Disclaimers: The characters in this story are mine. This is a 'uber' story, set in today's timeline, and some of the characters may bear a more than a slight resemblance to certain other characters we all know, but which are not owned by me. Any similarity to real people is purely coincidental. The location is Orlando, Florida. This is a character driven piece. There is no plot. There is no violence, nobody is trying to kill anybody else, nobody is chasing anybody else, nobody is…..well, you get the picture. The backdrop is a law firm, and sometimes law firms can be rather routine places to work. This story brings two people together in that environment who end up making each other's lives anything but routine.

Subtext Disclaimer: There is subtext here, too. This story deals with the growing attraction and eventual deep, profound love between two people who happen to be of the same sex. Although there are some scenes depicting the physical expression of that love, there are no graphic scenes here. If that is what you're looking for, you might want to read something else. This is simply a story about soulmates finding each other again.

Feedback: This is my first attempt at fan fiction. Comments are always welcome. Let me know if there's something you especially liked or didn't like. I can be reached at kmmoon@prodigy.net.




Written by KM

Part 3


Jess had seen better days. Of course, all the days Jess had seen lately had seen better days. Today was no exception. First, there was a screw-up in the filing of a court document, that particular screw-up being that it never got filed in the first place, deadlines notwithstanding. Then, there was the tedious chore of reviewing the clients' billings on each of her files from the previous month, writing off certain time entries and correcting billing errors. You'd think educated law professionals could provide better billing descriptions than 'prepare documents.' She rubbed her tired eyes and grimaced at the pile of yet to be reviewed client bills. I hate the beginning of the month.

So, by the time the day came to its close, Jess was in a mood. She got up from her desk and took a walk down the hallway, stopping briefly by Robin's office. Robin had a wonderful way of brightening up her frame of mind, even when Jess was in the most crankiest of moods. She looked inside Robin's office. Not there. She frowned unhappily, and after checking around the firm a little more and still not being able to locate Robin, Jess went to the one place she knew she'd definitely find the answer — Paul.

"Hi, Paul." Jess stepped into his office. "Have you seen Robin anywhere?"

Paul looked up from his computer. "I think she's already left for the day."

Damn. "Okay. Thanks."

Now a bit sullen and sulking just a little, Jess's mood soured even further as she returned to her office to complete the rest of her tedious billing review. By late evening, she had finally finished the task and headed home, very weary and very, very cranky. She pulled her silver Mercedes into the garage, went inside and set the alarm. Her body, stiff from sitting all day, was in definite need of a nice, hot, long bath. After running the steaming hot water for several moments, Jess stepped into the imported marble oval roman tub, turned on the Jacuzzi power jets, and simply relaxed into the delightful warmth. And it felt good. Very, very good. She let her mind wander aimlessly, the ache in her muscles slowly easing and the tension evaporating. Now, if only Robin was.…...She shook her head in silent warning. Don't go there, Jess. She mentally chastised herself for her momentary lapse and then relaxed herself against the back of the tub, her disposition still not improved but her muscles less sore. She closed her eyes as she let all the tension of the day evaporate and finally drift away.

What a shitty day.


"So, you're telling me they entered a default? Damn it" Jess was livid. "What the hell were you thinking?" Her arms flailed wide in animated gesture. "How could you let that deadline pass?"

Mark Stevens, the third year associate infamous for the near-malpractice meltdown a few weeks prior, shrank back in his chair, his eyes wide with more than a twinge of fear. Jess was in rare form today and he was not willing to risk speaking. Not if he wanted to save his tongue.

"I want you to do a motion to set aside the default. I will cover the hearing." Jess leaned over the desk and gave him a menacing glare. "Just find me one case, one simple case, to take into that hearing. That's all I ask." She abruptly turned and headed back to her office, wondering what the hell she had ever done to deserve such incompetence. Almost as an afterthought, she took a slight detour, through the lobby and past the reception area, over to Robin's office. Jess looked inside. Not there. Damn. Jess scowled and then spied Paul at the far end of the hallway, lingering casually about the coffee maker. She rapidly made her way toward him.

"Jessica, hi. We have hazelnut flavor this morning." Paul poured himself a cup.

"Yeah, yeah. Paul, I need to find Robin. Have you seen her?" Jess chose the regular coffee blend.

"Uh, I think she called in. Sick, I think. Anyway, she won't be here."

Jess's head snapped up. Robin's sick? "Uh, thanks, Paul."

"Hey, Jessica?" Paul leaned back against the wall and spoke in a quiet tone. "I wanted to ask you, since you know Robin somewhat, um….." He stammered. "Do you know if she's seeing someone right now?"

I definitely do not need this. "I don't think so, but this is a conversation that you should be having with her, not me. Okay?"

"Right. Thanks." Paul nodded, appearing to concentrate heavily on her words.

Jess turned quickly and started walking purposefully toward her office, seemingly deep in thought, only one thing taking precedence in her mind at this precise moment. Once inside her office, she closed the door and sat down, idly noting the time and wondering if it was too early to call. She made the decision anyway, and picked up the phone, dialing the number she had already committed to memory.

Amidst the quiet of the mid-morning, the noisy, insistent ringing of the phone woke Robin up from a restless slumber, her headache pounding hard and her throat unbelievably sore. What had started out as a minor cold, had quickly become worse, and she had mostly slept the past twenty hours away, unable to do even the simplest of things.

"Hello." Robin's voice was low and horse, laryngitis nearly settling in.

"Robin, it's Jess. Sorry. Did I wake you?"

"Yes, but it's alright." Robin suddenly felt soothed by the familiar sound on the other end of the line.

"I heard you were sick. How are you feeling?" Jess asked, sympathy touching the edges of her voice.

"I have the flu, I think. Feel bad. Can't talk real well. Really tired." Robin closed her eyes again and nearly fell back to sleep.

"Robin?" Silence. "Robin?" Jess's voice became tinged with slight alarm.

"I'm here. Just tired."

Jess became slightly more worried. "Listen, let me come by a little later on and check on you, okay? Will you let me stop by?"

"Don't go to any trouble, but if you want to come by, it would be okay. There's a spare house key in the top right drawer of my desk at work in an envelope. It's not labeled. You can use that to get in if I'm asleep." Several long, quiet breaths. "Can I go back to sleep now?" Robin's voice faded out.

Damn. This did not sound good. "Sure, you get some rest. I'll be over a little later on." Jess ended the call and stood up, pacing lightly. She ran her slender fingers through her dark hair and blew out a long breath. Jess went through the logic in her mind, trying to convince herself of all the facts. It was just the flu, after all. Not a big deal. A little uncomfortable, yes. Not an emergency situation. She finally, with a little effort, managed to calm herself down and decided to do something she had never done before. She decided to take off work a little early that afternoon and go check in on Robin.


Though mostly distracted for much of the remainder of the day, Jess completed several of her more urgent tasks before making her way out the door. She stopped at the grocery store for a few items and then proceeded directly to Robin's apartment, knocking lightly on the door and then letting herself in with the spare key. Setting the grocery items down, Jess immediately headed back toward the bedroom, intent on checking on her sick patient. Standing quietly in the doorway, Jess observed Robin, curled up and sleeping, the room darkened and quiet. She crossed the room and sat on the edge of the bed, concern etched on her face, and then brought her hand up and lightly brushed the strands of short blonde hair away from Robin's eyes.

Green eyes fluttered open, the voice barely a whisper. "Jess." Robin smiled weakly. "You're here."

"I'm here." Jess smiled, putting her hand up to Robin's forehead, and then frowned. "You have a fever. How are you feeling?"

"Yucky. I have a horrible headache, and a sore throat, and an achy back, and a stuffy nose." But I'm better since you're here. Robin furrowed her brows. "Shouldn't you be at work?"

"Don't you worry about me. Let's take care of you." Jess gently brushed another strand of hair from Robin's forehead. "How about if I get you something to drink and you can take some aspirin for the fever, and then we'll see if you're hungry, okay?"

Robin closed her eyes. "Okay."

Jess proceeded into the kitchen, opened the bottle of sports drink she had bought to take care of any dehydration, and poured some into a glass for Robin. She then heated up some chicken soup and brought everything back into the bedroom on a small tray, finding Robin asleep once again. Jess set the tray down, turned on the small lamp on the dresser, and sat down on the bed to gently wake Robin.

"Robin, honey, come on, wake up." Jess spoke quietly. "You need to take some aspirin now and try to eat a little something, okay?"

Robin groggily stirred and slowly opened her eyes. The dim light from the small lamp cast an almost celestial glow around the room, and in Robin's fever induced haze, the vision in front of her left her momentarily dazed. "Jess," she whispered in awe. "You're an angel."

Jess offered a perplexed smile. "No, Robin, most people would definitely not say that. Now try to sit up a little, okay?"

Robin complied and sat up, albeit with slight difficulty. "I need to get something to drink."

"You're in luck." Jess smiled. "I've got something right here. Take these aspirin, too." She handed them to Robin. "Now, let's see if you can eat." She took the hot chicken soup from tray, stirred it, and then blew on a spoonful to cool it before leaning over with it toward Robin. "Here, try some of this, okay?"

Robin took several spoonfuls of the soup, then leaned her head back against the pillows. "You take such good care of me." She gave Jess a contented smile and then closed her eyes. "You're even feeding me."

Jess gave her a very warm smile back. "Yes, I know."


Robin fell back to sleep very shortly after eating some of the chicken soup Jess had prepared. For a few moments, Jess sat on the edge of the bed, watching quietly as Robin slept. She reached up and tucked the covers gently up around the sleeping form, and briefly debated with herself as to whether she should go on home, finally deciding that there was really no contest on the matter. It was quite difficult to imagine herself at her own house while Robin was here, sick. So, Jess opted to stay, and pulled in an easy chair from the other room in order to sit and keep silent vigil.

Later, at some indiscernible hour of the night, Robin awoke feeling suddenly thirsty. She took a small sip of water from the glass on the nightstand, then looked around the room, the soft glow of the dim lamplight casting long shadows across the far wall. It was then that she noticed the sleeping form in the easy chair at the foot of the bed. It appeared that Jess had fallen asleep, her stocking feet propped up on the bed and a thin blanket draped partially around her long frame. Robin smiled to herself. Jess is here.

Robin laid back down against the pillows, thinking that the sight of Jess sleeping by her bed was quite possibly the sweetest thing she had ever seen in her life and the sweetest memory she would ever take with her. She took a deep breath, and then, quite unexpectedly, she felt a sudden, overwhelming build-up of intense emotion wash over her, perhaps as a result of the fever, or the cold medicines she was taking, or the result of a myriad of other reasons her mind couldn't possibly process. But at that precise moment, in the quiet stillness of the night, Robin couldn't quite stem the tears that began to flow, as she gazed through the dim light at the partially shadowed form sleeping in the easy chair at the foot of the bed. Jess is here.

Her mind drifted back over recent events. Her law school graduation, the horrible fight with David and then his sudden death, the move to Florida, the new job…..Robin's whole life had changed in just a few short months. Nothing was as it was supposed to be. David was her life before, and was to be her future, as well. Now, he was gone, and there was left behind the anguish of guilt and loss that still had yet to heal. And in the midst of enduring her silent pain, in the midst of her uncertainty of what the future held, someone had walked into her life as if truly sent by the angels above. Jess is here.

The connection she felt to Jess was real. That she knew. But the closeness, the indescribable, undefinable, undeniable feelings she had when in her presence seemed to penetrate deep to her very soul. It had crossed her mind, more than once, that she might be filling an emotional void left by David's death with Jess's friendship. But, in reality, what she felt for Jess was much more than simple friendship. It was something which was never present in her life before, not even with David. And it was intense. Very intense. And so, tonight, looking once again over to the sleeping form at the foot of the bed, the tears came, faster and harder, and they just simply wouldn't stop. Jess is here.

Jess awoke at that very moment, perhaps from hearing the muffled sobs or sensing some sudden, unyielding distress, and looked over to the bed to see Robin softly crying. Jess rushed from the chair to Robin's side in an instant, kneeling beside the bed, her gently soothing fingers wiping away the tears as they fell.

"Robin," she whispered tenderly. "What is it, honey?" Jess wiped away another tear. "What's wrong?"

And the tears came harder still. "Jess?"



"I'm here."

Robin really didn't know where all the sudden insecurity had come from, only that it was there, and that it all came crashing down around her at once, in seemingly unstoppable measure. She looked up at Jess with pleading and tear-filled eyes and whispered softly. "Please, don't leave."

"No, honey." Jess shook her head and then climbed onto the bed next to Robin, swiftly gathering the sobbing form into her arms. She hung on tightly, rocking gently back and forth, all the while whispering quiet assurances. "I won't leave. I'm here, sweetheart. I'm here." I will always be here.

Jess held Robin in a that quiet embrace, until Robin's tears finally subsided and they both fell into a light sleep.


The dawn's early light filtered through the window blinds as Jess awoke. She carefully rose from the bed, trying not to disturb Robin as she slept, and then glanced back at the clock. She had just enough time to return home to shower and change for work. As Jess was gathering her things, trying to be as quiet as possible, green eyes opened and watched her silently.

"You're going to be late." Robin sat up slightly in the bed.

"No, I have enough time. Just take it easy for today, okay? Call me if there's anything you need. Will you do that?" Jess folded the extra blanket and placed it neatly on the easy chair.

Robin nodded. "Yes. Jess, um….." She didn't quite know how to put it. "Thanks for staying with me last night. I'm sorry about…..well, sometimes the nights can be a bit hard for me." Robin fingered the edge of the blanket for a brief moment in slight embarrassment and then looked up to see compassionate blue eyes regarding her gently. "It meant a lot to me that you were here."

"No problem, kiddo." Jess smiled warmly. "Now, you make sure you drink your fluids today and I'll come back by to check on you later, alright?" She headed toward the doorway. "Call me if you need to for any reason."

Robin nodded. "See you later, then. Have a good day." She watched Jess leave and then fell again into a dreamless slumber, somehow feeling much better today than she had a right to expect, considering her condition, but knowing just the same the exact reason why.


When Jess arrived at Robin's apartment that evening, she was a little surprised, but rather pleased, to find Robin awake and sitting up in bed.

"You're up. How are you feeling, kiddo?" Jess stepped inside the room.

"Hi. Much better, thanks. I was just going to get something to eat. I think my appetite is coming back." Robin grinned and then stepped gingerly out of bed, going over to the closet and putting on her robe and Buggs Bunny slippers.

"That's good." Jess was trying hard to suppress a laugh.

"Is there something you find funny?" Robin started walking toward the door.

"No, nothing." Jess chuckled.

"You're laughing so something must be funny to you." Robin stood in the doorway.

"Well, if you insist on wearing those, I can't be held responsible for my lack of composure while I'm around you." Jess pointed to the bunny slippers and laughed out loud.

"You're insulting my slippers? I think I take that rather personally."

"No, no. I'd certainly never dream of insulting your choice of footwear." Jess shook her head, trying miserably to suppress another laugh. "Why don't you take you and your.…..slippers into the living room and I will fix us something to eat." Jess chuckled rather loudly now, giving up all hope of being able to maintain her composure for any length of time.

"Yeah, yeah. You just wait until you're sick and see if I don't laugh at you." Robin walked into the living room and turned on the TV.

A short time later, Jess had prepared a light meal for herself and Robin, complete with chicken soup. They ate casually in the living room as they watched TV, not speaking much, but not really needing to just the same.

"That was good, Jess. Thanks for making me something to eat." Robin set her bowl down and sat back against the sofa, propping her feet up on the coffee table. "You have excellent chicken soup making skills, among other things."

"Oh, do I, huh?" Jess put her own soup bowl down and sat back next to Robin. "And just what might those other things be?" She arched a dark eyebrow.

"Well, let's see. There's your bribing skills for one thing, and your direction giving skills for another…..on second thought, let's not include that one for now, your breakfast making skills, and, well, I'm sure I haven't seen everything yet."

Jess turned and looked at Robin directly in the eye. "Oh I can assure you, Robin, you most definitely have not seen everything yet" Jess winked.

All Robin could do at that point was sit there, very still, and quite speechless. Oh yes, I am definitely feeling better.


That evening, after Jess had cleared away the supper dishes, she walked back into the living room carrying a pillow and a light blanket in her arms. "If you're going to stay up, I brought you a pillow and blanket. You can go ahead and lie down on the sofa." Jess placed the pillow behind Robin's head and spread the blanket out wide over her.

Robin situated herself and then frowned slightly. "There's nowhere for you to sit."

Jess promptly went to the opposite end of the sofa, lifted up Robin's feet and sat down, placing the feet in her lap. "There." She grinned. "I'm pretty comfy now." She looked at Robin's bunny slippers. "But I absolutely, positively cannot have these things here staring at me in the face. I'd die from laughing hysterically. I'm barely keeping it together as it is." Jess then proceeded to remove said slippers and place them on the floor, taking care to ensure that they were sufficiently and conspicuously out of sight.

"I think you secretly wish you had a pair of your own." Robin wiggled her toes.

Jess placed her hands on Robin's feet and began to lightly massage them. "If I ever have a pair of slippers like that, you must promise to have me committed."

"This is slipper abuse, you realize." Robin closed her eyes.

"Do tell. We certainly wouldn't want that, now would we?" Jess smiled sweetly.

Robin enjoyed the feeling of Jess's hands gently kneading the tiny muscles and tendons in her feet, the fingers massaging and spreading a tingling warmth as they trailed from heel to toe and back again. The touch was light, but firm, and seemed to know exactly where the pressure could be best applied to relax each muscle in detail. The massage continued on its tour, magic fingers rubbing lightly over her ankle, and then over the skin on top of her foot, and then onward again toward her toes, in feather-light caresses, alternating between long strokes and small circular motions. It was all having a wonderful effect on Robin, the delicious sensations both relaxing and exhilarating at the same time, and the delightful sensuality of the touch curiously noticeable, despite her still flu-bound condition.

"You're really good at this, you know." Robin chuckled contently. "I think we should add foot massaging to your list of skills."

"Okaaay." Jess slowly massaged a toe. "Do I get points under your point system, as well?"

"Absolutely. You definitely get points for your foot massaging techniques." Robin slowly opened her eyes.

"Good." Blue eyes gazed down at green. "So tell me, how would you say I'm doing in the point department so far?"

Green eyes held the gaze. "Well, I would say you are definitely doing very well."

Jess moved to another toe. "And how do you keep track of these points? Do you keep score?"

Robin looked away, then fixed her gaze back on Jess. "I can assure you that I am most definitely keeping score."

I should never have had that little chat with myself. Jess rested her hands on top Robin's feet. "All finished."

"Thank you. That felt wonderful.'' Robin closed her eyes again, the lids very heavy by now, and then let out a restrained yawn. "Boy, you did such a good job relaxing me, I'm about to fall asleep."

Jess smiled. "You go ahead and get some rest." She lightly grasped Robin's hand and spoke to her with a quiet sincerity." Will you be okay tonight? I can stay if you'd like?"

Robin squeezed Jess's hand lightly. "Thank you for offering. I'm fine. Really. You should go home and get a proper night's rest."

A dark head nodded. "Okay. But if you need anything, I want you to promise me you'll call me, no matter what time it is." Jess stood and made her way for the door. "Deal?"

"Deal." Robin grinned. "I promise. Goodnight, Jess."


"Where are we going?" Robin sat in the passenger seat of Jess's silver Mercedes as they drove down the main highway.

"Can't tell ya." Jess turned onto a side street.


"Just can't."

"First, you kidnap me, luring me away from my apartment on a Saturday afternoon, with vague promises of fun and a ride in your fancy car, and now you won't even tell me where we're going."

"I did not kidnap you. As I recall, you came along quite willingly as soon as I mentioned lunch."

Robin dropped her sunglasses from her eyes. "I came along willingly only because I couldn’t' stand to see you pout."

"I was not pouting. I was merely making my point that we needed to leave or it would be too late to eat." Jess turned onto another back road.

"I think it was your plan all along to drive me out into the middle of nowhere." Robin chuckled. "I see absolutely no place around here to eat."

"Just wait." Jess drove down the winding road and then pulled the car alongside the bank of a splendid free flowing river. "We're here." She looked out over the sparkling river waters. "I just thought that since it was such a nice day, and you were feeling better, we could maybe come here and relax by the river for a while." She looked at Robin expectantly. "What do you think? I brought a picnic."

Robin's eyes lit up, first at the idea of a picnic, and next in a surprise mixed with a bit of awe as she took in the sights all around her. "Jess." She looked around again. "It's beautiful. I didn't know this place was here." She looked across the river to see a hawk gracefully swooping high above the tree tops, the soft rustling of the breeze in the branches and the quiet rush of the flowing river giving an aura of solitude to the surroundings. She turned to meet Jess's quiet gaze. "I would really love a picnic."

"Good. Let's get settled."

They retrieved the picnic items from the trunk of Jess' car and proceeded to spread them out along the riverside, taking care to choose a particularly flat area of ground and one with equal amounts shade and sun. The fall day was cool, but not cold, and the gentle breeze carried nature's wonderful scents on the freshness of the forest air.

"What is this place?" Robin asked as she spread out the blanket on the grass.

Jess knelt down with the cooler. "It's a small river which feeds into a larger river downstream. The river and park are run by the Parks Department. It's a little get-a-away I like to come to sometimes, mostly on weekends. It gets me away from the city for awhile to clear my head." Jess popped open two sodas and gave one to Robin. "Out here, the wilderness is all around you. You just have the forest and the birds and the river."

Robin grinned. "You amaze me sometimes."

"I do? How so?"

"Well, I never would have figured you for the type of person to seek out the outdoors like this." Robin sat down on the blanket and stared at the sunlight sparkling off the ripples on the river, the shimmering light almost blinding in its intensity.

"You thought I just went in for creature comforts?" Jess raised an eyebrow.

"Well, sort of." Robin furrowed her brows quizzically and then chuckled. "The more I find out about you, the more I find there is to know."

Jess looked down at the ground, suddenly shy, and spoke softly. "Do you like what you're finding out about me?" She glanced upward toward Robin through dark eyelashes, insecurity plainly visible in her azure eyes.

Green eyes met the gaze, offering the reassurance so plainly sought. "Yes. I definitely do." Robin glanced at the river and then continued. "The more I find out about you, the more I find out how much I really like you. Which, by the way, is very much."

With that, Jess broke into a bright smile, one which rivaled the sparkling lights off the flowing water. "Thank you." She turned her attention to the picnic basket. "So, are you ready to eat? Oooops, what a silly question."

Robin narrowed her eyes playfully at Jess, then peered with intense curiosity at the picnic basket. "What did you bring?"

"Well, let me see here." Jess looked inside. "Okay, we have shrimp salad, shrimp cocktail, shrimp roulade, and some jumbo shrimp for grilling on that barbecue over there." She pointed toward a barbecue grill a few feet away. When Jess finally looked up, Robin was sitting completely motionless with her mouth wide open, her eyes staring ahead in utter astonishment, and a completely bewildered look on her face. "What?" Jess asked quite innocently.

Robin shook her head in disbelief. "You've regressed! And you were doing so well, too."

"It just goes to show you that I will need much more intensive therapy on the matter." Jess arched an eyebrow in mock seriousness. "I think this will require further sessions, doctor."

"I think you're right." Robin played along and gave a light chuckle. "So tell me, what did you really bring?" She reached across the blanket for the picnic basket.

"Be patient." Jess playfully slapped her hand away, then noted Robin's pouting. "Okay, fine. If you must know, I brought fried chicken, potato salad, and cole slaw."

"That's better."

"And shrimp." Jess tilted her head and looked at Robin smugly.

"You are so hopeless."

"So you keep saying."


After they had finished eating, Jess and Robin sat together warming themselves in the autumn afternoon's gentle sunshine. Robin relaxed back against a nearby tree, most of its shade off to the opposite side.

Jess stretched her long frame out beside her and put her hands behind her head. "I am really sleepy now after having eaten. Lunch sometimes does that to me."

Robin patted her lap. "Come over here and lie down." She grinned. "I'll be your pillow."

Jess raised an eyebrow. "I wouldn't want to squish you."

"You won't squish me. It's perfectly safe."

It most definitely is not safe. Jess accepted the invitation, and then positioned herself on her back, her head lying across Robin's lap. She slowly closed her eyes, the sudden peace and contentment of the moment flowing over her like the gentle breeze rustling through the trees.

"Is that better?" A petite hand reached up and softly stroked Jess's forehead.

"Yes. It's very nice."

The petite hand went about tracing with interest the finely chiseled features of Jess's cheek bone, then down across her sculpted jaw, and around her firm chin, the touch light and delicate. The soft, gentle fingers slowly stroked their way through her ebony hair, and behind her ear, before finally coming to rest at the base of her neck. Robin then used the very tips of her fingers to slowly trace back and forth against the skin from just below her ear, downward to the pulse point in her neck, and then back up again, in a soothing caress.

Jess was lost all at once in the sensations, immobilized by the tingling touch. She felt every nerve ending become sensitized, each gentle stroke more charged than the one before, and every fiber of her being crying out for more. She turned into the soft touch, craved it even, as if her very life depended on it, as more than one shiver traveled down her spine. It was an utterly intense and delightful feeling. After a few quiet moments, Jess slowly opened her eyes and looked up into sea green. As if guided by some unseen force, their gazes were magnetically locked.

Robin spoke first, her voice very soft, her fingers tenderly brushing the strands of dark hair away from blue eyes. "Jess," she whispered and swallowed back a hidden emotion. "Remember when I was sick and you came and took care of me?"

Blue eyes still held the gaze. "Yes, I remember." Jess's voice was just above a whisper.

"I remember at one point during the night, I woke up and saw you, and for a moment, I thought you were an angel." Robin gave a small smile. "You told me that you didn't think anyone thought of you like that." A pause. "But that's not true." Another longer pause as Robin tried to keep her emotions under control. "You were an angel to me. Thank you for being my angel that night."

Jess continued to look into unwavering green eyes long after the words were spoken. Suddenly, a tiny tear made its way silently down Jess's cheek, the words having touched her heart so profoundly, unlike anything had before. Robin reached down and tenderly wiped away the tear with her thumb, and then placed a gentle kiss on Jess's forehead. Jess closed her eyes and let herself doze off for a while, sinking into the comforting cocoon of warmth as Robin held her gently in her lap.

Later, as the sun started making its descent from the sky, Jess reluctantly sat up and stretched. "That was a great nap. You make an excellent pillow." She winked. "We should really get packed up now. They'll be closing the park soon."

Robin nodded and stood up, putting on her sunglasses. "Thanks for bringing me to this place, Jess. It was a wonderful picnic." She gathering the picnic items and headed for the car.

"I'm glad you enjoyed it." Jess picked up the cooler and followed Robin. "What are your plans tomorrow? Oh, that's right. You have your Sunday chores." Jess got in the car and started the ignition.

"Well, I suppose I maybe could be persuaded, perhaps, to postpone those chores if you had something interesting in mind."

Jess grinned. "Want to go to the beach?" She waggled her eyebrows.

Robin pulled her sunglasses down off her nose, in a trademark showing of 'you must be crazy' and gave Jess a incredulous look. "It's November."

"True, but this is Florida. It's not freezing We could go to the coast, drive around a little bit, play on the beach and then catch the sunset." Jess pulled out onto the main highway. "Want to?" She looked over to Robin.

Robin furrowed her brows and pondered this idea for a moment. "Okay, on one condition." She offered a grin.

"What's that."

"You let me drive. You give the directions and I will drive." Robin gave Jess a serious look. "I think giving directions is one area you still need a little work on."

Jess gave Robin a serious look back. "Fine. You can drive, but you realize then, that people may not see us again until next Tuesday."


After leaving the park, Robin and Jess headed back to Jess's place and ordered a pizza for dinner. Once finished eating, Jess stretched herself out on the plush sofa, dangling her feet off to one side. Robin sat on the floor directly in front of the sofa. They watched a little TV for a while, the old re-runs still offering amusement even decades later, until Jess finally stretched her arms above her head and suppressed a tired yawn. "I should really be getting you home, seeing as I kidnapped you and all."

"Well, I was kind of thinking about that." Robin turned around on the floor so she was facing Jess. "I was thinking that maybe if I were to stay here tonight, then tomorrow morning we could stop off at my place so I could change, and then we could just go directly to the beach from there. That way, I wouldn't have to come all the way back over here in the morning to pick you up." She furrowed her brow in thought. "I think it would save some time."

Jess contemplated that idea. "You think so?" Blue eyes locked on green.

"Definitely." Robin assured. "I think it would be the best thing to do." Green eyes held the gaze.

Jess arched an eyebrow. "If you think it's best."

"It is."

Jess nodded in agreement and then looked at Robin out of the corner of her eye. "Guestroom?"

Robin shook her head very slowly. "Waterbed."

"I see."

They once again performed their nightly chores, Robin donning the usual over-sized nightshirt, and Jess her favorite Calvin boxes and shirt top. Jess reached into the medicine cabinet and pulled an object out just as Robin entered the bathroom.

"Here." Jess handed the item to her. "I picked this up for you."

Robin took the item, a full grin spreading widely across her face. "A toothbrush."

"Yeah, well, you never know when having one around here might come in handy." Jess winked.

With their nightly preparations completed, Jess and Robin snuggled down into the waterbed on their separate sides. Jess laid on her back, her eyes closed for a moment before she opened them again to stare at the darkened ceiling. She closed her eyes once more, and then another moment later, opened them yet again. She went through this exercise three more times until she finally turned her head to look over to Robin.


"Yes." Robin waited.

Jess spoke nonchalantly. "If you wanted to come over here, that would be okay."

Without a word, Robin slid over next to Jess, placed her head on Jess's shoulder, and wrapped an arm lightly around her waist. It wasn't long, as they lay snuggled together, before they both drifted off fast asleep.


Morning came quickly and Jess awoke first to find that it was still quite early, the first rays of sunlight barely edging their way past the horizon and in through the tiny cracks in the venetian blinds. Jess took note of the quietly slumbering form next to her. Robin was curled up on her side facing away from Jess, with Jess spooned tightly up against her back. In the stillness and silence of the early morning, Jess let her mind take control once again, her unrelenting internal voice making itself heard with a renewed vigor.

It seems we might need to go back and review what we discussed before.

'Nope, I am well aware of all that.' The alternate internal voice responded.

Things might be getting a little out of hand.

'Nope, again. I have everything perfectly under control.' The alternate internal voice replied confidently.

Is that so? Then, what are you doing?

'What do you mean? I'm sleeping. What do you think?' The alternate internal voice became a bit testy.

You mean you're sleeping in the same bed with Robin, again.

'Yes, so what? Like I said, I have everything perfectly under control.' The alternate internal voice replied defensively.

I see. Where is your hand?


Your hand. Where is it?

A moment to ascertain the where said hand was located. 'Around Robin's waist.'

And how did it get there?

'What do you mean?' The alternate internal voice was a bit perplexed.

How did your hand get around Robin's waist?

'I presume I must have put it there sometime during the night.' The alternate internal voice was now quite annoyed.'

And did you put your hand on the outside of the nightshirt she's wearing?

A moment to check once again. 'Nope, on the inside.' An audible gulp 'What's your point?'

Your hand is around her waist, on the inside of the nightshirt. The nightshirt comes to her knees. Think about it.

A moment. 'Oh, Shit. Oh, Shit. Oh, Shit.'

Calm down.

'Not possible.' The alternate internal voice was clearly panicked.

Sure it is. Now think. You don't see Robin running for the hills, do you?

'She's asleep. She doesn't know.'

You're presuming she's asleep and you're presuming she doesn't know. Try a little test.

'A test?' The alternate internal voice asked a little uneasily. 'Is that fair?'

Sure it's fair. Do this. Try taking your hand away without waking her up.

A moment's contemplation. 'Alright, fine.' As the hand in question began to remove itself from the waist in question, a petite hand swiftly reached out and grasped the moving hand and replaced it back to its original position.

There's your answer. She knows and she likes your hand exactly it where it is.

The alternate internal voice refused to believe it. 'It could be just a reflexive reaction.'

Doubtful. So, now that we've cleared up that little matter, it seems you may have something else on your mind.

'Gee, you're full of insights this morning.' The alternate internal voice replied sarcastically.

You've noticed that Robin's been rather emotional lately.

'She was sick.'

But maybe it wasn't just being sick. Maybe her emotional state had to do with David.

'I'd rather not think about him.' The alternate internal voice tried to avoid the subject.

Why? Could it be because you think that Robin might be transferring her emotional needs from David to you?


And that if she ever were to return any romantic feelings you might have, it would only be temporary, until she was sufficiently past the grief of losing David?

'Very good, Einstein.'

And if that were the case, she might ultimately decide she didn't really want to be involved in any relationship with you?

'Bingo. Give the guy a gold star.'

And then she might skip out on you?

The alternate internal voice became quiet. 'Yes.'

Because she wouldn't need you anymore?

The alternate internal voice became quieter still 'Yes.'

Just like James.

'Yes.' The alternate internal voice responded sadly. 'Just like James.'

Maybe you should clear some of these things up with Robin before you start any type of relationship with her, if you do so.

'That would be a very good idea.'


They packed up their beach gear, complete with beach blankets, folding beach chairs and sunscreen and headed off to the beach. The weather was very nice in the sun, not hot and not cold, but with a pleasant, fresh fall breeze just the same. They each wore jeans and a light long-sleeved shirt, bringing along a light sweatshirt in case it was needed later in the day.

"I thought the beach was in the other direction." Robin drove down the main highway in her blue Miata.

"Are you gonna let me give the directions? We're going to the Gulf, not the Atlantic. The Gulf of Mexico beaches face west. The sun sets in the west. Ergo, we want to go west." Jess put on her sunglasses and sat back in the passenger seat.

"Makes sense. What's the difference, other than the direction, between the Gulf beaches and the Atlantic beaches?" Robin was genuinely curious.

"The Gulf water is warmer and doesn't have as many waves. Some beaches can be quite nice. The Atlantic is rougher, with larger waves. Some beaches, like Daytona Beach, have hard sand that you can drive on, but other beaches have soft sand. The water is colder, too." Jess looked over to Robin. "We can go over to the Atlantic some other time, if you'd like."

"I would like that. I've never spent much time at the beach before, since Michigan is rather far away from the nearest coast. We have the Great Lakes, which are nice, but they're not the beach.." Robin furrowed her brows in thought. "Is the water too cold to swim in now, since it is November?"

"A little, yes, unless you really wanted to swim. But it's nice just to sit on the beach and enjoy the surf and the pelicans, or take a walk down the beach along the shore." After a moment, Jess glanced at the rearview mirror. "What's this?" She pointed to a miniature doll in the shape of a chimpanzee dangling from the bottom of the mirror.

"That's Al."


"Yes. He's my good luck charm." Robin chuckled "I got him when I first moved here, and ever since, I've had very good luck." Robin glanced over at Jess. Like meeting you.

They drove for a while longer and made their way over to the Gulf, finding a beach spot not too far from the main highway. It was also close enough to walk to an old fort which had been used centuries ago by the Spanish.

"Do you want to explore the fort first? It's open on Sundays." Jess got out of the car after retrieving some things from inside.

"Let's do that and then we'll have the rest of the afternoon to sit on the beach. I've never seen a fort before." Robin had a contagious exuberance that Jess couldn't help but catch. It was like seeing things through Robin's eyes for the very first time.

They took their time exploring the old fort which the Spanish had used to guard the coast when they occupied Florida almost two centuries ago. It was fascinating to Robin, seeing the old cannons and cannon balls, and the layout of the fort itself, a piece of history she could experience firsthand.

Next, Robin and Jess set up their beach gear out on the beach. They sat on the beach blanket for a while and enjoyed watching as the calm waves lapped gently at the shoreline, and the seagulls swooped above the water, their cries echoing through the mostly quiet and deserted beachfront.

Jess stretched out her long legs and rested back on her elbows, staring straight ahead at the relatively calm water. After a few more moments of seagull gazing, she glanced back over at Robin, seeing her curiously squirming around a little bit. Jess raised an eyebrow.

"Is there a problem?" She asked in a decidedly semi-bored tone.

"No. No problem." Robin squirmed around some more.

Jess furrowed her brows in slight amusement. "Are you sure?"

"Yes. I'm sure. No problem." Robin squirmed around yet some more.

Jess watched her again for a brief moment, baffled, then shook her head. "What is the matter?"

"Nothing. I just um…..well, I think some sand got down in my pants." Robin squirmed yet again.

At this, Jess was simply unable to contain the laughter that followed, the tears streaming down her face. It was all just too priceless. She tried after a moment, though in vain, to regain some semblance of composure. "Robin, all you have to do is stand up and shake the sand out." Jess laughed uncontrollably again. God, she is so damn cute.

Robin lowered her sunglasses and squinted her eyes at Jess. "Fine, Miss Beach Expert." She pointed a playful finger. "You go right ahead and laugh about it all you want, but I promise I will get you back when you least expect it." Robin stood up and shook the sand out of her jeans.

"Yeah, yeah. I've heard it all before." Jess was now finally able to calm herself down. She turned her attention for a moment back to the seagulls congregating on the shoreline, and then she just couldn't resist any longer.

"You know, Robin, I seem to be feeling quite lucky right about now. After all, it seems no sand got down in my pants." Jess crossed her legs out proudly in front of her and sat back with a self-satisfied grin on her face. "I'd say your good luck charm is working out rather well."

Robin immediately sat down next to Jess and turned toward her, narrowing her eyes, and annunciating her words very, very slowly. "What exactly do you mean?"

Jess grinned mischievously. "Well, I can't let you have a monopoly on all the luck, now can I?" She reached into her jeans pocket and pulled out Al, dangling him in front of Robin's face.

Robin's mouth flew open wide. "You are in so much trouble. You give him back." Robin reached for Al. "I can't believe you took him."

"I'm just borrowing him. I'll give him back later." Jess placed Al in her front jeans pocket.

With lightening speed, Robin reached over and grabbed Jess's arm, moving it out of the way and reached her other hand down into Jess's jeans pocket, searching around quite thoroughly for Al.

An amused blue eye regarded her antics for a moment. "Are you….having fun?" A grin.

Suddenly aware of what she was doing, Robin stilled her still searching hand and blushed profusely. "Um….well, if you mean, did I find what I was searching for, then yes." She pulled her hand from Jess's pocket and dangled Al in front of her, and then sat back on the other side of the blanket.

Jess looked over intently at green eyes. "I'm very glad you found what you were searching for, Robin, but that is certainly not what I meant." Jess winked and then turned her attention to a passing seagull, almost. but not quite, missing the even brighter blush that now fully covered Robin's face.

After all their fun and games were over, Robin and Jess spent a leisurely day on the beach, enjoying the atmosphere of the waves and the sand, and the scent of the salt air permeating the seashore. Finally, the sun began its descent from the sky, and Jess and Robin donned their sweatshirts to ward off the early evening chill.

"Care to take a walk with me?" Jess stood up.

"Sure, I would love to." Robin stood and then went down to the water's edge to walk with Jess beside the shoreline. "My mom called the other day." Robin frowned slightly. "She wants me to come home for Thanksgiving."

"Are you going to go?" Jess continued to walk, staring straight ahead at the horizon.

"Yes. I am. But I wish I weren't. I'd rather not go back there, you know, so soon after.….everything." Robin stared down at the sand in front of her. "There're just too many memories there that I can't deal with yet."

Jess nodded in a quiet understanding. "Have you seen anyone to help you work through some of the…..you know…..grief and pain you're feeling? I mean someone professionally?"

"No," Robin replied softly. "I think that most of the time, I deal with it okay. But I admit that sometimes, it is very hard for me."

"It might help to talk with someone, you know, if it's hard for you emotionally to work through this on your own. I imagine it can be hard to start your life over again after something like that." Jess spoke in a quiet empathy. "It must be very difficult for you at times."

"It is, but I know that I have to deal with it. I have to move forward. Nothing can change the past." Robin stopped and then grasped Jess's hand gently. "You have helped me more than you know, Jess. Because of you, I now know that it's possible for me to move forward, that I do have a future." She swallowed back an unseen emotion. "Thank you for that."

"You're welcome." Jess spoke sincerely and offered a reassuring smile. They slowly resumed walking, hands still linked. "I want you to know that I am here for you, and I will always be here for you. But if you need to, we can find someone professionally for you to talk to about things, to help you through some of the harder times. You just let me know if you want to do that, okay?"

"Okay." Robin gave Jess a small smile and shook her head in slight amazement. "Sometimes, I don't know what I did to deserve you."

Jess rolled her eyes in self-deprecation and gave Robin a crooked grin. "You're just lucky, I guess."

Lucky. Robin nodded quietly and then stopped and reached into her pocket, pulling out Al. She looked at the tiny figure in the palm of her hand, fingering it lightly, and then held it up tightly to her heart, whispering a silent thank you to whatever force in the heavens or on the earth was responsible for that one good fortune. Some might call it luck, others fate, and still others destiny. But whatever it was called, it was looking back at her with incredibly deep blue eyes.

Robin gazed out at the small waves lapping at the sand, as a pelican landed on nearby pier. She put Al back in her pocket and turned toward Jess who was watching the same pelican as well. "Hey, Jess, do you think the water's cold?"

"Probably a little." Jess raised her eyebrows playfully and then stood behind Robin with a teasing grin on her face. "But I suppose you could find out first hand. I'd be happy to assist you in that matter."

"Oh, no. No, you don't." Robin took off running down the beach with Jess chasing closely behind her. A moment later, Jess caught up with Robin, clasping her arms tightly around her from behind while Robin, giggling lightly, playfully struggled to get free.

Jess spoke softly into Robin's ear, her warm breath caressing the very back of Robin's neck, sending small delicious shivers down Robin's spine. "You can run, Robin, but I promise you, I will always, always catch you. Remember that."

I think I'm counting on that. Robin stood in the delightful embrace for a moment longer and then spoke softly, green eyes locking firmly onto blue. "I'll hold you to that."

Jess smiled. "The sun's setting. Let's watch." Jess had not moved from her position behind Robin, her arms still wrapped snugly around Robin's waist, and her chin now resting on Robin's shoulder.

They stood in silent wonder and watched the sunset together, the oranges, purples, pinks, yellows and mauves merging in a timeless array. Robin had never seen a more beautiful sight, or felt a more contented or peaceful moment, as when this warm, and yes, loving embrace, completely engulfed her, setting her heart free from its guilt and pain, and carrying her soul safely to the nearest shore.


Jess and Robin arrived back in town a little later that evening and ended up at Jess's house, having eaten dinner at a small seafood restaurant they encountered along the way back from the coast. The restaurant, of course, was minus one shrimp special upon their leaving. Upon arrival at the ranch style house, or "The Ranch" as Robin referred to it, Jess offered Robin the use of the guest bathroom in order to shower and change clothes, and of course, remove any lingering sand from any and all unwanted places. Robin had the foresight to bring a change of clothes, and if truth be known, an extra change of clothes had become a permanent resident of her car in case of any unplanned sleepovers. Jess, likewise, showered in the master bathroom and donned a clean pair of jeans and a light-weight cotton pullover shirt.

Upon changing into her twill pants and polo shirt, Robin stepped out into the living room in time to see Jess start a fire in the fireplace. Though not a particularly cool day, a fire was always a nice addition in the winter months, and the glass doors in front of the fireplace served to keep the extra unneeded heat from entering the room, if necessary. The stereo was playing softly in the background, tuned to the local soft rock radio station.

"Wow, a fire. I didn't think people in Florida needed fireplaces." Robin sat down on the plush sofa opposite the fireplace.

"We don't. But it's nice and it's one of the things I like most about this house." Jess sat her long frame down on the sofa next to Robin, the soft, orange glow of the fire the only source of light in the room. "I sometimes like to relax in front of a cozy fire. It makes it seem more like winter's coming."

Robin leaned her head against the back of the sofa and sighed. "Yeah, it is nice." A moment passed. "It was a wonderful weekend, Jess. After being sick, it was really nice to get out again and enjoy the day. Thanks for spending it with me."

"You're welcome. And I'm glad you're better now, so you could come out and play." Jess grinned widely and then relaxed back against the plush cushions, putting her feet lazily on the coffee table.

They sat silently curled up together on the plush sofa, side by side, arms and legs barely touching, and listening contentedly to the soft music from the stereo. They watched the play of the flames dancing from the fireplace, the shadows promenading merrily across the far wall of the darkened room. Just then, as the dim light of the fire flickered hypnotically, and its luminance cast an ethereal quality all around them, a soft melody filled the room, a familiar tune which both Robin and Jess immediately recognized, the words themselves penetrating into their very thoughts. And so, as the music played softly in the background and the sound of the words filled the room, it all began.

I can't fight this feeling any longer

And yet I'm still afraid to let it flow

What started out as friendship, has grown stronger

I only wish I had the strength to let it show

Green eyes turned and looked questioningly up to blue.

I tell myself that I can't hold out forever

I said there is no reason for my fear

'Cause I feel so secure when we're together

You give my life direction

You make everything so clear

Blue eyes locked onto green.

And even as I wander

I'm keeping you in sight

You're a candle in the window

On a cold, dark winter's night

And I'm getting closer than I ever thought I might

Robin turned and shifted closer to Jess.

And I can't fight this feeling anymore

I've forgotten what I started fighting for

It's time to bring this ship into the shore

And throw away the oars, forever

And studied her beautiful face with silent and intent curiosity.

Cause I can't fight this feeling anymore

I've forgotten what I started fighting for

And if I have to crawl upon the floor

Come crushing through your door

Baby, I can't fight this feeling anymore

Azure eyes stared back intensely, heart racing and breathing becoming shallow.

My life has been such a whirlwind since I saw you

I've been running round in circles in my mind

And it always seems that I'm following you, girl

Cause you take me to the places that alone I'd never find

And Robin slowly brought her palm up to Jess's face and lightly caressed her cheek.

And even as I wander

I'm keeping you in sight

You're a candle in the window

on a cold, dark winter's night

And I'm getting closer than I ever thought I might

And tenderly traced a petite finger across the curve of Jess's jaw.

And I can't fight this feeling anymore

I've forgotten what I started fighting for

It's time to bring this ship into the shore

And throw away the oars, forever

And Jess felt a sudden dizziness at the gentle, almost reverent touch.

Cause I can't fight this feeling anymore

I've forgotten what I started fighting for

And if I have to crawl upon the floor

Come crushing through your door

Baby, I can't fight this feeling anymore.

And then Robin slowly leaned in very close to Jess, their breaths mingling together for what seemed like an eternity, their eyes locked in an unyielding gaze, until, at last, Robin's lips finally brushed against Jess's in the softest of tender kisses. And with that connection, time, in all its eternal wonder, seemed to stand still, and Robin somehow forgot to breathe for a brief moment, the intensity shaking the very foundations of her entire being, refusing to let go. She pulled back slightly, her hand still resting lightly on Jess's cheek, and searched the clear blue eyes briefly, before leaning in again, and placing another soft, delicate kiss on Jess's lips. Robin closed her eyes, barely able to breathe, her voice almost shaky. "Jess."

Immediately, Jess pulled her into her arms and gently held her close, kissing her intensely with a final release of tender emotion too long denied, too long contained, too long suppressed. She felt Robin's arms go around her shoulders, Robin's palms laying flat on her back, wanting to maintain the contact and prolonging the connection. And all at once, in that fleeting instant, in that one immeasurable second of time, Jess knew, beyond any doubt, that what had once been denied, was now incomprehensibly undeniable. Her head was spinning with a concentrated mixture of emotion too intense for her mind to perceive, the realization finally dawning across the span of timeless ages, as if her soul was desperately reaching out for its missing half, calling it home once again. It's you.

Jess gently broke the kiss, closing her eyes and resting her forehead lightly against Robin's, trying with all her might to catch her breath and still her racing heart once again. Her arms still held Robin in a tender embrace, as Robin slowly moved her hands from Jess's shoulders up to softly caress her face. Jess almost melted under the tender touch, and then softly gazed into the green eyes so close to her own, and whispered, almost desperately. "I can't fight this any more." She took a breath and looked up, trying to steady her emotions. "What I feel, what I am feeling, Robin, I can't fight it."

Robin closed her eyes tightly, her forehead still resting against Jess's, and without moving, tenderly placed a delicate kiss on her cheek. "I know, Jess." Robin swallowed "Neither can I." Robin spoke in an unsteady voice, then dropped her head, resting it on Jess's collarbone and wrapped her arms tightly around the strong shoulders once again. She hung on, seemingly for dear life, as she let the emotions ease their way over her in silent waves.

Jess put her cheek on top of the blonde head and held Robin closely, unable to keep the intensity of the moment from reaching up and claiming her, as well. She heard Robin gently sniffle back the tears, and felt her own eyes well up as she clutched Robin to her, holding on with all her might. She moved her hand back and forth slowly against Robin's back in a soothing motion, her own silent tear falling now. "It's okay, sweetheart. It's okay." Another tear made its way from her eye. "I've got you, honey. I've got you. We're going to be okay."

After several long moments, now more composed, they pulled apart and sat back against the cushions on the sofa.

Robin reached for Jess's hand and held it tightly, linking their fingers together. "Are you okay?"

Jess turned her head to look at Robin, smiling gently. "I'm good. You?"

"Good, too." Robin gently brushed her thumb back and forth against the palm of Jess's hand in a soothing rhythm for several moments. "We should talk about this."

Jess nodded. "Yeah, but um…..would it be alright if we do that another time?"

Robin nodded, knowing they both needed time to process what had just happened before putting voice to their thoughts. They both sat together in quiet solace for a very long while, curiously unable to break themselves completely free of the connection which had formed between, as they watched the fire's dying embers slowly burn down.

Robin softly spoke again. "It's getting late. I should go. Tomorrow's a school day." She smiled. "I mean work day."

Jess gave her a warm smile back. "Okay." She stood. "I'll see you tomorrow, then."

Robin followed her to the front door, gathered her things and stared silently for a moment, before reaching up and giving Jess a lingering hug. Jess wrapped her in her arms, and kissed the very top of her head before gently releasing her.

"Goodnight, Jess." Robin stepped out into the surprisingly chilly air.

"Goodnight. Drive safely, okay?" Jess watched as Robin got into her car and pulled out of the driveway and out of her sight. Jess, I hope you know what you've just done.

© Copyright 08/12/2000

Author's Note: The song referenced in Part 3 is entitled "Can't Fight This Feeling" performed by REO Speedwagon, Lyrics by Kevin Cronin.

Part 4

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