the still silent group, but Sydney was determined never to let up on him. She made so many promises to God and any deity listening during his illness that the only one she firmly felt she could keep afterward was to never forget to thank God for the miracle of Sam's continued health. She had once told Sam that any prayer she ever gave ended with those sentiments. He knew it was true, as she had repeated the dinner prayer always at every meal. Sydney caught JT's eyes and the questioning raised eyebrow and managed to smile casually.

"Amen!" She stated, nudging Sam slightly.

"Amen!" he squeaked out, his changing voice choosing that moment to hit a high note. There were a few chuckles, but he managed to grin as Chuck broke the awkward silence by sighing loudly.

"Can we puleeeeze eat, oh Great One of the Kitchen?"

JT rolled her eyes and looked over at his comic expression.

"Dig in, ya big lug!" Everyone laughed and reached out to help themselves to the various bowls and dishes.

The band members around her helped Sydney get a serving of each dish as it was passed by eventually filling her plate to overflowing. She had beef au jus, mashed potatoes, salad, bread rolls, two different vegetables and a strange looking side of fruit salad. She watched them dig in with gusto and began to enjoy the friendly camaraderie. It felt like a big family. She and Sam both enjoyed the change from two to 20. Conversations flew all over the place. People pointed to a dish here and there to get seconds, then thirds. Sydney let the flavors of the beef au jus seep into her mouth. It was spiced and delicious. The beef was tender and perfect. She sampled each dish with more and more enjoyment. Chuck made a quick comment to save room for dessert. Sam grinned back, but kept eating with the energy of the young and growing. Sydney nodded and decided not to get seconds on the beef.

JT stood up and went into the house to get the dessert plate while two of the guys started collecting dishes and putting them on a roll cart set off to the side. They quickly handed out smaller dessert plates and fresh forks as JT strolled out carrying a huge cake, candles flaming.

"Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday, dear Patty! Happy birthday to you!" she sang strongly as she set down the square cake motioning for Patty to blow out the candles. Patty blushed at the lead singer who took that moment to grab her and smooch her cheek gustily. The rest of the crowd clapped and congratulated her.

"I wish you would forget the date once in a while JT. I'm gonna be as big as a house." Patty exclaimed with laughter. JT shrugged and grinned. Patty grinned at her husband John and he leaned over to give her a quick kiss.

"You two are terrible!" She admonished him. He wiggled his eyebrows suggestively. She smacked his arm lightly.

"Blow out the candles." "Make a wish!" Others urged. Patty looked at John and blushed. John's smile grew larger and smug.

"We already got our wish yesterday!" The noise from the rowdy band grew softer at John's satisfied exclamation.

"I'm pregnant!" Patty grinned with enthusiasm, to which thunderous applause and catcalls came from the band. John was backslapped and congratulated while Patty was given hug after hug. JT was ecstatic.

"I'm gonna be an Aunt?" She proudly lugged John a shot in the arm and hugged Patty excitedly.

"Knew you could do it, John!" someone yelled out. Sydney and Sam laughed along with the group and lifted up their dinner drinking glasses high with the many toasts that followed.

Sydney watched through the next hour as the large group shared their friendship and showed the tight bond they had formed. They were a fun crowd and seemed relatively clean compared to the many stories Sydney had run across in the music industry. She didn't see anyone drinking hard liquor and there was nobody smoking. She frowned at that surprise a few times. In fact the whole lot of them remained really decent. She noticed the first of continuous yawns coming from her brother and began suppressing her own as the night flew by.

She leaned over to get Sammy's attention and motioned for him to get up. He nodded and covered his mouth from another yawn.

"We are gonna have to hit the sack. The trip out here took more out of us than we thought it would." Sydney murmured to a few at her end of the table. Chuck quickly stood up and stated he would show them back to their rooms. Sydney smiled and reached over to his forearm with a quick squeeze of thanks. She steered her young brother in his slight daze past the other end of the table as some of the members welcomed them once again and wished them a good evening.

Sydney found her gaze trapped in the magnetic pull of JT's powerful stare. A rush of heat found her body as she blushed without reason. JT let a soft smile cross her face as she wished them sweet dreams. Sydney just nodded and smiled back in return.

Once inside the house, the air conditioning calmed her hormones that had begun to run amuck in her body. She sighed as they climbed the one flight.

She groaned as she lay down on her soft queen bed and knew she was going to have serious trouble getting to sleep. Who could sleep knowing that woman was just down the hall? Sydney's eyes flew open at a stray thought. What did she wear to bed?

She shoved a pillow over her face and attempted to block out the fact that Justine might be naked, sleeping right down the hall nearby. She clenched the pillow to her chest and begged her mind to forget about it. Her body, however, continued to ignore her mental pleas causing her to curl into a fetal position and start counting to 1000 sheep.

Justine loaded the dishwasher with the last of the dishes. Turning to survey her secret kingdom, she quickly wiped the cream-colored counters down and turned the small oven light on for any stray midnight snacking that might occur. Her band was clear on her kitchen rules. Clean up after themselves and she would do the rest.

She let her troubled gaze wander toward the foot of the banister as if she could bend her vision to look upstairs. What the heck was Sydney doing here? JT wondered at the multitude of questions she had running through her head. Until yesterday, JT glanced at the clock and saw it was past 1 a.m., she would have said younger innocent Sydney was the most beautiful woman she had ever met. She pictured the more mature Sydney in her head and felt her heart pounding from the instant increase of her pulse. Just the thought of how good Sydney looked now with her tall frame and broad shoulders set JT's body on alert. She could hardly believe Sydney was sleeping in her house. JT groaned internally. A gorgeously tall, sexy, blonde woman, who JT had once watched orgasm in her arms, was sleeping 3 doors down from her bedroom. JT plopped down onto the couch and leaned her head back with the remembered vision of Sydney's arching into her arms. The stimulating torment continued to tease JT's senses until she smelled the aroma of her own juices rising into the air. She quickly stood up and moved toward the stairs. Heading upward, she thought ofa plug in device she could use that would help her take care of the issue. At least for the moment, JT frowned as she shut her bedroom suite doors and headed to her closet.


The next morning dawned with Sammy making enough racket to wake the sleeping blonde as he attempted to sing in the shower, his voice cracking high then low. Sydney moaned slightly at the jet lag lagging in her head and pulled herself upright, into a sitting position. She flexed her legs outward and watched the strong muscles show their cut. She let her blood center and slowly stood to stretch her back, listening to the realigning vertebrae pop back into place. She walked over to the bathroom door and knocked a soft rap. After telling her brother to tone it down, she turned to gather her toothbrush and a change of clothes. Setting them on the bedside she moved to begin her 15-minute morning routine of stretching mixed with sit-ups and pushups. She heard the tortured singing eventually stop after a few minutes and the shower shut off. He was out with a soft rap to let her know it was free.

Finishing her 20 sit-ups she pulled herself up to stand and grabbed her stuff. A glance at the alarm clock shows it was 20 minutes before 7 a.m. She shook her head at the two of them rising so early. The traveling must have messed up their sleep patterns.

After her shower she got dressed in a pair of slacks and a soft cotton top. Her shoulders were bare except for the single string straps that held the top up. She arranged her mid length hair up into a hair clip and lightly applied some eye shadow.

Leaving her bedroom at seven sharp she walked out into the hall the same time as her brother. They grinned at each other then gravitated down the stairs to the smell of bacon.

The kitchen counter was already filling with breakfast items as Sam and Sydney walked into the dining area. Sydney found JT busy flipping pancakes over near the oven range and cabinet area. She took a moment to fill her vision with the smaller woman while JT was too busy to notice them.

"Come sit down!" Chuck announced their presence as he sipped his coffee. He motioned to the coffee pot nearby and let Sydney make her own cup. After fixing it she mixed in sugar then turned to sit down next to Chuck. Sammy had already claimed a seat and was staring at the food with childlike hunger.

"Sam you and your sister can get your plates and fill them up. Guests first here!" Sam squeaked out a thank you and grabbed a clean plate off the end to begin dipping into the food.

Sydney filled her plate and returned to sit down and eat. The other band members began to arrive. The food was delicious and Sydney could barely take her eyes off the constantly moving ebony haired woman across the room. She sipped her coffee noticing JT had truly become more beautiful than what she remembered. The younger version, she could recall, had been a bit thinner and less self-assured. This woman, however, was confident, direct, and extremely comfortable with herself. She seemed stronger and more together, unlike her distant youthfulness. Sydney wondered what Justine noticed about her own changes in life.

Although, Sydney acknowledged as she closed her eyes briefly, a bolt of pleasure sweeping through her body, JT sure knew a lot about sex back then. Sydney wondered what Justine might be like now that she had gained 10 more years of experience. She shivered with the thought.

Opening her eyes, she fell into the blue pools looking her way. Her own forest eyes watched as the blue darkened. Sydney broke their connection and looked down at her food. Her appetite had become a hunger for another type of sustenance.

She pushed her plate away and looked around the table. Grown men and women were discussing the day's plans. The unusual consensus was to explore Nashville. Sammy looked thoroughly excited as they discussed stopping at Opry Mills. The 200 store shopping, dining and entertainment complex that was built on the site of the former theme park Opryland USA was a draw for all ages. Chuck couldn't wait to show Sam the arcade area with real shot-pull weapons and a paintball target room. Patty exclaimed the need to visit the children's baby stores. The four women chimed in on helping her. The men all seemed to cower in their chairs. Patty took one look at her slightly depressed husband and assured him with a quick roll of her eyes with four women shopping the men could go elsewhere. Sydney caught Sam's eye and nodded. He grinned with excitement knowing he would be included. Chuck grinned over at him too.

Sydney sipped her coffee and listened to the day's plans. She hoped she would be able to escape the pull of her seductress soon. The slight leaning over the table to pick up an empty plate drew Sydney's eyes as the shirt fell open to show cleavage. Sydney almost choked on her coffee. She patted her chest and lifted her napkin to wipe the spatters off her chin. Lord have mercy on me. This day had better get moving! Sydney begged the slow moving group silently.

Five hours later she was begging to be off with the men who were surely having more fun than she was. It seemed to be her lot in life to carry the bags. She had volunteered to watch a few at four stores ago and now she was the designated bag watcher at every stop. The boredom was hideous. The absolute bottom line was Justine kept asking her if she minded? Her immediate response was no. Unfortunately she didn't think she could do anything but agree with whatever JT wanted.

She watched the four women looking at some clothing just at the exit to a women's clothing outlet. Suddenly she noticed a group of slightly younger men heading in the girls direction. They were eyeing the women like meat products and the one sandy haired leader of the group was adjusting his balls as he swaggered up behind JT. His loud and bawdy introduction of bravado and obnoxiousness never occurred as he was bodily lifted from behind the smaller women by the yanking of his collar. He gasped in surprise and began choking as Sydney walked about 15 steps away carrying him above the ground. She tossed him roughly down toward the next aisle. He landed on one knee and rubbed his throat as he tried to breath.

She stood staring at him. Her forearm of steel, flexing as she clenched her hands back and forth into fists, helped the wannabe predator into making the decision to leave the women behind. Sydney stood without moving a muscle until he called his 3 buddies over and they all began walking away. Carefully turning away from the retreating group she walked over and sat back down with the bags. Her inner ire fired up with excess endorphins, she twisted her stiff neck to the left and then right, as she released the pressure of the hunt.

She looked back over at the women shopping and instantly blushed bright red, as they were all looking over her way with wide eyes and smirks. Sydney looked away toward the mall flowers and fountain down the aisle. She didn't see the quick fanning motion Patty made toward JT. Justine shook her head and pulled her blouse out slightly a few times indicating the heat. They grinned at each other.

They caught back up with the 3 band male band members and their bright-eyed guest right as the women started talking about food. Sydney watched as Sammy glowed with internal enthusiasm. He started describing the paintball auditorium right away. She laughed at his description of Chuck getting pegged by a 5 year old, in the dimly lit strobe flashing area of the paintball forest they had fought in. He was slightly flushed and Sydney tried hard not to reach out and feel his forehead. She could see a glint of steel in his eyes as he explained his breathlessness to her. She managed just to nod and look away calmly. She didn't want to ruin his obvious pleasure. God knows he deserved a little fun and playtime after his miserable stint in chemotherapy. Sydney bit her lip at repressing the urges to ask him to try and be calmer. She locked eyes with JT as she worried about it. JT raised an eyebrow with that questioning look and Sydney just shook her head.

She realized JT was the only other human she had ever had that ability with. The total connection between them scared and fascinated her. With just a look or a touch an entire conversation could take place. The whole idea shook Sydney to the core. She couldn't seem to resist the satisfied feeling she encountered when she dwelled on this fact. Yet every time such a moment occurred Sydney pictured that strange woman lip locked with her Justine, and Sydney realized, she did consider Justine hers. If she could just understand, maybe they could get past it.

Sydney hadn't seen JT with anyone since they had arrived. Granted it was only two days but with subtle interrogative questions to the band members and blatant observation Sydney just knew she could find out. She set her sights on this plan and rejoined the conversations happening around her.

The band and their guests returned to the mansion where the waiting Hank told them that the recording studio was available tomorrow. Half the group groaned the other half smiled. The wives were the groaning majority. Sam and Sydney high-fived. Everyone broke off into his or her respective partners and Chuck asked Sam to hit the pool before the sun went down. They went off to change and regroup outside near the pool while Sydney stood wondering what she could do. She wanted to spend a little time with JT.

JT tucked her thumbs in her jean pockets and stood near Sydney; almost as fidgety as the taller woman was acting. They took a few glances at each other and both smiled at their humorous antics simultaneously.

"Would you like to…," JT started in while at the same time Sydney inquired nervously, "Can we just…" They both stopped.

"Let's get a bottle of wine and go catch up," JT suggested. Sydney nodded and eyed the two glasses she was handed to carry as she followed JT with her bottle of wine into the enclosed den on the 1st floor.

They took a few minutes pouring and remarking on the flavor. Sydney watched JT formulate the beginning of a sentence, and then open her mouth to speak, but stop. She did this twice before Sydney couldn't handle it any more.

"Why? Why did you kiss her?" Sydney asked, all the pain in her tumultuous thoughts verbalized in that one question. JT, startled at the accusation, turned her head to look off across the room at the bay window showing the boys just arriving near the poolside. She watched Sam trying to push Chuck's huge frame into the pool and smiled at the bond they were forming. The sunset made a beautiful backdrop for the evening. But, the smile was bittersweet. She looked back at Sydney with anguish in her eyes.

"I was 16 when I went professional, Sydney. I was so young and so alone. I made some mistakes. So I had to deal with them. She…" JT paused, swallowing some of her wine. "She…was a mistake!" JT grimaced at the memory. Sydney watched JT as she lifted the wine glass and gulped its contents down. Reaching out Sydney poured the glass full again and received a knowing smile for her efforts.

Sydney listened as JT explained who the 'she' had been before and who she had become after within her early career. She described her broken home, of living with her mother. The image Sydney visualized was of a mother who worked a lot and had little time for her only daughter. She leaned back into the couch and listened while JT described a very lonely life. How the twists and turns she had taken had made her become JT from the Justine Sydney had met. JT reflected briefly on her elementary and high school days that consisted of many choir solos and eventual scholarships and how she had applied to a conglomerate of music studios for record deals. Justine had worked her way into the music industry by sheer determination. She recorded cassette tapes of herself singing. She mailed letters of introduction with a snapshot and a profile sheet she paid to have created at Kinko's. She hung out at clubs even though she was underage, trying to talk the proprietors into letting her sing just one or two sets. Finally she was discovered.

She had been passed over time and time again until the barracuda had signed her. Justine was excited but naïve. She had her very first professional manager and consequently their relationship quickly turned into an affair of more than just business. It wasn't long after the manager/singer affair began that JT came out of her sexual closet and was introduced to some of the more interesting sides of the music industry. Unfortunately, JT had thought herself in love until she had caught her manager-cum-lover with another artist. The young vibrant woman had hit the roof and exclaimed to her manager/love that the affair between others was unacceptable and she would walk out. That was when she was first introduced to the 'fine print' of contracts. She was caustically shown the 'fine print' on her own contract stating she would have to stay legally bound to the…as JT described her…'piranha' for 5 years or until she turned 21, which ever came first.

She spent the next full year pretending to be satisfied with her lot while the entire time she searched for the loophole that would release her. She sorrowfully explained how she had gone back to the pretense of being 'the' lover in an effort to throw the 'shark' off the scent. JT had hired a lawyer who was diligently setting her 'fine print' barracuda up for the fall. Regrettably, JT had to ensure the continued illusion when her manager was around. Thankfully that was not often as she actually had other interests to attend to.

JT pleaded with her eyes for Sydney to understand. The kiss Sydney had witnessed had meant nothing. The woman had eventually meant nothing. The entire event was a huge tragedy. Sydney recognized the truth in her heart and felt such a horrible feeling of disgust at her own lack of faith. JT didn't seem to be accusing Sydney of any wrongdoing. Sydney, however, felt the full brunt of her childish action of running away in every pore of her body. Why hadn't she questioned JT? Why hadn't she fought for their relationship?

Sydney berated herself for the misgivings she now understood. They were both so young and the events after that evening were a blur to understand even now. Sydney had taken over custody of Sam after the court proceedings. She arranged her school schedule around the now more important role she had begun to play. She spent an exorbitant amount of time with her brother as they helped each other come to terms with the sudden loss. Sydney hadn't had time to dwell on her own self-interests. She had never looked back at her lost youth. Her responsibilities were keeping her too busy.

Sydney noticed JT steered way away from their encounter and any other sexual reference while she talked. Goodness knows Sydney barely had to think of that night when she felt her skin flush at the remembered moment. What if they actually talked about it? Sydney gulped her wine instantly trying to cool the simmering cloud of sexual arousal JT seemed to put her in. She listened to JT explain her accomplishments and the meeting of each band member. The family she had eventually formed from those encounters held a solid note of love in JT's voice. She cared deeply for her crew. Sydney smiled at the affection JT showed. It was an endearing quality.

Suddenly JT looked over at Sydney and, with that glance, Sydney knew it was her turn. She took a moment to turn her head and look over at the now playful sight of her very young brother posing on the diving board of the swimming pool. The pool lights were shining up from inside the pool. Her lips curved into a smile at the sight.

She spoke of her childhood, growing up as a single child. She smiled at her parents surprise at discovering late in life they were pregnant again. Sipping her wine she wondered how she might begin to explain how deeply scarred she had become from that horrible night's ending event of the car crash. Following JT's example, she left out anything from their encounter and simply stated how at the age of 19 her parents had been killed. She left out the fact that it had happened on that particular night but indicated it was after they had met. JT gasped in deep-felt concern and immediately reached for Sydney's hand. She clasped it in support as Sydney managed to describe her brother and herself getting through the next grueling year of adjustment. She described the emotional ringer she went through as she adjusted to her new life only to have it all fall apart again when Sammy was diagnosed with Leukemia.

JT moved near the seemingly strong long form of her friend and leaned into her shoulder to listen. Sydney felt and used the deliberate support her friend offered to her both mentally and physically. The frustration and pain had been, and still was, a crisis they lived with each day. She explained the prayer they made and the fears she still held. Her eyes misted with tears as she felt the bricks at the base of her pillar of fear crumbling. JT began whispering soft words of comfort and Sydney let the warm feelings of their shared emotions help her to finally let go of some of the bitter tensions she had accumulated over the last 10 years. She felt herself enveloped into the strong arms of her friend and let the tears begin to shed the grief she had shouldered on her own.

JT absorbed the anguish Sydney allowed her to see. She held the larger woman tightly running her hands up and down the broad back of the trembling woman. She wished over and over she had been there for Sydney.

"I'm so sorry, baby." JT's free hand caressed the silkiness of Sydney's hair. The moment stretched out with whispered consoling as Sydney slowly recovered from her provoked fit of sadness at the tragic memories she had shared. She felt the warm heat of JT's body and the sweet scent of her perfume drowning her senses. Sydney reached over and with innocent intentions laid her hand across JT's T-shirt covered abdomen. The swiftly indrawn breath of air from above had Sydney tensing below. They both stilled their movements in the embrace. The heat from exhaling breaths warmed her scalp as JT began to breathe again when Sydney softly began to draw a small random pattern design onto the T-shirt material beneath her hand.

They both sat quietly enjoying each other.

"I thought about you." Sydney broke the silence with her remark. She wiped across the spot on the T-shirt she had drawn as if to wipe out that image. She began to draw another in its place.

"What did you think?" JT's husky voice held a note of curiosity and more in its gravelly depths.

Sydney sighed with that question. Yes, she had thought of the bad, but over the years she had returned more for the good side of their meeting. She had thought about her body's powerful reactions under Justine's mouth and hands. She had fantasized about other such situations. She smiled as she leaned into the neckline of JT's collar. She could almost taste the sweet skin near her mouth. Her fingernails scratched lightly over the stomach muscles beneath the T-shirt as Sydney let her thoughts wonder. The hiss of an indrawn breath brought her back to earth. She sat up slowly rubbing over where her fingers had scratched. She locked eyes with her ex-lover and smiled a slow sexy smile.

"I've thought a lot about you over the years." Her green eyes became slightly hooded in response to her lascivious thoughts. She projected over to JT a definite arousal as she watched the other woman for a response. JT shivered and clenched her muscles tight with reaction. Her blue eyes darkened as a flush of instant arousal rushed through her body.

JT leaned forward as if pulled by a magnetic force. Sydney closed her eyes as their lips neared. Breathing each other, they held perfectly still. Their lips touched, a searing explosion of heat ran between them. The electric touch had Sydney moaning. JT leaned closer and wrapped her arms around the taller woman's waist. Sydney held the strong shoulders of her lover and pressed forward to taste her deeply. JT urged her own tongue to wrap around the sensual questing tongue Sydney slid into her mouth. She stroked its length tasting its flavor and memorizing the texture. The flavor of wine and sweetness of Sydney's own unique spice had JT groaning. Sydney felt her nipples harden and her wetness drenching her jean covered heat as her exploring tongue continued to stroke.

The excited sounds of the boys entering through the kitchen had Sydney breaking away and standing nearby, chest heaving with the need for oxygen. JT sat and stared at Sydney as they both struggled to regulate their body from the intensity of the moment.

Sydney looked over at the den doors and back to JT. The boys had apparently retrieved their drinks from the fridge and returned outside. Her trembling hand was dragged through her fine hair. She watched JT lean back collapsing against the couch cushions. A muttered curse word had Sydney smiling. She met the brilliant sapphire eyes and they shared a moment to acknowledge the obvious attraction they still felt.

"I'm so glad you thought of me." JT's smile widened for a moment as she explained her thoughts. Sydney blushed bright red and heard the chuckle from Justine's raspy throat. JT stood and crossed to the taller woman. Running her hands down the tense arms hanging at Sydney's sides, JT cocked her head to one side. She leaned upward to lightly kiss the swollen mouth. Sydney leaned down slightly and kissed her back. This simple caring motion warmed them both. They parted staring at one another.

"I thought of you too!" JT shared a shy expression unveiled for Sydney to dwell on. Sydney felt her smile widen with undisguised elation.

JT stepped back and looked downward at the carpet then back up at Sydney. Frowning, she shook her head at the delicious rush running through her body.

"I need to meet up with the band and discuss our studio schedule for tomorrow. You'll be OK?" JT asked, lifting a hand to trail her fingers over the strong forearms of her lover. Sydney nodded, wondering when they might be together again.

"I'm so glad you came, Sydney. I know it's been a long time but, I would really like to get to know you more?" Justine said shyly confirming her desire with a look. Sydney shivered and nodded.

"I'll be here!" Sydney gave a charming half smile. JT winked and moved across the den to pick up the wine glasses and the now empty bottle. She turned to tilt her head while studying Sydney.

"You truly are gorgeous." Her smile deepened her eyes dark with some knowing thought Sydney was not privy too. Sydney couldn't help but blush again and moved over to lean down and kiss her beside her temple. They grinned like two young girls.

"I'll see you tomorrow, 8 a.m. for breakfast or 10 a.m. for the studio. They will have a brunch to eat off of if you want to sleep." Sydney nodded and decided she would go take a long hot bath or, as her body screamed at her turned on state, maybe a long cold shower.

Sydney popped her head out the back glass door to the pool and informed Sammy she was heading upstairs. The evening had arrived. By the time Sydney finished with her long bath and dressed for bed it was 10 p.m. The day caught up with her as she crawled into the queen-sized bed.She struggled to remember all the details, but fell asleep within minutes.

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