See Part 1

A Sweet Surrender {Part VII}

By Katia N. Ruiz

Copyright 1999


George was bent over the crying Cassidy, her lips pressed against her forehead softly. She was crying softly, the tears dripping onto her friend's forehead as she whispered softly: "I'm so happy, Cassidy, you don’t know how happy I am right now." She kept saying this over and over again. She'd received the call about two hours before when Robie had tearfully called her with the news. She had abandoned whatever she had been doing, working on a design, and left her home office in a hurry.

On her way over to the hospital, George called Gretchen from her car phone, and left a message. Gretchen was in the courthouse across the street from her office, working on a case. She also tried to call Andrea, but there was no answer from her cellular. A given, since George knew that she would be in class, but she tried nevertheless. She left a message in the mailbox at the school and continued on her way to the hospital.

What she found was a completely conscious Cassidy; laying with eyes wide open, listening to Robie talk to her and responding with little gestures of her hands. She couldn’t control the tears that flooded her eyes, and rushed over to the bed.

Presently, she was passing her hand softly over her hair, speaking to her softly. Cassidy's eyes opened, and George wiped away the tears that had traveled down her temples. "Are you okay? Do you feel okay?" She asked in frantic whispering. Cassidy's golden brown eyes met hers and she blinked a yes. George turned towards Robie with wide questioning eyes. "When is Ashleigh taking this thing off her?" She demanded in her Australian accent, pointing at the tube going into Cassidy's mouth.

Robie smiled at George's impatience and informed her. "This evening, she thinks that maybe now that Cassidy's conscious, her lungs will be able to hold their own. She checked her out, and they sound strong, her breathing is not shallow any more." She explained with a smile. She'd taken the rest of the day off when Cassidy had woken, and stayed with her since.

George turned back to Cassidy and smiled tenderly at her. "You know," She said softly. "You are one stupid bitch."

Cassidy closed her eyes, wanting to laugh, but she knew she'd choke if she did. Robie laughed outright, leaning forward and slapping George on a buttock playfully. "Jesus, George, you're too much." She chided.

George laughed. "But it’s true," She said emphatically. She wagged a finger at Cassidy. "Andrea is coming today, you know. She comes here every day for you, and she loves you, you imp." She poked Cassidy's straight nose softly, and met her eyes. "You better not fuck it up this time. Understood? Because I'll put you in the hospital again, Cassidy."

Cassidy blinked a yes. She felt so happy to have her friends there with her, and she couldn’t wait to lay eyes on Andrea. She felt like a real idiot, having pushed everyone whom loved her away. She promised herself she wouldn't do it again, it took her brush with death to realize what was more important. Fear or love were her choices. Of course, love won out.

Ashleigh came in a few minutes, rolling a tall table like thing in with her. On top of it was a cylinder like tube that measured breath for patients who had been in need of respiratory aid, or that had been laying down for a long period of time. There were also surgical scissors, and other assorted items. There was also a bowl shaped plate, and a cup of water.

She found Robie and George laughing. "Now what is so funny, if I may ask?" She demanded good-naturedly, smiling softly. She sent a special smile at Robie, full of promises and desire, and George didn’t miss it. Ashleigh looked at Cassidy, and walked towards her with a smile, trailing the little table with her.

George moved to stand beside Robie.

"I'm going to take this thing off, babe." Ashleigh said gently, tapping the long tube. Cassidy blinked her understanding. Ashleigh bent over her, eyeing and touching around the tape with intense concentration, getting an idea of how much the tape was stuck to Cassidy's skin. "Hopefully, there won't be any rashes. I'll give you a lotion to apply to your skin, it should definitely be dry." She said thoughtfully, and then proceeded to pull the tape off slowly. After all the tape was painfully removed, Ashleigh forced Cassidy's mouth open wider with a gloved finger over each lip, peering into her mouth around the tube.

She pressed the bell above the bed, and a minute later a dark haired, slim young nurse came into the room. "Yes, doctor?" She said pleasantly.

Ashleigh gestured her closer. "Put some gloves on, Ms. DeFranc, you're going to help me remove this tube." She said. "Come here." The nurse obeyed, moving closer to the bed as she donned the gloves. "Okay," Ashleigh said, and smiled down at Cassidy. "You're going to grab her jaw like this, and keep her mouth open. I'll pull the tube out and the rest is history. Okay?" The nurse nodded. "Cassidy, do what I tell you. Take a deep breath and hold it. Good, and now exhale." As Cassidy did so, Ashleigh pulled the tube out.

Seconds later, Cassidy was sitting up in bed and coughing up thick phlegm into the bowl, going back and forth between spitting and sucking air in from the cylinder tube. She inhaled as deep as she could go, and gagged, more phlegm coming up from her lungs. "Oh, God!" She gasped groggily; she was already feeling tired. She spit more and then could not any more. "I can't any more, Ash." She groaned, feeling an uncomfortable pain in her stomach.

"Just a little more, Cas." George said soothingly, sitting at the foot of the bed, rubbing her leg softly.

Cassidy smiled at her friends and completed the task of getting her lungs to work again, no unwanted fluids inside them.


Carey stood leaning against her red Ford Mustang, twirling her keys with a finger, waiting for her daughter outside the high school. The youth hadn't come out yet, but Carey knew that in about five minutes they would be tearing out through the exit. She stood thinking of the Cassidy and Andrea problem, musing about what a fool Cassidy Monsignor had been. Andrea was the woman of anyone's dreams, and more, and Carey would give an arm and a leg to be given the opportunity to be Andrea's lover.

Roseanne came out accompanied by two pretty girls flanking her, she looked a little stressed as they each tried to get her attention. Carey frowned, confused as to what was happening. Roseanne saw Carey, and fastened her pace towards her mother, grinning. "Hi, mom!" She said with her rambunctious voice, her blue eyes twinkled. Both girls stood silently by her side, and smiled at Carey shyly. "Mum, this is Jenya Field," She pointed at the black haired, nicely bodied young woman. "And this is Manuela Montero." She pointed to the pretty auburn haired young woman at her other side.

Carey nodded slowly, her eyes widening knowingly. Andrea had told her a little about both girls and their situations with Roseanne. "Hello, girls." She said softly. She caught the pleading look in Roseanne's blue eyes, and grinned mischievously. "Care for some ice cream, girls?" She offered.

Manuela seemed sad, she bit her lower lip and said: "I have to go home, Mrs. Mitchell, my mom keeps a tab on me." She smiled softly at Roseanne, touching her shoulder softly. "I'll see you tomorrow?"

Roseanne smiled shyly at her. "Yeah." She said, and waved to her as Manuela walked away, looking back. She turned to look at Jenya, who was fidgeting a little. "What about you?" Roseanne asked.

"I have practice, you know that." Jenya said, looking very sorry. Then she seemed to make up her mind. "I won't go."

Carey lifted her hand. She said: "Now, now, young lady. You can't miss practice. If I'm correct, this affects your grade, no?" Jenya nodded. "In any case, I need to speak with my daughter. I'm sure you always find time to be with her in school." She extended her hand and Jenya took it. "It was great meeting you, we'll definitely see each other again, if you visit our home. Now have a good day, and off with you to practice."

After Jenya left, Roseanne laughed softly as she got into the car. "So what are we gonna do, Mum?" She asked, pulling the seatbelt over her chest and lap, clicking it in place.

Carey climbed into the driver's side and pulled her seatbelt on too. She slipped the car key into the ignition. She ran her hand through her short curly hair, leaning an elbow against the steering wheel and smiling at her daughter. "We're going to talk, that’s what we're doing." She said, turning the ignition. The mustang rumbled to life, and she pulled off.

Roseanne smiled at her mother, asking: "What about?" She liked talking to her mother; her mother could be so cool sometimes.

Carey grinned, and glanced at her daughter with a tender expression. "About those two girls, and what you're doing to solve the situation among you girls." She said, turning at the corner.

"Aww, Mum, let me deal with that please." She said whiningly. "I like both of them, and they are kind of willing to bear with me for a while."

Carey laughed softly. "But for how long, Rose?" She asked, pulling into a parking spot. She turned towards her daughter and leaned an elbow against the steering wheel. "Their feelings will be hurt, or maybe yours. Do you understand, Roseanne? Maybe they won't want to wait for you for such and such time, maybe they'll grow tired. I think you have to make your decision soon."

Roseanne's eyes widened, and she bit the inside of her cheek softly. "Thanks, mum." She said after a few moments of silence. "I have to think about it, really. I want to make the right decision. I like them both a lot and I'm very confused." She bit her lower lip softly, and golden eyebrows crunching together. "I really don’t need pressure." She looked frustrated, her eyes filling with tears.

Carey caught her tears and nodded, then she stared straight ahead. "I understand." She said in a low voice. "But I'm trying to help you, baby girl," She continued sweetly, reaching over with one hand and squeezing Roseanne's. "I don’t want my baby to be hurt, is that understandable?"

Roseanne nodded. "Yeah," She said softly, and wiped her teary eyes with her sleeve.

Suddenly, Carey laughed. "I don’t know how you do it, honey," She teased, and Roseanne smiled. "But you need to teach me the art of juggling two women. I mean," She said with a chuckle. "To be able to be honest with them, and get away with it." She laughed outright. "You're too much, I thought your father and I taught you better."

"You did, mum. That's why I was honest with both of them, but I'll make a decision soon, I promise." Roseanne replied.

"I believe in you." Carey said squeezing her hand again, and then she slapped the steering wheel softly. "Now, let’s go eat a little something before we go back and pick Andrea up. We are going with her to visit her friend Cassidy. I don’t know if you know that she's very ill."


Andrea walked into Cassidy's empty hospital room, and was momentarily confused when she saw that the bed was empty. And then realization slammed through her violently. A shot of fear sliced through her whole body; her heart skipped a beat. Where was Cassidy? Could she have…? No! Her mind screamed. Just the thought of Cassidy dying sent a stab through her heart. Her eyes filled up with tears and her legs weakened as she let forth a ragged sob, dropping her purse heavily on the floor. Her body shut down, and she was on the verge of loosing her mind.

Carey, who was right behind her, grabbed her arms and held her up. "Andrea," She said. "What is wrong with you, woman?"

Andrea pointed with a shaky hand towards the empty bed, and Carey blinked in confusion. "Cassidy!" Andrea sobbed, and she fell to her knees heavily. The tears trickled thickly down her cheeks, and she couldn't control the sobs that tore from her body. Carey tried to soothe her by saying that there must be some mistake, and that she shouldn't jump to conclusions. But Andrea was beyond understanding her words. "Oh, God, Carey, what will I do without her?" She moaned in despair, not accepting the thought that Cassidy could be dead. "No!" She screamed, wrenching herself free of Carey's arms.

A startled Cassidy emerged unsteadily from the bathroom upon hearing the scream, her eyes circling the room and ending up on Andrea. They filled with tears, and her body shook. Andrea gasped at the sight of her and cried even harder. "Cassidy!" She sobbed, opening her arms to her. She was so weak, she couldn't get up to her feet.

Carey gasped behind Andrea, and she smiled at Cassidy. "See? I knew there had to be some mistake." She said softly, grinning now.

"Andy." Cassidy said hoarsely, moving towards her slowly, her arms outstretched. She looked roughed, with her hair in a long braid, her body noticeably thinner beneath the hospital gown, and her cheeks slightly hollowed out. Still, she looked beautiful and strong, despite her weakness and thinness. "Andy, oh God!" She whispered hoarsely, the tears leaving her eyes in hot trails down her cheeks.

Andrea gasped tearfully, struggling to her feet with the help of Carey. "Cassidy." She whispered as Cassidy walked into her arms, wrapping her own tightly around her. "Oh my God, Cassidy! I thought you were gone, I thought you'd left me!" She sobbed against her ear, holding her tightly to herself. "I love you, Cassidy, I'm so in love with you! Oh God!"

Carey smiled softly, and left the room, pulling and locking the door after herself.

Cassidy's arms tightened as hard as they could, and she sobbed hoarsely, her voice raspy from going on unused. Andrea pulled back, cupping Cassidy's head with her hands and looking up into her eyes. The sweetness in Cassidy's golden brown eyes intoxicated her, possessed her and she was surrendering to their golden hue. She pulled Cassidy's head lower, and pressed her lips softly against hers. She trembled when Cassidy's smooth lips responded to hers, when they opened to allow her silky tongue passage.

Andrea could taste the salt of their tears mingled with the taste of the toothpaste Cassidy had just used. Their lips pressed together hard and passionately, their breathing grew fast and raspy. Their kiss was erotically wild, wet, and full of love and wanting. Hungrily, Cassidy claimed Andrea's lips, and it was as if no time had passed since they'd last been together. It was as if there had been no separation. She knew she'd been stupid, and she had hardly been able to wait until Andrea would arrive to see her.

They pulled their lips apart, and Cassidy rested her cheek against Andrea's softly, breathing hard and fast. "Oh, Andy." She whispered softly, feeling her body ignite with sexual energy and love. "We," She continued, tightening her arms around her. "We need to talk, I have a lot to tell you. I have been an idiot, baby, I have. I love you more than anything in this world, more than my own life."

Andrea pulled back and met her eyes. "You have to love yourself, baby. Because I can't take another scare like this one, when you collapsed in front of me like that-" She burst into tears again.

Cassidy pulled her into her arms again and cradled her face against her chest. Andrea grasped her, her hands on her back grasping the hospital robe frantically as she tried to pull her impossibly closer. She wanted Cassidy closer, wanted her inside. She needed her badly, and she resolved herself to never let her go. She complied as Cassidy pulled her towards the hospital bed, a sudden need consuming them.

Cassidy didn't care where they were. She wanted Andrea now. Her hands were already touching, caressing the silky smooth skin of Andrea's neck, her face. She became hypnotized with the feel of the smooth flawless skin that was breaking out in sweat beneath her fingers.

Andrea gasped, reaching frantically beneath Cassidy's hospital robe and touching the nude smooth skin. Cassidy gasped, trembling, running her fingers to the back of Andrea's neck and grasping the soft hair as she pulled her for a deep kiss. Her tongue was exploring, commanding, and she was taking full charge of their passion. Pushing her to lay across the bed, she positioned herself on top of her, feeling Andrea's soft fingers glide across the defined muscles of her bare back. She kissed her neck and whispered against her ear: "I am so in love with you, Andy, you don't know how much I have tried not to be." She kissed her graceful neck again softly, licking the sensitive skin below her ear.

She began to open her shirt very slowly, looking deeply into her eyes as she allowed her fingers to touch her skin as she unbuttoned. Andrea's eyes were half closed, her breathing was erratic, and she was feverishly helping Cassidy open her shirt. Their fingers rubbed together as they strained against the seemingly infinite buttons and Andrea groaned passionately, pulling Cassidy down and kissing her lips hard.

Cassidy's trembling fingers finished the task of opening her shirt and were teasing over the bra-covered nipples. Andrea gasped loudly, her tongue licking Cassidy's lips softly. Her body was moving against Cassidy's, her back arched and she offered her breasts to Cassidy's hands. Cassidy sucked Andrea's tongue into her mouth as her hand cupped a full aching breast. Desire was burning through their bodies; passion was fire in their blood. Cassidy's trembling hand was moving lower, palm pressing against Andrea's quivering stomach and fingers going beneath the waistband of her slacks.

Andrea's stomach quivered harder, her legs spread and hung off the bed, and she unbuttoned her pants to allow Cassidy's hand more room to move in. Cassidy's fingers stroked the immense wetness between Andrea's legs, and her other arm moved beneath Andrea's neck to cradle her head as she kissed her. Andrea groaned as Cassidy's fingers moved against her clitoris, she threw her head back and cried out throatily as Cassidy entered her. She threw an arm around Cassidy's neck, and pressed her lips tighter against hers. "Oh, yes!" She gasped against her hot mouth, moving her hips fast and hard to meet Cassidy's fingers inside her.

She was trembling, her whole body quivering out of control, her passion unleashed. She was crying out throatily, grasping Cassidy's shoulder with her free hand and concentrating only on Cassidy's hand between her legs. She lost herself in Cassidy's touch, and was incandescent in her arms. She was helpless to the orgasms running through her body, oblivious to anything but Cassidy's fingers in her.


Carey leaned casually against the wall outside of Cassidy's room despite the fact that she could hear Andrea's throaty cries. She stood with a leg crossed over the other, and her eyes concentrating on her perfectly manicured fingernails. George, Gretchen and Robie were coming down the hall slowly, walking close together, smiling happily at each other as they chatted. Carey eyed them curiously, her eyebrows arching softly, her blue eyes amused. George noticed her standing next to the door as they stopped in front of it, and frowned slightly. She reached out a hand to take the doorknob to Cassidy's room and twist it. Carey advised in her distinctive Irish brogue, with an amused expression on her face: "I wouldn't go in there, if I were you." She smiled at all of them.

George, being much taller, looked down at her suspiciously, frowning as she moved again to the door. Gretchen studied Carey guardedly, wondering who she was. And Robie stood with her arms crossed over her chest, eyeing her seriously. "Who are you?" Gretchen asked, a hand on her hip, her voice demanding.

Carey smiled at them, a charming smile that said, I come in peace, women. "I'm a friend of Andrea's," She said with a knowing arch to her eyebrows. "And she's in there." She jerked a thumb in the direction of the door. "When I left them, they were in no condition to be bothered, trust me." She laughed, and then grinned openly at all of them.

George smiled knowingly, hearing noise from within since she was close to the door. Also, upon recognizing Carey as a lesbian, she offered her hand as she apologized and introduced herself. Carey accepted it with her considerably smaller hand and shook it firmly, introducing herself to all of them also. "So why don’t we all go and have some coffee." She suggested, slipping her hands into her pockets and rocking slightly on her feet.

George agreed, and Gretchen eyed her curiously as George guided her down the hall with a hand on her back. Robie seemed curious also, but still followed them too. Neither one of them had gotten the point. "Maybe we can find Ashleigh, see if she's not busy…" Robie was saying as they walked away.



Cassidy lay in the circle of Andrea's arms, her arms wrapped around her waist, so spent and so sleepy. She was awake though, breathing hard and feeling the remnants of her orgasm still running through her body. They shifted and lay with the length of their bodies matching that of the bed, legs entwined, bodies pressed together tightly. Cassidy's head rested comfortably against Andrea's full chest, her lips caressing the wet skin softly. She had discarded her hospital gown and lay nude against Andrea's half-clad body. Andrea's shirt and bra had both been carelessly discarded along with Cassidy's hospital gown, but her pants remained, now wrinkled and open at the waist.

"Cassidy," Andy whispered softly against her forehead, and Cassidy looked up to meet her eyes. "Are you willing to talk to me now?" She stroked Cassidy's sculpted cheek softly; each finger separated a few centimeters feeling the smooth skin tenderly. Cassidy nodded slowly, and kissed her fingers softly. "Good." Andrea said. "Why were you avoiding us so much?" She asked her softly, kissing her forehead tenderly.

"I was afraid." Cassidy whispered, lifting her head up to look into her eyes. "You thought I was your best friend, but all the while I was head over heels in love with you." She took a deep breath, and continued: "Plus I wanted you with a passion that was killing me." She stopped suddenly, and broke their eye contact.

"Wanted me?" Andrea said, trying to make a little light of the confession she'd just heard. The truth was that she wanted to jump all over the room and make a party. She was so happy. But she knew that Cassidy confessing such a deep feeling to her was something Cassidy never thought she'd be doing. "What, you don't want me any more? Got it all out of your system or something?"

Cassidy laughed softly, and lifted her head to kiss Andrea's lips softly, slipping her tongue softly between the responding lips. "I still want you," She whispered sensuously. "More than ever, Andy." She kissed her again, passionately this time. Andrea wrapped her arms around her neck, her hands caressing her back softly, and fingernails raking her skin tenderly. Cassidy shivered, and whispered against her lips: "I want you more than ever, Andy. More than ever!" She groaned and lay on top of her again, pushing her breasts against Andrea's.

Andrea moaned, and kissed her back, arching to the passion heating Cassidy's body. "Cassidy," She whispered softly against Cassidy's lips, groaning softly. "We're in the middle of a hospital, baby. We can't do this! You've just woken up, you're still weak…" Her voice trailed into a soft moan off as Cassidy's mouth moved down to her breasts, her teeth sinking into the flushed flesh tenderly.

"I'm not too weak to do this…" She whispered against her flesh, groaning softly as Andrea's nipple blossomed against her tongue. "Am I?"

"No." Andrea gasped and trembled. "Oh, God, no…" She groaned, forgetting where they were as Cassidy's mouth moved lower to her stomach and lower still.


That evening, Ashleigh and Robie sat in a very quiet well renowned lesbian owned restaurant, sitting huddling close together talking in hushed tones. "So," Robie said, leaning towards Ashleigh with a smile. "When are you sending Cassidy home?" She closely examined the woman twelve years her senior sitting beside her. Ashleigh could pass for thirty-five, my age, Robie thought fleetingly. Hmmm, but I like the fact that she's older. Turns me on so much. She felt a shiver run up and down her spinal cord in accordance with her thoughts, and her body was warm and getting warmer.

Ashleigh smiled, and touched her cheek softly, seeing the flush in Robie's cheeks. "Well, not tomorrow, or the day after." She said quietly, leaning closer and kissing her lips softly. When she pulled back, she sighed audibly, a dreamy look in her eyes. "I have to have some tests done on her. Blood work, urine, you know, the usual." She continued. "And I want to make sure the kid is mentally stable and won't try some bullshit like that again. I'm going to recommend a psychiatrist to her, and it will be up to her to go, and to Andrea to convince her. I don’t want to declare her dead next time." Tears came to her eyes unexpectedly.

Robie felt tears come to her own eyes, but she held them back. "We all love her so much, don't we?" She said, smiling shakily and covering Ashleigh's hand with hers. "She has one big family of lesbians, right?" She laughed softly.

Ashleigh chuckled, and leaned over to kiss her again. They kissed softly for a few minutes; Robie's fingers touched Ashleigh's strong neck softly. The tender lips pressed against hers became demanding, possessive. Ashleigh pulled away slowly, and looked into her eyes meaningfully. "Robie," She whispered, and kissed her again before asking hoarsely, pressing her lips against that sensitive area right below her ear: "Would you like to come home with me?"

Robie trembled all over as Ashleigh's warm breath brushed her neck and ignited her passion. She closed her eyes tightly, and whispered raggedly: "Yes…"

Ashleigh didn't waste any time. She called the waitress over and asked for their check, throwing a large bill on the table and hurriedly pulling Robie out of the restaurant, not even bothering to wait for her change. The waitress was very happy to have such a big tip.


They lay nude, holding each other under the covers of Ashleigh's bed. Robie was deeply asleep, her face pressed against the arch of Ashleigh's neck, resting on her muscled arm. Ashleigh slept lightly; she was aware of the sensuously smooth body pressed against hers. The long soft leg pressed between her legs and the arm thrown carelessly over her waist aroused her anew. Ashleigh's eyes opened, the light from the lamp bothering her eyes a little, and she lifted the covers protecting them from the breeze coming through Ashleigh's forgotten open window. She couldn't take her eyes away from the smooth skin of the woman that lay in her arms, and she replayed in her mind the last few hours they'd spent frantically making love.

Cassidy had never surrendered to Ashleigh in the helpless way Robie had just surrendered to her when they made love. She was more the aggressor, much to Ashleigh's pleasure, but also to her frustration. Robie was perfect, she liked being loved, and loving. It was a combination that drove Ashleigh wild; especially when Robie had lain on her back, staring at Ashleigh as she undressed with clouded passionate eyes. She had been waiting for Ashleigh to take her, sensing the need in Ashleigh to love with her body. It was not long before Ashleigh was naked, and lying on top of her, kissing her and possessing her with her hands and tongue. Their bodies had molded and moved together as if they had been made for one another.

The memory of the way Robie tasted remained on Ashleigh's lips, and she licked them slowly. Pushing Robie gently onto her back slowly, not waking her just yet, she moved down slowly between her legs, wanting to imprint the taste of Robie's passion on her lips once again. Robie woke slowly to the tender teasing of her tongue, parting her legs more, and then immediately responding to the pleasure that almost immediately turned into an ecstatic orgasm.



Jeffrey walked cautiously down the silent hallway in the middle of the morning, looking up and down the hall for any nurses, when he knew that no visitors would be in. He also didn't want to run into Ashleigh Simmons, that "dyke doctor," as he referred to her. He knew she hated him with a passion, and knew that at any opportunity, she'd destroy him with her Amazon strength. He found out Cassidy's room number by calling in and asking to be transferred to her room telephone. "Okay," The operator had said with an annoying nasal twang. "Room Three Forty."

She'd picked up almost right away, and he recognized her voice, hanging up and deciding what he'd do with the information. He knocked, and her voice rang out from inside. "Come in."

Opening the door slowly, he saw that she was sitting languidly on her bed, an open notepad on her lap, a poised ballpoint pen in her hand. Obviously, she'd been expecting Ashleigh or one of the nurses, because as soon as she laid eyes on him her smile faded and was replaced by a scowl. "What do you want?" She demanded coldly, putting the notepad and pen on the bed and standing up slowly.

Jeffrey smirked and stood with his hands in his pockets. "So you're okay now." He stated the obvious with obvious wishes for it to be the opposite. "Weren't you dying? Or was that another ploy to take Andrea away from me?"

The words stung. Cassidy narrowed her eyes angrily; a deep red flush covered her dark skin. "You are a bastard." She said in a low voice, trying to remain calm, knowing that if she was to get even better, she needed to relax. "I do not need any ploy to have Andrea. She loves me."

"You know she's pregnant?" He asked, a triumphant smile covering his face. "Did she tell you she's pregnant with my child?"

The disbelief showed on Cassidy's face before she could cover it up, regain her composure. "What are you talking about?" She said, holding her emotions under control. Inside, she was in turmoil, she didn't know what to think.

Jeffrey rocked calmly in his feet. The truth was that he wanted to wrap his hands around her neck and break it. But he knew he'd be pointed as an instant suspect by her friends and would be found out. He did his best to control his urge, and said instead, seeking to hurt her in deeper ways: "Andrea and I have been planning to have a baby for months, didn't she tell you that? Why do you think she hasn't broken up with me? Had you thought that maybe she's just experimenting?" He walked towards the window and gazed out, poisoning Cassidy with his words. He turned to look at her, seemingly calm, though inside, he wanted to choke the life out of her. "I personally think every woman has to experiment at one time or another, and that's what Andrea's doing.

"You see, I'm not jealous, because I know what she wants is this." He placed a hand over his endowment, grinning nastily as he massaged it slightly. "She comes home to me every night and rides this, right after she leaves here from seeing you and trying to make you feel better about yourself." He smiled with sarcastic sympathy. "She just feels sorry for you, Cassidy. As soon as you leave here, we marry."

Cassidy gazed unemotionally at him, not wanting to give him the satisfaction of seeing that he'd hurt her. "Get out." She said in a calm monotone. "Go!" She was beginning to loose it, her brown eyes narrowing, her jaw clenching. She clenched her fists hard and tight, taking a step towards him, ready to break his face if he didn't leave.

Jeffrey smiled at her, eyebrows arched and with his hands still in his pockets. Then he walked towards the door, and opened it slowly, glancing back at her one last time. "I'd appreciate it if you stay away from my fiancé." He pulled out a small box and opened it, reaching out with his hand and putting it to eye's view for Cassidy. Two diamond-encrusted rings, one slightly larger than the other, shone out from the small box. Cassidy's eyes remained emotionless, but Jeffrey could tell by the edge in her voice, the clenching of her jaw, that he had affected her. "You see, I already bought the rings. We're basically ready to tie the knot." He said pleasantly, and walked out.

Cassidy closed her eyes tightly, struggling not to believe the information she'd just been given. She turned and clenched her fists, feeling tense and hot. She was trying to control her breathing, which was hard with the stress. She strode over to one of the vases of flowers and swept if off the table with one violent thrust. It shattered against the wall, water and flowers flying everywhere. A sob tore from her throat, and she swayed towards the bed.

The violent sound had attracted the attention of the floor nurse, and she'd called Ashleigh over the line just before she'd left the desk to run to Cassidy's room. She eyed Jeffrey curiously as she passed by him; she'd seen him come out of Cassidy's room and had heard the sound a few seconds later. She found Cassidy lying on the bed, crying as she was straining to breathe. She touched her forehead, whispering soothing words and found that Cassidy's forehead was hot. Worriedly, she checked her temperature and found that it was high, at one hundred and two. She was baffled at the speed with which it rose. Just twenty minutes before, she'd checked and it had been normal.

She applied the ever-ready oxygen mask that hung from the bed rail, ready for use in any emergency. At first, Cassidy fought against her, hands pushing away, but she gave in when Ashleigh walked in and ordered in that no-nonsense voice of hers to her to stay put. "What happened?" Ashleigh asked of the nurse when they'd put the extremely nervous Cassidy to bed. She had fallen into an exhausted sleep and Ashleigh had written into her clipboard, telling the nurse to retrieve a Tylenol anti-fever for Cassidy's fever.

Upon making the half-unconscious Cassidy drink the tablets of Tylenol, the nurse explained. "She received a visit a few minutes ago," She said, she covered Cassidy gently and smoothed her hair. "And after he left, she got like this."

Ashleigh's eyes snapped from Cassidy to the nurse. "He?" She demanded in a strained voice, her body and voice rigid. "What did he look like?" She was thinking that maybe it was Josua, or, she didn't know which was worst, Jeffrey.

"Tall, handsome." The nurse said thoughtfully. "Nicely dressed, as if he were from GQ or something. Blue eyes, blonde. That's about all."

But Ashleigh already knew who'd been there, and she was going to talk with Andrea about that as soon as she would get there.



As Andrea passed by the floor nurse's desk to get to Cassidy's room, the nurse stopped her. "Is something the matter?" She asked, feeling instantly anxious and thinking that maybe Cassidy was ill again. "Is Cassidy okay?" She demanded, gripping the edge of the desk.

The nurse smiled reassuringly. "No, no." She said, shaking her head and dismissing Andrea's fears with a wave of her hand.

"Then?" Andrea said, visibly relaxed.

"Doctor Simmons wants to see you before you go in to see Ms. Monsignor." The nurse informed her, directing her down the hall towards the chief doctor's office, where the head doctor for the tour would lounge until their shift was over.

Andrea found Ashleigh leaning back comfortably on her chair, her feet propped on the table and her hands clasped behind her head. Ashleigh straightened as Andrea walked in without knocking. She seemed worried, but she still smiled, standing up and giving Andrea a kiss on the cheek. Andrea kissed her back, and sat down on the chair Ashleigh indicated. "What's going on, Ashleigh?" Andrea asked right away.

Andrea saw her anger, her upset. She was clenching the fist on her lap, and her jaw clenched. Ashleigh bit her lower lip, and seemed thoughtful, but then she said: "I have found out that Jeffrey was here."

Andrea frowned, shaking her head. "But why would he come here?" She asked no one in particular.

Ashleigh lifted her eyes from the desk to meet Andrea's. "Come on, Andrea," She chided. "To torture Cassidy, that’s why he came here. He knows she's ill at this moment, and vulnerable. And he knows she loves you, he's always known and he's done his best to make her feel very uncomfortable about what's happening between you two." She paused, meeting Andrea's increasingly angry eyes, and then continued: "Jeffrey hates Cassidy, Andrea, and that's because he loves you.

"He came here today and told her that you were pregnant, that you'd been planning this 'baby' for months, that you never broke up with him, and that you were waiting for her to come out of the hospital to go ahead and marry him. Cassidy believed him, and nothing I could say made her doubt his words. I mean, he went as far as to show her pair of wedding rings, for God's sake!" She shook her head slowly, sucking her teeth softly. "She can be a child when she's like this, sick and all. You know that, she'd believe anything anyone would tell her." She'd found out what had happened that morning from Cassidy herself, who had tearfully let it all out after Ashleigh questioned and pressured her into telling her what had happened.

"That’s absurd!" Andrea snapped. Her usually warm blue eyes were cold in her anger, and her usually sweet face was hard and flushed. "What a bastard." She muttered, staring at the floor. Suddenly, she stood up. "I have to go speak with Cassidy."

Ashleigh stood up and followed her down the hall towards Cassidy's room. They stood outside the door and looked at each other. Ashleigh said with her controlled voice: "If I see him here again, I'll break his face."

Andrea nodded. "That’s if I don’t kill him first." She said. "How could he?" She shook her head, thinking that perhaps Cassidy would not even want to see her. She hesitated, her hand on the doorknob. "Damn." She muttered, and opened the door slowly, walking in and pushing the door closed. Cassidy was lying on her side, her knees drawn up to her chest, her arms wrapped around her legs, eyes closed. Andrea approached the bed slowly, and then stood there, reaching out a tentative hand and touching her shoulder. "Cassidy."

Cassidy jerked her shoulder away, tightening her arms around her legs. Andrea touched her shoulder again, and grabbed it, so that Cassidy could not pull away. Cassidy tried to pull away, but her position made it hard. She stopped trying to pull away, and simply allowed Andrea's hand to rest there, not acknowledging it any more. Andrea pulled at her shoulder, and forced her to lie on her back. Cassidy's eyes were closed; she wouldn't look at Andrea, her sensuous lips were set in a straight line. Unable to help herself, Andrea leaned down and kissed them softly, Cassidy turned her face away.

"Cassidy," Andrea said softly. "I hope you don't believe what Jeffrey told you. You of all people must know that I wouldn't lie to you. I never have." She waited, waiting to see if Cassidy would respond.

Cassidy couldn't stop the tears that slid out of her eyes, nor could she stop her lower lip from trembling. She sat up, and covered her face with her hands. "I don't know what to believe." She whispered hoarsely. "He showed me that ring…"

Andrea laughed softly, and Cassidy thought she was being ridiculed. "You can't possibly believe that!" She exclaimed, touching Cassidy's shoulder and kneading the tense muscles there. She could feel Cassidy begin to relax and lean more against her. "I think he had purchased them with the wish that I would eventually marry him." She whispered huskily, - becoming aroused and feeling need- close to her ear, feeling her shiver against her. "I don't think he was counting on my falling in love with you, baby. I am in love with you, Cassidy. I love you more than anything in this universe." She kissed below her ear softly, trailing along her fine strong jaw, and ended up pressing against her lips. "Do you believe me?" She asked softly against her lips, sitting down beside Cassidy slowly.

Cassidy's arms wrapped around her waist slowly, and they kissed fully on the lips; she slid her velvety tongue between her teeth. A sudden flash of heat began between Andrea's legs, becoming an aching throb and pumping hot flashes through her body. Andrea's arms wrapped around Cassidy's shoulders and they held their bodies frantically tight to one another. "Hmmm," Cassidy moaned softly, pulling her lips back slightly, though not breaking contact. She couldn't help herself; arousal was pumping through her body like blood. "So you're not pregnant?" She asked huskily, beyond the point of caring.

Andrea pulled back and looked into her eyes. "No." She whispered. "He lied, Cassidy, when will you understand that?"

Cassidy didn't respond; she just pushed Andrea onto her back, her head at the foot of the bed. Lying heavily on top of her, she kissed her fully on the lips, her tongue working its way into the responding hot mouth once again. She pressed her body against her frantically, hips between her legs, and feverishly began kissing her. Both women moaned softly, hands frantically searching as they lost control of any inhibitions that had invaded their thoughts.

Afterwards, lying in a deep lassitude of afterglow after their brief lovemaking session, they talked in quiet tones. Andrea's lips were pressed against Cassidy's forehead, her arms around her shoulders and her fingers sifting through the thick dark hair. Cassidy's head rested on Andrea's half-clothed chest, her fingers playing at the band of Andrea's opened pants. "So you're not pregnant?" Cassidy asked again, her lips nibbling on the fleshy skin of Andrea's chest.

Andrea pulled her head back, and looked into Cassidy's eyes, feeling a tad bit annoyed. She knew that Cassidy would be insecure about them, and she understood too how she felt. If she'd been in Cassidy's shoes, she would be feeling the same way. "I don’t want to have to tell you again that Jeffrey lied, Cassidy. You, of all people, should know that I don’t lie." She said sternly and Cassidy looked suitably embarrassed.

Cassidy nodded, and kissed her softly. "I do not like Jeffrey." She whispered, looking once again into Andrea's eyes. "I never have, and he's never liked me."

"I just realized that myself." Andrea answered, and a sheepish smile took over her face. "I guess I wasn't paying that much attention." She shook herself. "But enough about that. Why don’t we talk us?"

Cassidy sat up, and Andrea did too. "What is there to talk about? We are together, are we not?" Cassidy said shortly, she was never good at talking about relationships. She'd been so used to getting her way with women, meaning just sexually. And now that the woman that she loved with all her heart was opening a talk about their future, she didn't know how to deal with it.

Andrea, who knew all about Cassidy, smiled, stroking Cassidy's back with her opened palm. "You are something else, Cassidy." She whispered softly close to her ear, and she felt Cassidy shiver. "I want to spend the rest of my life with you, honey, that's what there is to say."

Cassidy closed her eyes, she couldn't believe she'd just heard those words. "But what if this is just a phase for you, Andy." She protested in a faltering voice. "What if what you feel for me is not real, but a passing passion?"

Andrea sighed, flopping herself onto her back, throwing an arm over her eyes. "Do I have to make a point of proving myself to you, Cassidy?" She said with exasperation. "You are one incredibly stubborn woman, do you know that?" She demanded, lifting her arm and peering at Cassidy from underneath it.

Cassidy bowed her head, and stared at her lap quietly. She just didn't want to get hurt. "I do not want to get hurt, Andrea." She said slowly, echoing her feelings.

Andrea sat up quickly, and rested her head comfortingly on her shoulder, wrapping an arm around her neck. She took a deep breath, and smelled the ever-present sweet scent of Cassidy's skin. "I love you more than anything, Cassidy. I love you more than words can say." She whispered softly. "When I first realized that I was feeling something for you, I was so confused. I didn't know what to do, or how to tell you. I thought you'd want to end our friendship and never talk to me again. I didn't know you were feeling something for me too." She looked at Cassidy with thoughtful eyes.

Cassidy was staring off somewhere, biting her lower lip as she thought. "I was already going crazy with love for you by the time we were in high school. I did not know I-" She broke off, her eyebrows crunching together as she recalled her torturous feelings so long ago. "I realized it when I, you know, cut myself," She seemed a little embarrassed, but Andrea didn't allow her to be, she kissed her tenderly on the cheek and waited silently for her to continue. Cassidy did. "When you were by my side," She whispered, tears coming to her eyes. "Day and night."

Andrea pulled her close, turning her face and pressing it to her neck. She whispered sweet things in Cassidy's ear until she calmed.

"I have put you through a lot, haven't I?" Cassidy whispered against her skin, kissing softly, wanting more of Andrea, not caring if someone walked in. She wrapped her strong arms around Andrea and pulled her closer, turning towards her and pushing them down.

"Uh-huh, you've put me through a lot," Andrea whispered distractedly, her hands already touching the skin of Cassidy's bare firm back, arousing her anew. She paused, and met Cassidy's sexy eyes. "But you know what?" She said, moving her lips closer to her lover's.

"What?" Cassidy whispered hoarsely, her eyes already closing as she turned towards her, her lips brushing against Andrea's. She was breathing hard, her hands already moving into Andrea's pants, pushing them down.

Andrea moaned softly, her arms tightening around Cassidy's shoulders. "We can only count on Ashleigh to let us get away with this in a hospital room." She whispered, and her lips were Cassidy's for the taking, her body willingly becoming a temple to be admired and explored by Cassidy's expert, knowing hands. Openly giving her body in a sweet surrender.


The End

Katia N. Ruiz

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