Blue waved to Remy as he walked out the front door. She rummaged through her bag for her hat and then placed the bag on the bar. The only light in the bar emitted from the dim glow of the track lighting around the stage. She ran her hand along the bar and sighed. She looked down a the green and yellow jersey she was wearing and smiled. 'God, I'm acting like a lovesick teenager.' She clutched the hem of the jersey and smiled, as she sat back on the stool and stared out of the front window. She spoke outloud. "Gi-Gi, what the hell am I doing?" She rubbed a hand across tired eyes and zipped her bag. "I can't stay here and I don't want to leave her, but I don't know how to make this right. Can I make it right? Ugh, I need a clue little bro." She was adjusting her cap when her answer came in the sound of a swift kick to the back door.
Blue left the chair and stood flush against the wall next to the stage. She could hear two distinct voices. Two distinct Scottish accents.
"Fill the back offices, I'm gonna go find our girl."
"You got two minutes."
"Won't be needing it." He pulled out the Sig sauer pistol with the silencer all ready screwed in place. He sneered as he took the safety off and chambered a round.
Blue heard the tell-tale click of a round being chamber. 'Guess I just got my answer Gi-Gi.' She stood flush against the wall listening to the footsteps as the grew closer to her position. She watched as the silencer came into view, the muzzle of the gun, a hand, a hand, a forearm, an elbow, the bulge of a bicep, a chin, and a nose.
He could see the form out of the corner of his eye just as a palm extended and shoved his nose into his brain. He made a quiet thud as his body collapsed to the tiled floor and his gun silently landed on the carpet that started at the edge of the stage, where his hand lay. The other man backed out of the office now reeking of gasoline and called out. "Charlie? What the fuck are ya' doin'?" He brought a flame up to his Zippo and chuckled. "Stop taking drinks you fucker."
"He likes his drink." The man almost dropped the lighter at the low rumble of sound that emanated from the tall dark woman who appeared two feet in front of him. Dark hair fell about broad shoulders and he could see corded muscles flex in her arms as she clenched her fists. He stared into the lifeless ice cold blue eyes and thought his heart stopped. Suddenly, he felt the air exit his lungs as a shoulder met with his midsection, sending him backwards. The lighter flew forward and landed in the growing pool of gasoline in the office doorway. Oblivious to the growth of the flames on the floor, the two tumbled out of the back door into the alley.
They separated as they hit the concrete. Both hopped to their feet with ease, while the man reached for his gun. A sharp crack resounded in the alley as a booted foot met with his hand, knocking the gun towards the opposite wall. The man smiled and charged the woman. Blue would have been slightly unnerved by the gesture but 200 pounds of a Scotsman was driving its shoulder into her torso. Her back met with the bricks of the building and she shoved back on him forcefully. To the man's surprise he found himself forcibly removed from the woman. The separation allowed them to stare down one another briefly and size each other up. In the blink of an eye simultaneous attacks were made.
A roundhouse kick met with his ribs and his reach allowed for a glancing blow to connect with Blue's cheek. They each absorbed the blows without flinching and then traded kicks and punches for at least thirty seconds, until Blue caught his axe kick on her shoulder and brought her hands down over his knee cap. The sound alone was enough to make it clear that she had snapped his leg. The man went down in agony. Blue pulled back a booted foot and was ready to send a swift snapping kick to the side of his head, when she felt a dull pain in her kidney.
A skinny arm came around her and saw the glint of the blade as it came in towards her face. She caught the blade on her forearm and pushed forward, rotating her hips and sending the man over her shoulder. She looked down at her mystery assailant, who was disengaging himself from the man on the ground and thought to herself, 'damn, he looks like a rat.' He moved like one too, as he scurried off the ground and brandished his knife. She began to lunge forward to side step his attack, when a hand reached out and grabbed her ankle, causing her to stumble forward. She felt the blade slash her shoulder blade as she went down. The second she rolled over, rat-boy was on top of her. She was trying to raise her knee to catch him in the groin, but the downed man had a death grip on her ankle. She held rat-boy by his slender neck with one hand and gripped his wrist with the knife with the other hand.
As Conner rounded the corner, her heart stopped at the sight. She saw three people on the ground and quickly realized that Blue was underneath the skinny guy, with her ankle being gripped by the guy laying on his side. Conner ran straight at the man holding Blue's ankle and did her best to send his testicles into his stomach. The instant release of blue's ankle brought a swift knee into the groin of rat-boy. Blue attempted to turn over and dislodge the boy, but he held fast to her waist with his thighs. Blue steadied herself and pushed up to her knees with rat-boy on her back. As the knife swung down towards her neck, the singer realized that she needed to get this kid off of her back very soon.
Conner wasted no time in relieving Blue of her charge. She kicked the boy square in the back causing him to release his thighs. The release of his thighs allowed Blue some leverage as she made the move to excise the boy from her back, lowering the knife as she pushed her hands outward. The last thing she thought was, that this was going to be bad, as she felt the boy pull away from her body. The lack of resistance caused her to lose her balance and lose her grip on his wrist. As she fell forward she could only think of Conner as the blade sliced lazily through her throat. She gripped at the gaping wound as she met the ground.
Conner and the boy fell back against the dumpster, as she watched Blue fall to the ground clutching her throat. Conner used her feet to catapult the boy forward. He landed far enough away from her that she had time to move towards Blue. Just as she reached the singers' body, she heard the speedy footsteps of the boy hurrying towards her. Conner reached down and swiped the knife off of the ground where it had fallen and was prepared to fend off the boy and then kick the shit out of him. She swung around and her hopes for a mildly bruised ending vanished as the knife was buried up to its hilt in the skinny boys sternum. Conner let go of the knife with a jolt as she watched the skinny man stumble backwards and collapse into a pile of trash. Conner's immediate shock at her actions were pushed aside to make way for fear, as a gurgle of a moan was emitted from Blue. Conner turned back to the woman and kneeled down, carefully rolling her over. She wanted to die.
Blue's hand was stained red where she held it to her neck. A pair of blue eyes met with green and Blue decided that she could die right now. She mustered a weak smile as she closed her eyes, only to have to open them wide as Conner let out a shrill scream. "Oh God! Please, please don't die. Fuck! Not like this. C'mon baby, just hang on, I'm gonna get you out of this." An unexpected strength surged through Blue as she listened to Conner plead. Conner had ripped the sleeve off of her shirt and slowly removed Blue's hand from her throat as she wrapped the material around the wound. Conner wiped the tears away from her eyes and looked down at Blue. "Can you walk, because we need to move?" Blue tried to calm herself and focus on getting up, because she needed to and because Conner was asking her to. She could feel the heat of the fire growing and hear the first of the fire engines racing down the street. She gave an almost imperceptible nod to Conner, and then did her best to get to her feet, with the aid of the small woman. They hobbled from the alley as the first fire engine screeched to a halt across the street. Conner let the seat down all the way as she helped Blue into the car. Conner took her cell phone out as she sped off away from the fire engines. She pressed 14 and waited. On the second ring a man's sleep-laden voice answered.
"Olaf, it's Conner."
"Hey sugar, what's- "
"Not now, I need a drop point, now."
"Holy shit." She could hear the rustle of covers as Olaf sat up in bed. "Where are you?"
"Um, Maryland Avenue."
"Good, get back on Charles and head to Mt. Vernon and go to the church."
"Do it, we'll argue later. Go to the back parking lot and wait."
"Done." She tossed the phone on the backseat as she glanced over at Blue, who still held a hand to her throat. Conner reached over and grabbed Blue's other hand and squeezed. "You're gonna be fine, and then me and you have stuff to talk about." Conner glanced from the road to Blue as she sped onto Charles. She felt her heart warm as Blue squeezed her fingers. Green eyes looked down into blue eyes struggling to stay open. 'Maybe we can fix this' , she thought.
* * *
When Conner made it to the parking lot, she saw Olaf's huge conversion van. Olaf hopped out as she pulled up behind the van. He was a true Swede. Blonde hair, blue eyes, and 6'4". That was all his father needed to know that Olaf wasn't his son. Conner remembered her dad recounting Olaf's birth as she laid eyes on her cousin.
"Conner." He smiled at her as he walked to the car. "Now, let's see here." He gently pulled the material away from Blue's wound. He made some soft grunts and then covered it back up. He looked into Blue's pupils as he brushed matted her off of her forehead and gave her a smile. "Well, Conner, I guess you finally realize that leashes are for dogs and not humans." He looked down at the dark woman and gave her wink to respond to the sly smile that crossed her lips.
"Funny, Olaf, real funny. What's the deal?"
He looked up at Conner. "She'll live if that's what you want to know, the wounds not that deep,but we won't if we don't get off the street. You feel comfortable about leaving your car, because I need to work now."
"Like I have a choice." Conner looked down at the woman who was growing paler by the moment and ran a hand across her cheek. It made Conner smile that Blue was actually trying to shake her head and contort her face in a gesture of 'no'. She leaned down and spoke softly to Blue. "Let 'em steal it, I'll buy a new one·I only have one of you." She brushed her lips against Blue's. Neither woman could tell who was more surprised at the action and they had no time to figure it out as Olaf broke up the moment.
"Save the love fest for recovery, right now, help me get her in the van." Together they laid Blue down on the table in the back. Conner hopped back out of the van and put the top on her car as she got into the driver's seat and started the van.
"Where we going Doc?" She turned her head to Olaf as he leaned over Blue with a needle.
"How about the beach, cuz?"
As Conner drove the three and half hour trip, she thought of all the things she was going to do for Olaf to pay him back. He was supposed to be her Uncle Charlie's son, but apparently the milk man and her aunt had other plans. Charlie sent his son away, seemingly divorced his wife, even though it was more likely he sold her to a brothel, and remarried. He did find Olaf a good home and Charlie even paid for his education and medical school. Olaf never really understood why, but Conner suspected that Charlie felt bad about sending his mother away and not being able to be a father to Olaf. Irony reared it's sarcastic head 25 years later, when Charlie was wheeled trhough the doors of Shock Trauma with three bullets in his chest. It was a heartfelt reunion that resulted in Olaf becoming the physician of choice for the McGreely Clan, both near and far. He was present for small mishaps, births, check-ups, and random childhood malady's. Olaf had been a great comfort to Conner after Duncan and her father died, and it was he who made sure Conner didn't go off the deep end when her mother died when she was 16. Conner thought pleasant thoughts as she drove, occasionally glancing in the mirror to see Olaf hovering over Blue.
They were 45 minutes away from St. Michaels' when Olaf came up front.
"How is she?" Conner gripped the wheel and stared out into the early morning fog.
"Sleeping like a baby."
"Is she going to be okay?" She still refused to look at the big man, who was looking at her with concern.
Olaf ran a hand through blonde hair. "I'm going to say yes, but we still should wait 24 hours and then I can be sure."
Conner refused to take her eyes off the road. She just kept her hands steady and fought down the lump in her throat. "How much damage?"
"Surprisingly, not too much. That's why things should be fine. I'm more worried about infection more than anything."
She let out a soft "Oh" as the pink fingers of the dawn begin to comb through the midnight blue sky.
Olaf placed a hand on Conner's thigh and squeezed. She glanced at him and then back at the road. "Hey why don't you pull over and I'll drive the rest of the way. You can go sit with her." He returned the blazing smile that Conner gave him and gave her thigh a final squeeze.
The first thing that Conner noticed was how still the tall woman was. She lay on her back with her hands at her sides and her head nestled in a small white pillow. A tourniquet was wrapped snugly around her neck, covering the gauze that protected her wound. Conner peered closely at the dark woman, who was beginning to get some of her color back. She picked up Blue's hand and held it to her lips as she sat on the stool next to the table. Conner lightly brushed stray hairs away from Blue's face as she ran fingertips across her face. She could feel the tears as they welled up in her chest. "Oh God, I'm so sorry." She managed to fight off a sob as she buried her head in Blue's shoulder, and then finally she let them come.
Olaf gently nudged Conner awake, for the fourth time, as he cut the engine. "Hey sleepyhead, as much as I'd like to carry you both in, I don't think my back can take it, seeing as I'm an old fart and all."
Conner smiled as she opened sleepy green eyes. "You're only 50 Olaf, so shut up."
"Yeah, I'm young and I do look good..but I still need your help."
Conner rubbed sleep from her eyes as she chuckled.
The three story house rested on a bluff in St. Michaels, which had its own private road, no neighbors for at least three miles, and no hint of civilization at least for another six miles. The home had belonged to her parents and was now apart of Conner and Ewan's possessions, but neither of them came out here very much. Conner and Olaf managed to get Blue into the house and the room on the first floor without incident. After being convinced that Blue was resting peacefully, the two walked out to the pier with mugs of coffee. Conner let her legs dangle over the side of the pier as she took a seat next to her cousin. She stared out at the bay and gave a brief thought to calling Christian and telling him to bring the boat up. Maybe she would take Blue sailing, that is, if the woman didn't want to drown her. Conner and Olaf stared silently into the sunrise, sipping their coffee.
"So, do I even ask?" Green eyes regarded hazel quietly, and then Conner shrugged. "Does that mean I can ask?"
"So, what's this all about, you scared the shit out of me. I've only seen you once and that's because you sprained you ankle in a football game and were too embarrassed to tell Ewan." Olaf took notice of the small shiver that ran through the small woman.
"I know." Conner still didn't turn towards Olaf as she spoke.
Olaf sipped at his coffee. "So·.who is she?"
Conner let out a breath. "Who is she? She- uh- she killed my brother."
Coffee was projected into the water as Olaf stared bug-eyed at the calm and soft-spoken woman at his side. "Sh-she killed Ewan?"
"No. Duncan." Conner turned her head at the sharp intake of air.
"Good Lord·that's her. The McGreely's darkest hour." Conner made no attempt to speak again as she stoically listened to Olaf. "Duncan. William. Charles. Simon. And what we thought would be Ewan. Jesus Christ."
After a long silence, Conner spoke again. "Her family died too."
Olaf looked up from his hands. "I know, I know. It was insane. The Greek community went ballistic. And when she got sentenced to six years, all hell broke loose. That's when Ewan got shipped to Scotland. It was an embarrassment. Thank God, your dad and the others were all ready here. I mean they caught hell and all, but it was nothing like Boston. I didn't even want to go up there. Some of the boys say there are still some places McGreely's can't even go to or any other Scotsman for that matter. Unbelievable." He leaned back on his hands and looked at Conner's profile. Conner put down her mug and drew her knees up to her chest. "Why are..I mean how?"
Conner half smiled at his stumbling. "I fell in love, that's why and by the grace of God or some evil demon is how."
"Well kiddo, that's the way the chips fall some time. Does Ewan know?" Conner gave a slow nod as she hugged her legs tighter. Olaf sat up. "Did he-" Another slow nod. "Oh boy." Olaf ran pale hands over his face and sighed. "Sweetie, I'm sorry." He scooted in closer and held out his arm. Conner accepted the gesture, leaning into Olaf and resting her head on his shoulder and began to cry softly. He drew lazy circles on Conner's back until she sat up and wiped at her tear-stained face.
"What am I supposed to do?" Her voice was barely audible.
He ran a hand through her strawberry-blonde hair. "Do you love her?"
She responded without thought, "Something awful." It was the truth.
He smiled. "She love you?"
"Last time I checked."
"Then you're doing fine. Look, we'll go inside, I'll find some food and we'll take care of her."
"What about Ewan?"
"Is he gonna help."
Conner let out a huff of air that could have been a laugh. "Olaf, I- I told him I wanted nothing to do with him."
"That's not new."
"But I gave him back the necklace. I humiliated him, and, and·oh God, I think I killed somebody."
Olaf absently rubbed her back as she looked to be on the verge of tears again. "C'mon, let's go inside. You get a warm bath and then you tell me the whole story."
The hour was fast approaching nine a.m. as Conner finished off her story, heuvos rancheros and a mimosa. It was Olaf's version of a stiff drink, at least for this early. He reached across the kitchen table and held Conner's hand.
"Conner, there's no way to say how all of this will end, but you have to take care of you. What's done is done. I'll make some phone calls and clean this up. Whatever reason or compassion Ewan once had, left him the night that little boy died, and until he gets that back things won't change. It's not up to you." He smiled at her. "Why don't you go in there with Blue and take a nap. I'm sure she'll be waking up soon and she'll want to see your pretty little face." He tweaked her nose eliciting a wisp of a smile.
Conner pushed away from the table and then stopped. "So wait, what's her prognosis?"
"Damn good. She's strong. The cut wasn't that deep, didn't sever her vocal chords, but they are bruised. I wouldn't encourage her to talk right now. Give it a week. Depending on how well she heals she should be up to full voice in about two weeks."
"W-will she be able to sing?"
"Sure. Probably a little extra therapy and a couple of months. But it's really up to her, now go on and get in there."
Except for the bandage on her throat, Blue looked absolutely adorable and peaceful. Royal blue sheets were pushed down to the edge of pajama bottoms that Olaf managed to find for her. A hand rested just inside a white t-shirt and the other lay at her side. Blue-black hair was splayed across a maroon pillow giving her an almost regal look. Conner placed a chaste kiss on the woman's forehead and then sat down next to the bed. Conner was careful not to disturb the i.v. as she picked up Blue's hand and kissed the palm. She played with long fingers and watched the rise and fall of her chest, not sure what to say to the sleeping figure. Conner settled for placing Blue's hand under her cheek and laying her head down on the bed.
She hadn't dozed off for that long when she became away of the steady rhythm of fingers stroking her scalp. Conner opened her eyes and realized quickly that the hand under her cheek was now embedded in her hair. Conner sat up quickly and then flinched as she remembered the i.v. Blue had removed her hand the moment Conner stirred, so there was no damage done. Conner started to back away from the bed and then eyes bloodshot from lack of sleep met with well rested blue eyes.
"Hi." Conner said in a whisper. Blue gave a half-smile and returned the greeting with a wiggle of fingers. When she had awakened 10 minutes earlier she put a hand to her throat reflexively and decided it was best not to speak yet.
"You feeling any better?" Conner chastised herself mentally for the less than stellar question. Blue shrugged her shoulders and then winced in pain, as she was quickly reminded of the cut on her shoulder. Conner scrunched her brow in empathy and instantly reached out and held Blue's hand. "Six stitches." Conner said, as Blue held a hand to her throat, flinching again. Conner raised blonde brows. "What? Does it hurt?" A dark head shook no. Blue opened her mouth to ask "how many", but the 'h' came out as a huff of air. She cringed with pain, knowing she just should have kept her mouth shut. Conner hopped to her feet and picked up Blue's hand again as she begin moving wisps of hair away from the dark woman's face. Conner fought tears as she sucked in a breath and tried to speak calmly. "N-no, no. Don't try to talk, you can't right now." Blue eyes widened in fear and want of an explanation. Conner shook her head. "It's all right, I swear." She smiled genuinely as she continued brushing her fingertips across Blue's forehead, just for the feel of the skin and nothing more. "Doc says you'll be fine. You should be talking in about two weeks, probably less. And- you'll be singing in the shower, in a couple of months."
Conner flashed the woman a big smile, which Blue did her best to mirror, while thinking about all the things she wanted to say to Conner, namely, asking Conner if she would be showering with her. Blue mentally pulled herself together as Conner removed the hand from her forehead and put it in her pocket. Obviously, Conner was still a little skeptical as to where they were headed. Conner broke the quiet. "Um, why don't I go get Olaf so he can explain things." Conner started to pull her hand away from Blue's hand, but Blue held tight. Conner looked towards Blue's scrunched brows and figured the woman was in pain, but really she was just making a decision. "What's wrong?" Blue tugged on her hand. "Y-you want me- to stay?" Conner's voice crackled with anxiety.
Blue nodded yes and then padded the other side of the bed with her free hand. Green eyes opened wide. "In bed·with you." Blue fought a laugh, smiled and just rolled her eyes at the imp of a woman who stood before her, wishing she could yell out, 'yes ya' midget.' Conner returned Blue's smile with a crooked grin of her own and then walked around the queen-sized bed and sat down on it. She sat crossed-legged on top of the covers and folded her hands in her lap, all the while her mind was racing, her heart was racing, her lungs, everything. She left her hands in her lap for fear she would reach out and try to touch the woman that lay an arms length away. Finally she looked up from her fingertips and rested her eyes on the picture of calm and what seemed to be contentment. The natural bronze of her skin was bleeding back into her features. The grin she wore spoke of mischief and not malice. Conner could see it and she could feel it: they could fix it. Conner caught the twinkle in blue eyes and smiled. "Hey, don't call me midget."
Black eyebrows lifted to the ceiling as a beaming smile spread across full lips. Blue smoothed out the gap between their bodies and patted the bed once again. Blonde eyebrows rose at the silent request. Conner smirked, suddenly feeling playfully. "Oh, you want me to lie down?" Sarcasm and humor dropped from pink lips, like water from an overflowing eave. Blue rolled her eyes again, curtailed her grin, and snapped her fingers and gestured for Conner to lie down. Conner smiled and obeyed. Conner gingerly rested her head on the pillow next to Blue's long frame, and suddenly found a strong bronze arm wrapped around her shoulders and drawing her in to Blue's chest. Conner followed the urging and wrapped an arm around Blue's waist completing the awkward hug.
Conner drank in the warmth of Blue's body, the sweet spice that she always smelled of, and knew she was going to break into tears as she nestled her head into Blue's shoulder. Blue used her right hand to lift up Conner's chin so that they were looking at each other. Conner turned her body into Blue's, resting fully on her side and then propped her body up on her forearm, avoiding Blue's bruised ribs. Conner scooted in even closer as she leaned into Blue's hand caressing her cheek. They caught each other's gaze and began a test of wills. The air was charged with fear, doubt, and uncertainty. The room was dense with the thought of forgiveness not knowing where to rest. Green eyes were clouded over with so much grief it was almost too much to bear. Long tapered fingers traced the smooth features of Conner's face and searched for a reason to just walk away. She couldn't find one.
She smiled at Conner and mouthed the words, 'I love you.' For Conner, it was as if she doused her sunburned body into a pool of aloe vera. She knew it wasn't completely that easy, but for the moment, as she closed her eyes and buried her tear-filled eyes into Blue's chest, it was more than enough. Conner clung to the tall woman beneath her, as tight as possible without hurting her. Blue could only hug the small woman tighter not caring what she pulled or re-bruised. They made a cocoon of one another's bodies as Conner cried for them both, eventually exhausting them both and falling to sleep. When Olaf returned from the store at 2:30 he found them both still wrapped up in each other fast asleep. He quietly changed the i.v., drew the covers up over them both, and backed out of the room. 'Good girl, Conner' he thought as he made his way into the kitchen and unpacked the groceries.
* * *
This time, it was Blue that awoke to light tingles in her scalp, as Conner made lazy grooves in her hair. Blue looked up at Conner who was laying on her side, with her arm supporting her head, and mouthed out a "hello." Conner smiled and replied, "hello to you." Conner watched in delight as Blue sniffed the air obviously taking in the smells that wafted in from the kitchen. "Olaf's making a masterpiece. Blue patted her stomach, denoting its emptiness. Conner smiled and rubbed Blue's stomach as well. Blue stilled Conner's light caress and entwined their fingers and squeezed gently. Without breaking contact Conner rolled on her belly and begin a light stroking of Blue's cheek. She looked seriously into still sleepy blue eyes and spoke quietly. "I am so sorry, about everything. I-I just.." Conner trailed off as she shrugged her shoulders and looked anywhere but at Blue. Blue touched Conner's face, gathering her attention, and traced a finger across pink lips. 'So, much I need to say to you and I can't. I want to tell you how scared I am, how confused I am about all this, how sorry I am for lying, and how I'm only certain of one thing.' She waited a heartbeat and then mouthed, "I love you." Conner kissed the fingertips that trembled slightly and didn't bother to remove the fingers as she spoke. "I love you too." Blue's face grew bright with a smile and Conner leaned in to kiss her.
The line "there are more things in heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy" ran through Conner's mind as her lips met Blue's. The rush of energy was indescribably as tentative pressure became full and firm, filled with love and forgiveness. To say things like the earth moved was an understatement. It was the coming together of two paths drawn in the sand long ago. As tongues greeted each other in the dark warmth of each others mouths, the intensity created was massive. Their lips made promises, oaths, and vows all with a simple touch. Every misdeed, every trespass, and every wrong committed was forgiven and any that would be made no longer existed. Conner broke the kiss with a shudder. Another racked her body as she took in Blue's face and watched a solitary tear travel down a bronzed cheek. Conner kissed gently at the tear drop, tasting the salt of woman she loved, taking in the good with the bad- and she was satiated and emotionally full.
However, even in their small moment of reconciliation, one thing couldn't be denied: Conner's stomach. The low grumble broke into the women's intense moment and filled them with laughter. Conner watched as Blue's chest heaved with silent laughter. "I think I'm a little hungry." Blue mouthed, "of course you are." Conner cocked an eyebrow and smiled. "Did you just call me a horse?" Blue shook her head no and laughed again, this time wincing in pain. Conner grimaced in sympathy, instinctively raising up from Blue, so as not to hurt the woman. "Oh boy, I've got to get you a pad." Blue clapped her hands together and nodded her head vigorously in agreement, causing Conner to laugh. It was then that she heard the light tap on the door.
Olaf stuck his head through
the opening. "Can I come in?
"Sure thing cuz."
"I see some sleeping beautys are awake." He smiled at Blue as he walked over and tapped at an air bubble in her i.v. He took a quick glance at the monitor and then focused his eyes back on the dark woman in the bed. He extended his hand to Blue. "I'm Olaf by the way." Blue accepted his hand and gave it a hearty shake. "You wanna sit up for me." Conner disentagled herself from Blue and helped to prop up some pillows for her. Olaf pulled out a stethascope and help out the end towards Conner. "Warm me up kiddo." Blue couldn't help but smile at their familiarity and Olaf's obviously warm bedside manner. 'He's probably great with kids' she thought. Conner breathed on the stethoscope and then watched as Olaf lifted up Blue's t-shirt and proceeded to listen to her heart.
"How are those ribs feeling?" Blue shrugged as she took a couple of deep breaths, hitching slightly in her breathing. Olaf raised a white-blonde eyebrow. "A little painful." Blue gave him a little half-smile. "Well, little lady, considering your ordeal, you're sounding good, but I think we need to feed you." Blue smiled fully at Olaf who returned her gesture.
"Olaf make the best clam chowder in the world." Conner drummed on her knees in anticipation.
Olaf smiled at her impatience. "That's chowda' youngin." Blue smiled at the man and gave him a thumbs up. "If you feel up to it, we might be able to get those tubes out of you and wheel you around the property." It suddenly dawned on Blue that she had no clue where she was. She scrunched her brow and mouthed, "where?"
Olaf turned his gaze to Conner. "Someone's a bad hostess I see." Conner stuck her tongue out at Olaf. Olaf turned his gaze back to Blue. "You're in St. Michaels." Blue nodded in recognition. "You've been here since last night." Blue smiled in relief thinking she had been out cold for days. "You should probably hang out here for at least week. Olaf cut a brief glance at Conner and then back to Blue. "Maybe two." He patted Blue's knee. "I'm going to get my bag."
As the tall man left, Blue leaned towards Conner and placed a soft kiss on her cheek. Conner smiled. "Is that a thank you kiss?" Blue nodded and then raised her eyebrows suggestively, thinking, 'not by a long shot.' Conner laughed. "Maybe I won't get you that pad, you naughty girl." Blue pouted and put on her most excruciatingly sappy puppy dog face. She watched as Conner melted and then attacked her lips and face with kisses. Conner found an earlobe and sucked on it, until she got a soft moan from Blue "We really don't need a pad do we?" Conner purred the words into Blue's ear, causing the tall woman to shudder. Conner pulled away from the earlobe and voraciously kissed Blue. When she finally pulled away, Blue was breathing heavily. Conner could only smile at her affect on the woman. Blue then tugged on her ear, getting Conner to listen. Conner's eyes widened and she perked up. "Ooh, charades. What?"
Blue pointed to herself and Conner responded, "I". Blue nodded and then extended her finger, and then began to point at random things within the room. Conner wrinkled her brow as she followed Blue's erratic finger, trying to guess at her thoughts. "You want·uh..oh·point!" Blue smiled and then she pointed to Conner. "Me." Blue nodded again and then made kissing noises. Conner shrugged. "Kiss·what?" She watched as Blue reiterated her actions in one motion. "I point. Me kiss." Blue rolled her eyes and waited until her phrase clicked together. "Ahh! You point and I kiss." Blonde eyebrows raised as Conner licked her lips slowly and smiled, deciding she liked this game. Blue mimicked Conner's expression and then slowly tapped a finger to her lips. Conner stifled a laugh. "All right, let's see if I can get this right." Conner held Blue's face in her hands and then placed a searing kiss on her lips, ending it by running a pink tongue across them. as Conner pulled back, she gazed at Blue through half-lidded eyes and watched in glee as a light blush rose to the woman's cheeks. Conner's attention was drawn to the flashing monitor to the right of Blue, as she watched the heart line pulse erratically.
Blue followed Conner's line of sight and smiled lazily. "You okay?" Conner asked. Blue gave her an ok sign and let her head flop back against the pillow. "Maybe we should slow down, huh?" Blue's response was cut off by a deeper voice.
"Please. I'd hate for her to survive a knife wound only to die of heart attack." Both women turned their attention to Olaf, who walked through the door carrying a tray laden with soup bowls. Blue smiled and shrugged her shoulders as if to say, 'she wouldn't mind.' "I'm beginning to wonder if I should leave you two girls unsupervised." He cast his gaze at Conner, who stared at him innocently.
"We'll behave, I promise." Conner smiled in a puckish manner and then let out a yelp as Blue tweaked her rear eand.
Olaf laughed. "Yeah right. Conner, get down so you can eat."
"Yes sir." Conner gave the big man a salute as she hopped off the bed and resumed her position in the seat next to the bed. Conner set her own bowl aside and held up Blue's taking pleasure in the aroma. "God, Olaf this smells great." Conner smiled dreamily and Olaf laughed. The blonde man patted himself on the back playfully and then dug into his soup. Conner with spoon in hand, smiled at Blue, who seemed content just to see Conner smile. "All right ya cripple, ya ready?" Conner cut through her tease with a beaming smile that Blue had no choice but to return.
Blue managed to get down three spoonfuls before the soreness in her throat beat out the ache in her stomach. A look of sadness crossed Conner's eyes, but it quickly dissolved as Blue pointed at her cheek, and Conner obliged the woman with a soft kiss to her cheek. Before Conner pulled away, she nuzzled and earlobe and spoke, "You should get some rest and maybe I'll bring you some ice cream." Blue grinned and let her eyes drift close as Conner settled the pillows around her head.
Once they got into the kitchen, Olaf spoke. "So, kiddo, how about a real drink?"
Conner let out a huff. "Oh man, I thought you'd never ask." Conner sat down in a chair and leaned back on the legs. "I'm stuffed."
"You still drinking those prissy Martinis?"
"Prissy?" She glared without malice at Olaf. "Yeah, but I'll take whatever."
"You like Jack?" Conner nodded. "Then Jack it is."
She watched as the tall man rummaged through the shelves for glasses and bottles. He returned to the table a few minutes later with a Whiskey sour and Jack on the rocks for himself. Conner smirked at the obvious difference in Olaf's concotions. "I figured you wanted something prissy." They shared a laugh and drank. "So look," Olaf put his glass down and stretched his legs out in the other chair. ", I called Melanie and she's taking care of your car. I need to head out to Baltimore, but I can tow it back out when I come back."
"Sure, I guess that would be great." Conner tousled her hair and took a sip of her drink. "Um, I guess, I mean should I call Terry?"
"Why not? If you don't she'll hunt you down." Olaf gave Conner a small smile hoping to keep her from slipping into a funk.
Conner returned the grin. "I know. Besides, I need to apologize." She looked down into her drink and tapped the glass. "We kind of got into over all of this."
Olaf figured as much. "Oh yeah." He briefly thought about all the little spats and tiffs that he had to mediate between Terry and Conner over the last 20 years and he let the corner of his mouth curl into a hint of a smile. "What did she tell you?"
Green eyes glanced up at hazel eyes and Conner gave a weak smile. "The same thing you did."
Olaf chuckled. "I bet." He caught Conner's eyes and smiled. "Anyway, Christians bringing the boat and I think the little Pick-up still runs. I got a bunch of stuff from the store, so you should be good for a week and God only knows what's in the deep freezer. I think I saw a whole family of deer."
Conner shook her head in amusement. "Good grief Olaf." Conner sat back in her chair feeling a bit more relaxed.
Olaf watched as Conner's features seemed to smooth over and her eyes sparkled with hope and not the residue of tears. He glance down and captured Conner's gaze. "Everything's gonna be fine, lil' bit."
"Yeah·I guess it will." She sighed lightly and drained her glass. "Hey, I'm going to go sit with her, why don't you get some sleep or something." Conner pushed away from the table and stood.
"Nah, I'm going to head out. Look, all the stuff is in the medicine cabinet. I left a box of gauze in the bedroom so you can change the bandages. There's Percoret in the cabinet if the pain gets really bad. I'll go ahead and take out her i.v. before I leave and give her a once over." He stretched his arms and stood up as well, wrapping his arm around Conner's shoulder. "She's looking good, so I don't foresee any complications, but·" He squeezed Conner's shoulder, "chill out on the strenuous activity." Conner blushed as she pulled Olaf into an embrace and then stood on tip-toes to place a kiss on his smooth cheek.
"Go on Doc, do your job. I'm going to clean up."
* * *
Dawn was barely breaking across the Wednesday morning sky, when Conner disentangled herself from Blue's embrace and hurried to the bathroom. She stopped in the kitchen on her way back and threw a disgusted look at the dishes in the sink as she grabbed a bottled water from the fridge. Nearly a week had passed since the fire and the attack. Conner had finally called an irate Terry on Tuesday and in between Terry's bouts of making it quite clear how worried she was, Terry managed to fill her in on what was happening.
Of course, Manny was nowhere to be found and it seemed that Ewan had skipped the country for some R&R according to Wilhelm. As for the club, it would be about two months before things were up and running. It was at that, that Conner mentioned Blue would probably be singing by then. This tidbit sent Terry into a hissy fit, as it suddenly made sense to her about two dead bodies. The third guy with the broken leg had been arrested, but he wasn't talking. Conner found herself in a soul searching mode, as she sat with Blue in the tub, mulling over the fact that she killed a person. Blue ran through two pads of paper as she tried to assuage Conner's fears of rotting in hell forever.
On the whole, Tuesday was a rough night for both women. Conner finally got to vent over Duncan's death and Blue confessed that she only felt remorse when she looked at Conner. The bright spot in all there talking was the fact that Carmen was still alive, and was quite possibly going to shit a brick when she met Conner. The comment made both women howl with laughter as they imagined the situation and all the while Conner scratched carelessly at her tattoo as if it were a rash. Blue finally pulled Conner's hand away from her neck and asked her if she wanted to get it removed. Conner shrugged her shoulders and said no, while absently considering getting something to cover it up. She decided that certain something should match the butterfly on Blue's hip. Her idea of course required a thorough examination of the artwork, that led to a watery exploration of each other's bodies, that made its way to the bathroom tile and eventually the bedroom. Conner had only been asleep for an hour when the call of nature beckoned her. She found Blue padding the bed with closed eyes when she returned. Conner just smiled as she stripped off her shorts and nestled back under the covers against Blue's warm naked frame, falling quickly into sleep.
Another week and a half had passed as both women found themselves drifting on the bay, sailing to no where in particular. Two bodies lounged on the deck sunning themselves in the early August sun. Blue was careful to keep her neck propped up , so as not to stretch the wound, that was now covered by a single strip of gauze held up by two Winnie the Pooh bandaids at either side. Conner wore her own bandage that covered her still healing tattoo on the nape of her neck. A day earlier they traveled to Rehobeth and found a nice tattoo parlor. The tattoo artist, Rick, was thrilled beyond belief at the chance to turn Conner's Celtic knot into a majestic blue and black Gloss swallow tail butterfly. A day later Conner lay on her stomach desperately tying to get some color and relieve the apprehension of their return to the city in a few days. Conner was eager to began putting her life together, and to her that meant ignoring Ewan and focusing solely on Blue, who was stretching out her six foot frame on the bow of the boat. Conner turned her head towards the dark beauty and watched the sunlight wash across full breasts, toned arms, a taut stomach, and sprinkle golden rays down long legs. She didn't hold back the smile that welled up on her insides and tugged at her mouth, as she let her gaze travel over the lightly sleeping woman. She felt her stomach do flips as she thought about what lay ahead for them.
Conner was thinking about fixing up her Uncle's Ranch and asking Blue to move in or whatever she wanted. Both women knew they still could stand to deal with some things, but Conner came up with the brilliant idea of making love instead of arguing. Suddenly, the daily crossword took a lot longer as they would dsipute the spelling of jai alai just for the hell of it. In time they'd deal with Ewan, but now, Conner just wanted to solidfy their future. She had even gone as so far as to purchase a hand-crafted diamond-studded silver band that was emblazoned with the word 'eternity' in Greek on the band. She had attached the ring to a necklace, just to prove to Blue that she wasn't trying to pressure her, but that she meant to be in this for the long aul.
Conner fingered the velvet box underneath the towel under head and got up. She slipped the box in the small of her back as she walked towards the padded bench near where the woman lay. Blue sat up and turned her body as if she was about to flip-over when she caught Conner's misty green gaze. Conner practically had to sit on her hands to keep from touching the bronze woman that was making her heart melt and her insides tingle, as she got up from her perch on the bow and sauntered towards Conner wearing nothing but the black bikini bottoms to her swim suit and a smile. Blue knelt down in front of Conner so that they were eye level and rested her forearms on Conner's knees.
"Conner , breath." The sweet husk of her voice was still powerful even shrouded in the whisper of a voice that Blue was speaking with. If she tried to talk any louder, she did a dead-on Godfather impersonation, which delighted the women for two days straight until they ran out of lines to say. Conner finally breathed and blinked as Blue ran her knuckles down Conner's cheek. "What's up Red? You okay?" Conner looked like she was on the verge of tears. "Hey- "
Conner placed slim fingers on Blue's lips and smiled. She ran her hand through Blue's hair and smiled. Now Blue began to look worried. Conner sensed the woman's impending grimace before she made it and shook her head. "I'm okay, I just·I love you, that's all." Blue smiled as she watched Conner's ears redden.
"I love you too, knuckle head." Blue brushed her lips over Conner's. She pulled back and creased her brow. "You sure you're okay?"
Conner nodded again as she removed Blue's hand from her face and held the hand in her lap. "Will you stay with me?"
Blue thought it an odd question, but she smiled all the same. "Am I going somewhere?" She looked around at the water playfully as she spoke. When she turned back to Conner, she met with damp red-gold hair as Conner bent her head to focus on the palm of Blue's hand. Conner asked her question again. Blue used her free hand to tip up Conner's head, allowing deep blue to meet with verdant green. Blue realized that it was no longer just a question. Blue grasped Conner's hand and entwined the fingers. Here she had been worried about what was going to happen when they left here, how they were going to put things back together. It was so easy out here with no distractions and no politics, but the city would have its consequences. However, as Conner's words echoed through her, she knew that she had only one real desire. "For how long?", she asked.
Green eyes sparkled. "For as long as you'll have me"
A puckish grin formed on full lips as she cocked an eyebrow. "The 12th of never."
Conner raised a blonde eyebrow at the cryptic statement. "What?"
"The 12th of never."
Conner nodded. "Oh, like the 6th of August."
Blue smiled and then she held out her free hand palm up in a gesture of waiting. Conner raised an eyebrow in a gesture of innocence and tried not to smile. "What?" she asked. "What's in the box Red?"
Conner eyes grew wide and Blue kept a straight face. "Wha- what box?"
"The one your cute little butt is sitting on. Hand it over." When Conner didn't flinch, Blue released her hold on Conner and held out both her hands and added a slight pout to her ploy.
Conner threw up her hands in defeat. "You suck."
"I know, but I hear I'm quite good." Blue leaned in and ran a pink tongue across Conner's lips and watched as the small woman squirmed.
Conner finally gathered herself and leaned back out of reach of the questing tongue. "Hey, hey, this is serious." Blue stopped her antics for the moment and sat back on her heels as she put both hands behind her back and then proceeded to stick out her bottom lip and cast her eyes downward in a dejected manner. Conner smiled like a madwoman as she took in the acting job that Blue was engaged in. She thought to herself, 'I'd be insane not to want you forever.' Conner let out a laugh as she framed Blue's face with her smaller hands and lifted her head so that they were eye to eye. "You big baby." She planted a soft kiss on Blue's still pouting lips. The grown woman who was acting like a six-year old smiled as she once again rested her forearms on Conner's knees.
"So wait, should I put on some clothes or something?"
Conner cast gleaming green eyes down at firm bronze flesh and wiggled her eyebrows. "Nah, I'll take you as you are."
"That's good to know." Blue searched Conner's eyes and saw the hesitation. "So?"
"So, uh, I love ya."
"You said that all ready."
"Well, I should tell you everyday."
"Well then I'll just have to be here everyday won't I?" Blue reigned in her grin as she watched Conner's face flush. She gave Conner's knees a light squeeze for encouragement.
"W-well do you want to be here everyday?" Her voice was barely as loud as Blue's.
Blue leaned forward until their foreheads touched. "Are you asking me?"
"Am I asking?" Conner let out a chuckle realizing that things weren't working out like she planned. Suddenly she lifted her head with a snap. "Am I asking?" she spoke more to herself and then she stared hard at Blue and then a wide smile spread across her face. "I'm begging! I'm pleading! I'm open!" She threw her hands wide and Blue's face drained of color as she watched the small velvet box go floating through the air to the water below.
"Holy shit!" Blue hopped up on the bench and leaned over the railing as she watched the water over take the box . She turned around not sure what to say and sat down on the bench, one leg underneath her. She rested confused eyes on an extremely calm Conner, who sat with her arm stretched out across the railing.
Conner wore a smirk on her face. "You wanted to cry at the end of Titanic didn't you?"
Blue shrugged and grinned. "I'll admit it, I'm just a shallow, materialistic, debutante." She waved her hand through the air in an elegant manner.
"Then I hope this meets your needs, your highness." Conner lifted her right arm off the railing, revealing a sliver chain with a ring on it dangling from her finger, and moved it in Blue's direction.
Blue shook her head and then grabbed Conner's arm and pulled her into an embrace. "You afraid I'll lose it?"
Conner laughed as she pulled back and began to unhook the clasp. "No, just no pressure."
Blue placed a hand on Conner's and arched an eyebrow. "I love your pressure Conner."
Conner let one end of the necklace go and let the ring slide off into her palm. She held up the ring to Blue's moist eyes. She was beaming. Blue couldn't even lift her arm to take hold of the ring. The prospect of perpetual joy and happiness was overwhelming and it was a concept she no longer believed in. But, amazingly enough it all seemed possible as she stared at the intricate piece of metalwork and mineral. Blue noted the Greek lettering on the inside of the band and smiled even wider.
"How long did it take you to spell that?"
Conner blushed. "Olaf helped. Now are you gonna take this or at least hold out your finger?"
Blue rolled her eyes. "I'm nervous okay. Besides, I just need to make sure this is real."
"Why don't you pucker up and I'll prove it?"
Blue just smiled as Conner leaned in and their lips met. Conner applied gentle pressure as her lips parted and her tongue escaped to the confines of Blue's mouth. The pressure grew intense as fingers found their way into hair and upon bare breasts. Blue pulled away reluctantly as she noted that Conner was only working with one hand, due to the jewelry in the other.
"How about I take that off your hands?" Blue held out her hand to a smiling, yet flustered Conner and watched as trembling fingers slipped the ring on her finger. Conner brought the hand to her lips and kissed it, closing her eyes in silent prayer.
"I love you, you big dumb Ox."
Blue smiled. "I love you too·midget."
The women shared a giggle and a soft kiss. "So, you ever made love on the bow of a 30 foot boat, Ms. Melancolvios?"
"Can't say that I have Ms. McGreely."
Conner stood up and held her hand out to Blue. "Well, I think we should make that happen and just to make it interesting, let's see if you can count those diamonds while I'm a-pplying pressure."
Conner let out a whoop! as her feet left the ground and Blue walked the three feet to the bow with Conner in her arms. She laid Conner down on the sunwarmed fiberglass and they gazed at one another silently. Conner forgot about Boston, forgot about Ewan, forgot about Baltimore, and in her last moments of coherent thought (two seconds before their lips met) she couldn't think of one reason why she didn't belong with woman hovering over her.
* * *
As the sun traveled out of the sky and into what looked like the ocean itself, a moment of rest came for two deserving souls. As they lay cradled in one another's arms daring the elements or the seagulls to question their love. The earth made no qualms and only served to celebrate the two women as the warm air passed over them and the pounding surf lulled them to sleep. It was beyond joy. Beyond happiness and beyond perfection.
It was Right.
In Conner's dreams Ewan was going to stay in Scotland and never come back. Reality dictated that he would return, but Fall was upon the bay side city and Conner knew she wouldn't have to deal with Ewan until at least the first of year. As of now Conner had decisions to make and the hardest one was deciding who she would be reporting those decisions to. From the moment she entered the city three months earlier, all eyes fell on the small woman, and ears were open to her words. As of now she was head of the McGreely clan.
However, at the moment, as Conner sat at a table somewhere in the middle of the newly remodeled club surrounded by Terry and Sara, the last thing she was thinking about was taking over her family's business. Tonight was all about the statuesque goddess that stood in soft light of the spotlight awaiting her cue. A royal blue slip of a dress clung to every inch of her body as the hand woven silk framed her body and pooled onto the stage in a small train behind her. To look at her now with eyes colored lapis lazuli, fixed on dark emerald orbs, and her face all aglow one would never know what she had been through. Not that the diamond choker she wore around her neck didn't do well to avert ones attention from the wisp of scar that ran across her trachea. Even so, whatever questions anyone had about what transpired a few months ago, every doubt was wiped away and replaced with words that poured out of her throat like warm honey being spun into milk. The words may have been meant just for Conner, but everybody in that room felt it and knew it for what is was :
"You ask how much I love you, I'll tell you true.. until the 12th of never, I'll still be loving you,"
Thanks for taking the ride. Hope you enjoyed it. -j.p.
Return to Main Page