For complete disclaimers see part 1.
Note: Id like to thank you for your patience during this story. This was a rough semester for me and a very busy time for me at work, so it took me longer with this one than normal. Thank you and I hope you enjoyed it.
If youd like to tell me what a wonderful writer I am or that I royally suck, feel free at: XenaNut@hotmail.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Part 14 (conclusion)
Abel gasped when Zac raised a hand in greeting and smiled. The blonde felt tears pop into her eyes as she dropped her backpack where she had stood and bolted. The golden-haired dog ran toward her, tongue flopping out the side of his mouth as he ran at full speed toward his other mistress.
Abel totally bypassed Aure, needing to get to Zac. She had to make sure it was not a hallucination.
The little blonde nearly bowled the taller girl over as she flew into her waiting arms, knocking the wind out of them both.
"Zac," Abel breathed, burying her face into the warm skin of the brunettes neck. "Oh, Zac."
"Im here," was whispered back, clutching her love to her. "Dont cry, Spinney. Its okay." Blue eyes squeezed shut in relief of the warm body against her. She had dreamed of this moment, dreamed of seeing the blonde again. There was just no way she could wait.
Abel nuzzled her nose into the warmth, a smile on her lips. She inhaled Zacs smell and feel, reacquainting herself with it. Two months was far too long to have to wait for this. She could not do it again. Pulling away slightly, she looked up into soft blue eyes.
"Dont take this the wrong way, but what are you doing here?" The blonde leaned into the touch as she felt a large hand cup her cheek.
"Well, you know that feeling we get? That buzz with each other?" Abel nodded. "The sound was too low with you being here. I wanted to turn up the volume." The blonde smiled.
"Youre too cute. How long are you staying?"
"I do what I can, and how long can I stay? Spinney, the woods arent my home anymore."
Abel looked into those eyes, studying them, trying to understand. "What do you mean?"
Abel felt brand new tears sting behind her eyes, and she gave into them. Crushing Zac to her, she held on tight, molding their bodies and souls together.
Zac saw a woman walking toward them, the blondes bag in her hands, as she grasped at Spinney. The womans dark eyes bore into blue ones. Jess cleared her throat and watched as her friend slowly untangled herself from the gorgeous brunette.
Abel swiped at her eyes and looked at her roommate. Shed completely forgotten she was even there.
"Oh, hi, Jessica. This is Zac. Zac, this is Jess, my friend and roommate."
Jessica took in the long frame, beautiful face and worn clothing. "Hi, Zac. Its nice to finally meet you. Ive certainly heard enough about you." The darker girl held out her hand, which Zac took. She was mindful this time though to not crush it like she had Adams.
"Nice to meet you, too, Jessica. Spinneys told me lots about you."
"Spinney?" Jess looked quizzically at Abel who shook her head.
"Kay. Well, Im gonna go, Abel. I thought I saw Jennifer over there, so maybe Ill catch up to her for lunch. You two go do, well, whatever." She grinned and handed the blonde her bag. A quick hug, and she was gone.
Abel turned back to her love and smiled. "Come on. Lets go."
As the blonde led Zac toward her car, she could not keep her eyes off the gorgeous woman. He gaze would drift back to the path they walked upon, only to stray once again.
"What?" Zac asked, entwining their fingers.
"Nothing. I just cant believe youre here." Abels smile could not have been wider, nor could she have been flying higher.
"Well, believe it." Zac grinned just as wide and squeezed Abels hand.
Jessica finished up her homework, the school library near empty now as it was getting late. Checking her watch, she found that the building would be closing in fifteen minutes or so. She had to go, but wasnt sure if she should go home. She knew that Abel would want some privacy and time alone with Zac, and she wanted to grant them that.
She thought of the unusually beautiful girl who had shown up on campus today. The brunette was truly something, and what pissed off the darker girl was that she knew Zac didnt do a damn thing to enhance herself. She was just naturally that gorgeous. Never had she seen someone who turned so many heads, and had no clue. Nope, that beauty only had eyes for Abel.
Wow. It was kind of cool to see this girl that Abel had been crying over for months, but it was a bit surreal at the same time. More than likely, those two had gone back to the apartment and bopped their brains out. Though Jess had no problem with gays, it was still strange to think of it happening under her own roof. Especially with her best friend, who she thought had been straight all this time!
"Maam, well be closing in ten minutes," a cute little blonde said with a smile.
"Thanks." Jess began to gather her books, ready to go home. She had no choice.
To her absolute relief, the apartment was quiet when she got home, save for the instant growling that started once she reached the hallway. From inside Abels bedroom, Jess heard someone tell the dog to shut it.
She hadnt been in her room for longer than two minutes when there was a soft knocking on the door. Opening it, Jess saw Abel standing there in shorts and a tee.
"Hey, girl," the darker girl said, glad to see that her roommate was smiling and looking happier than she had ever seen her.
"Hey. Can I come in?" Jess opened the door wider in answer. The blonde plopped down on the bed, waiting for Jess to join her.
"So thats Zac, huh?"
Jess smiled at the dopey grin that made an instant appearance on Abels face. "Shes gorgeous. Really hot."
"Yes she is. Im so glad shes here. God, Jess, I cant even begin to tell you!" Abel clapped her hands together. "Her showing up here made my day, my week, my year, shit, my life! But I need to ask you a question." Green eyes bore into brown.
"Honey, she can stay here. Thats cool."
"Are you sure? I mean, you wont be weirded out or anything?"
"No." Jess shook her head. "She makes you happy, Abel. Thats all I could ask for. Besides, I know damn well if I found Romeo, you would have no problem with him being here."
"True, but I found Juliet. There is a difference."
"Not to me."
"Thanks, Jess. I cant tell you what this means to me." The blonde grabbed Jessica in a huge hug, laying her head against her strong shoulder. "I love you, girl."
"I love you, too, Abel. Now, go back to your girl. Im sure shes waiting for you." The smile her comment evoked on that adorable face made it all worth it.
As Jess changed for bed, she realized that there was a part of her that was jealous. She was tremendously happy for her friend, but she also wanted to find such happiness. She prayed that someday she would.
Abel snuck back into her bedroom, no easy feat considering Zacs ever-present fuzzy security system. She patted him on the head and climbed back into bed after stripping. Zac, who was still asleep, automatically pulled the blonde into her arms and resettled with a little smacking of her lips.
Abel fell instantly to sleep, never feeling so happy and content in all her time knowing Zac. Having the brunette in her arms, in her bed, in her home, it was so satisfying to her. She worried about how Zac got there, knowing she had ridden the rails. The only thing that made her not chew the girl out was knowing that she would have been protected by the lab. Aure would never let anyone hurt his beloved Zac.
"Me neither," Abel whispered, tightening her grasp around the arm that laid across her waist. "Me neither."
Zac woke to find herself naked and alone in a strange room in a strange place. Even Aure was gone. Sitting up, she rubbed her eyes and realized she was naked. Looking around, she saw Spinney in everything in the room.
There was a massive Freud poster on one closet door, as well as pictures of the blonde and her family, and some of Zac as well. There were awards, her high school diploma, as well as her cords from graduating with honors. There were some strange gag-type gifts on the dresser top, including a whoopee cushion and some fake black roses.
Zac smiled, knowing she was among Spinneys things. She could smell the blonde everywhere on her own skin, the bedding, the room itself. Getting out of bed, she walked over to the window and looked out. There was a large expanse of grass with a couple trees out there, and it looked super-inviting to the brunette. She knew Aure would love it.
She took a deep breath, trying to still her racing heart. Suddenly she was hit with an attack of nerves. What was she doing there? What about all her beloved trees back home? The smells of the forest? The sounds of all the animals just waking up, or those who had been awake for hours. What about all of that? What about her lean-to, and the land shed come to see and think of as her own?
Zac shook her head to clear it. She could not be thinking of such things now. She had made her decision and couldnt go back on it now. That would break Spinneys heart. She could not allow that to happen, no matter what.
Abel dropped a third slice of turkey bacon in the pan, noting the satisfying sizzle, when she felt arms wrap around her from behind. She smiled and fell back into that strong, glorious body. She had the most amazing memories of that very body from the night before.
"Morning," she murmured.
"Hi," Zac said into her ear, nibbling a bit on the lobe. Abel felt a small shiver race through her body.
"Stop, you bad girl." Abel knew Jess would be getting up any time, and she didnt want to freak her out just yet.
Zac kissed the side of her neck and let her go. She saw Aure munching happily on his own breakfast, water sloshed all over the floor from his marathon drink sessions. She found herself a chair and sat down.
"Got any syrup?"
"Of course, you silly girl. I have been busy this morning." Abel grinned over her shoulder at the brunette. "I got syrup and Hersheys syrup as well as honey. Ill tell you, babe, I sure hope you have a good exercise regimen in mind to combat becoming a house from what you eat."
Zac grinned. "Eh, youll keep me fit."
The blonde laughed at this. She was giddy and about to bounce off any wall that would hold still. She placed some food on a plate and took it over to her love.
"Here you go. Eat up." She leaned in close. "Because Ill tell you right now, youll need all the energy you can get."
Zac looked into those determined green eyes, and felt her very own shiver race down her spine.
"Okay, save it for the bedroom, girls." Jess walked in, bunny slippers making flopping noises on the linoleum as she made her way to the coffee maker. Abel stood and gave her friend an apologetic, shy grin.
"Want some breakfast, Jess?" She walked back over to the counter to prepare her own plate.
"God no. How you can eat that much in the morning always astounds me." Jess sipped the bitter brew and then headed back to her room. "Gonna get ready for class. You two have a good day." With the slam of her door, all was quiet again. Zac looked at Abel.
"Is she mad that Im here?" The brunette was nervous. She didnt want to cause any problems.
"Oh no." Abel waved it off as she sat down across from the brunette. "She and I talked last night. She just hates mornings. Has since Ive known her." Abel sprinkled powdered sugar on her French toast. "So I was thinking about something. I have class today, what about you coming with me?" She eyed Zac, mindful of her reaction. "You know, sit in with me? You could see what a class is like, maybe learn something."
Zac sat back, chewing slowly on her syrup-drenched food, studying the blonde. She turned this idea over in her mind, trying to decide if she could handle it or not. She wanted to do it, not only for Spinney, but there was that part of her, the part who always questioned her fathers warnings, which was curious. This was the part that had led her to Boston in the first place to find her Spinney.
"Okay," she said slowly, sipping her orange juice. Her heart was racing, and she was scared. Truly scared. But she knew that if she were going to be with the blonde, really be with her, shed have to allow herself to branch out and try Spinneys world, on Spinneys terms.
"Really?" Abel jumped up, wrapping her arms almost painfully around Zacs neck. "Im so excited! I cant wait to show you around, and introduce you to people!"
Zac could feel the excitement and energy coming off Spinney in waves, and knew shed done the right thing.
Zac swallowed hard as she got out of Spinneys car. She was nervous as hell. There were people swarming everywhere, going this way and that. Some looked at them, though most went on with their business as though Zac and Abel werent even there. She eyed them all suspiciously, waiting to see if anyone would do anything stupid.
"Come on, honey. Its okay." Abel glanced over at the brunette, worried for her. Her blue eyes were huge, and the blonde hoped that her love wouldnt freak out. Theyd take it slow. Maybe she could take half a day and only expose Zac to a couple classes. For right now.
They walked into Abels Brain, Behavior and Cognition class. The blonde took Zac up to her prof.
"Doctor Adams, this is Zac Lipton. Shes my guest today."
"It is wonderful to meet you, Zac." The long-haired, Berkenstocked professor smiled. "Are you thinking of joining our wonderful school here?" He smiled at the beautiful girl.
"Oh, uh, Im not sure." Zac smiled weakly, nervous.
"Well, I hope you enjoy the class. Any friend of Abels here is certainly bound to be a good friend of mine. This one has been with me for going on four years." He put his arm around his advisees shoulders.
"Awww, youre so sweet." Abel grinned up at her trusted mentor. "Zac is new to the area, so Im showing her around."
"How wonderful! I hope you enjoy our fine city then." Adams smiled again, then nudged the blonde away. "Alright, now enough sucking up. Go sit down." He smiled as he was swatted by his favorite student. Not only beautiful, but brighter than most.
Zac sat down next to Spinney, nearly sitting on top of her, she was so nervous. She eyed the room and the students around her. Many were looking right back at her, mainly the males in the class. They were looking at her the way Spinneys brother, Ben, did.
"I think youre causing quite the stir, Zac." Abel grinned.
"Because youre gorgeous! They cant take their eyes off you." Abel bumped shoulders with Zac, happy to see a small smile, though it disappeared quickly. "Are you okay? Do you want to leave?"
"No." Zac gave her a reassuring pat on the arm. "Dont worry about me."
As the class began, Zac listened to Dr. Adams, not understanding all of what he said, considering they were in the middle of the lesson long before she arrived. But what she did get was fascinating! She watched as Spinney wrote frantically, trying to get every ounce of information that the teacher gave to put in her notes.
She watched the blonde, noting the crease that formed between her green eyes. The way she listened intently, absorbing every word Adams had to say. Noting how Spinney seemed to eat it all up, loving it and tucking it away for future use.
Zac almost felt jealous of this love. Jealous of the way Spinney held the teacher in such high regard. It wasnt that she felt threatened by this; she knew that the blonde loved her and she loved her back. But she wished she had such a passion, the key to something great like the blonde and her love of all that was psychology. She knew how much Spinney loved the human mind and the way it worked. The way people interacted with each other and "what made them tick."
Abel often told the brunette that shed do wonderfully in forestry sciences or maybe even as a vet. Zac had never even contemplated such things. That was for normal people who were smart and driven. Not for her. Some strange girl who wandered around a forest her entire life. Someone who was terrified of everyone ad everything.
Suddenly Zac felt a wave of anger pass through her. She stood and walked out of the room, a very stunned Professor Adams watching her go. Abel looked up, shocked and confused. She looked to her teacher for guidance, and he shrugged.
Hurrying from the room, the blonde looked up and down the hall until she spotted Zac looking out a window at the end of the hall, arms crossed tightly over her chest.
"Zac? What are you doing? You cant just get up and leave like that. God, thats rude and inconsiderate to Dr. Adams " Abel stopped herself once she realized there were tear tracks down Zacs cheeks. "Honey? Whats the matter?" She put a tentative hand on the brunettes shoulder.
"Im sorry I embarrassed you, Spinney," Zac said, her voice low and flat. "I can go if you want."
"What? Go? No. No, Zac, I dont want you to go. Why would you think that?"
"Im sorry Im not like any of them in there." Zac pointed toward the direction of the class with her thumb. "Theyre all normal in there. And smart. Like you." Fresh tears began to slide down her cheeks and she turned away, looking out the window again.
"Oh, honey. Please look at me." Abel looked up into those tortured eyes with concern in her own. She reached up and brushed away the tears. "God, I love you so much," she whispered. "Please dont ever think I think any less of you, Zac. I dont. I swear it. To me, youre so smart. Unbelievably so. And strong. Oh honey, no. Youre not like everyone else, but thats what made me fall in love with you in the first place. Dont you see that?"
"No." Zac looked down at her, hugging herself. "Really?"
"Yes." Abel smiled just at the thought of the woman standing before her. "God, yes. You " She paused as she tried to get her thoughts in order. "Zac, what youve been through and the person you are, all those things make me love you more. You are the kindest, most big-hearted person I think is on the planet. The things you know, most of which have been because of your reading, the things you wonder about and watch. The way you watch the birds outside my window at the apartment. The things you know about all the animals back in the forest. Oh, honey. Please dont doubt yourself."
"But all those people in there, and your strange teacher. They all have ambition and know what they want. Theyre all like you, Spinney. Smart and driven and so fantastic. And then theres me. Im so afraid." The last part was whispered, and Zacs head hung, tears dripping down.
Abel was heartbroken for Zac, and gathered her into her arms. She cradled her head against her shoulder and held her. She could feel the pain and doubt radiating from Zac.
"Im sorry, sweetie. Im sorry I put you in this position. Well go home, okay?"
"You cant miss class, Spinney. I know how much you love it."
"Its okay, Zac," Abel whispered into her ear. "I know people who can get me notes, okay?" She felt Zac nod, and headed back to the room to gather her stuff. With a few quiet words to Dr. Adams, she and Zac were on their way. Abel held Zacs hand in the car, not wanting her to think that she was angry with her. In fact, the blonde was plenty angry at herself. She wanted so badly to show Zac the world, her world, she didnt even stop to think how that might impact the skittish brunette.
"Does your teacher think Im an idiot?" Zac asked, her voice quiet, subdued.
"No. Ill explain later. Dont worry about what other people think, Zac. They dont matter. You know who you are, and I know who you are and just how wonderful you are. Thats all that counts. Got it?" She glanced over at the beautiful girl sitting next to her. Blue eyes met hers.
Zac laid in Abels arms, cheek resting against the blondes naked breast. Zac reveled in the slow, even breathing that slightly moved her head with every breath Spinney took. She was running her fingertips over the smooth skin of the blondes stomach, watching them dance.
"Zac?" Abel asked, absently running her fingers through the long, dark hair.
"Do you regret coming here?"
"No." Zac kissed the soft skin under her cheek and laid back down. "I dont."
"What made you decide to come?"
"Well, it was so hard to watch you leave for school." Zac swallowed at the painful memory. "God, that hurt. I began to hate being there without you, Spinney. It just wasnt home anymore."
"Aww, sweetie." Abel leaned up and kissed that long, dark hair.
"I kept thinking about you here, about what you were doing here, and how I probably wouldnt see you much anymore. So busy and all. I didnt want that. I wanted to be with you."
"Was it the right decision?" Abel held her breath, afraid to hear the answer. After earlier that day, she felt the heavy weight of guilt. She worried that Zac had left all that she loved and felt comfortable just to be with her, and that the brunette would eventually hate her for it.
Zac lifted her head and saw the worry between the blondes eyes. She used a thumb and smoothed out the worry lines. "You worry too much, Spinney. Please dont. I want to be with you. I love you."
"I love you, too, Zac." Abel leaned up and placed a soft kiss on her lips. "What would you like to do tomorrow, sweetie? Im not going to make you do anything you dont want to, or arent ready for, okay? If you want to stay here with Aure, thats fine. Or I could take you to a park, you guys could wander. Whatever."
"Im not sure what Ill do. Maybe me and Aure can just wander around campus? Wait for you?"
"Will you be okay with that?" Abel reached up and smoothed back some hair that was curtaining Zacs beautiful ace. The brunette nodded.
"I think so. Maybe Ill even go to a class or two." She smiled weakly. "Maybe."
"Hey, if you want to, Id love to have you. Ill even sit in the back if you want, so that way if you need to leave, you can." She gave Zac a smile of encouragement. "Hows that sound?"
"Good." Zac leaned down and kissed the blonde, caressing the smooth skin of Spinneys side. Abel sighed into the kiss, opening her mouth for an inquisitive tongue, and responding in kind. Zac lowered her body atop Abels, moaning at the full-body contact and feeling the blondes strong thighs wrap around her own.
"I love you, Zac," Abel said into the kiss, bringing her hands down Zacs back, ending on her butt, pushing her into her, and thrusting up slightly to meet her.
"I love you, too." Zac left Abels mouth and began to explore her neck and collar bones. She loved the feel and taste of Spinneys skin and body. Loved to touch her and run her mouth everywhere. She worked her way down Abels body, settling between parted thighs.
"Yes," Abel sighed, eyes closing and head rolling to the side as she felt herself being feasted upon. Her hands ran through Zacs hair, guiding her to where she needed her most, and whimpering when her wish was granted. She raised her knees to give more access, and the brunette took advantage of such a gift.
Zac moaned into her activity, loving the taste and feel and sounds. She could feel Spinneys body becoming taut like a bow, ready to explode. She stayed where she was, knowing exactly where the blonde liked to be touched, waiting for that magical moment when everything else ceased to exist except for them as the blonde was thrown into the clutches of pure bliss.
Panting, Abel blindly grabbed for her love, who quickly climbed back up her body and gathered the blonde up into strong arms. She trembled as the last vestiges of pleasure rocketed through her, Zac keeping her safe.
"Ive got you," Zac whispered, kissing the top of the blonde head. "My love. My wonderful, wonderful Spinney."
Abel held on for dear life. She was so afraid to think this was how things would be now. There was the tiniest, niggling voice in the back of her head telling her to protect her heart. She was so afraid that one morning Zac would wake up and decide she wanted to be back home again. She couldnt shake it. But she had to. Zac couldnt know of her doubts. Shed risked so much to come to her. Left so much behind.
They had to make it work.
Aure stayed with Zac as they wandered around the beautiful campus of Spinneys university. They looked at the various types of flowers and plants that were still in bloom, Zac quietly explaining each of them to the lab, who insisted on sniffing each and every one.
"Come on, you goon." She led the dog further onto campus, loving all the trees that surrounded then. They found a nice little thicket and sat down. Abel had supplied the duo with plenty of reading material, and Zac was beside herself at it all. She opened the text, one of Jessicas from the previous semester. She began to read all about the history of ancient civilizations and their patterns of war.
She could not understand why people were so stupid and insisted on fighting each other all the time. Though it made no sense, it was fascinating.
Suddenly a shadow fell over her book, making Zac squint up at the person. Dark eyes took in the sight of the sleeping dog and blue-eyed woman racing through the pages of her old text book.
"Hi Jessica. How are you?"
"Doing okay. Mind if I sit?" At the shake of the dark head, Jess sat down, resting her wrists on her bent knees. "So how are things? What do you think of the city?"
Zac glanced over at her dread-locked companion and shrugged. "Its very different. But I do like it in many ways. Its nice to be able to actually see what Sp, I mean, Abels been talking about all this time." She smiled nervously.
"I bet. Abel talks about you and those woods all the time, you know." Jess stared out over the campus, readjusting her sunglasses.
"No, I didnt know."
"Yup. Listen, Ive known Abel for four years now, and I care a lot about her. This whole thing with you was a huge surprise to me, but I can see why she fell for you. Youre gorgeous and seem like a really sweet girl." The darker girl glanced over at the blushing brunette. "Please dont hurt her, Zac. Abel is so fragile. If you hate it here, or dont want her, whatever, tell her. She can handle it. Just dont fuck with her, okay?"
Zac looked at Spinneys friend, seeing the concern and true friendship and caring reflected on her face. She nodded. "Believe me when I tell you Id do nothing to hurt Abel. I love her."
"I know you do. And she loves you. You guys will be okay." Jess smiled. "So whats your plan?"
"Other than be there for Abel as much as possible and love her?"
Jess grinned, nudging Zacs shoulder with her own. "I like the way you think. But other than that, yes. You gonna get a job? Go to school, what?"
"Oh," Zac blushed, feeling like an idiot. "I dont know. What does Abel want me to do?"
"Dont know. You can ask her though. Shes on her way over here." Jess nodded toward the little blonde, who was making her way steadily across the manicured lawns. An instant smile spread over Zacs face as Aure jumped up, running over to his new favorite person.
"Hey, buddy," Abel cooed, reaching down to pet the excited dog. She glanced up, glad to see her two favorite people talking and no blood. "Hey guys," she said, tossing her bag down next to Zac. She followed suit, resting her head on the brunettes shoulder.
"Hi," Zac said, smiling and giving her a little kiss on the tip of her nose. Abel smiled.
"Okay. This is my exit. PDA, PDA." Jess pretended to get up, but was soon tackled by a playful Abel.
"No ya dont!" she said, looking down at her quarry. "Come to dinner with us."
"You sure? I mean, I dont want to interrupt anything . . ."
"Hush." Abel pulled the darker girl up and then reached for Zacs hand. "Come on, ladies. Lets eat."
"Can we go somewhere where theres syrup?"
Zac sat in the lobby, waiting to be called in. Over the past few weeks, both Spinney and Jess had been schooling her on the art of the job interview. She held her paltry resume in her hands, trying her best to not twist it in her nervous grip. Instead, her foot beat a restless rhythm that was about to drive the secretary at the work force center crazy.
"Zac Lipton?" Zac looked up to see an older, balding man in a shirt and loosened tie standing in the entrance of an office. She stood.
"Here . . . sir." She was doing her best to try and remember all her etiquette. Be nice. Be polite. Sell yourself.
She followed the man into the office, where he sat behind an old, beat up desk, and indicated that she should sit in the chair in front of him.
"So youre a girl. I have to say, I expected a man with that kind of name." He laughed, his belly laughing right along with him, and coffee-stained teeth glinting off the heavy overhead lighting.
"Im all girl, sir."
"So I see. Okay " He leaned forward, his elbows resting on the table. "Down to business. I have to say, Zac, can I call you Zac?" At the brunettes nod, he continued. "There isnt much here to work with. Where you been? Living in a cave or something?"
"Well, more like half-cabin, half-cave, actually."
The man threw his head back and laughed once again, slapping the desk with a meaty palm. "Youre funny, kid, I like that." Zac smiled, uncertain what was so funny, but she could be polite. "Well, since you dont really have an iota of experience, how are you with physical labor?"
Abel flipped the page of the Maxim magazine she found abandoned on the bench outside the work force center. Brows raised in surprised, she began to read and look at the pictures in the racy mag. She had trouble concentrating, though. She knew Zac really wanted to be able to help out, and decided that a job was the place to start. The blonde thought it was an excellent idea, though she still worried.
Zac had started to get better and slightly more comfortable around other people. She was totally cool with Jess now, and in fact, they got along very nicely. More than once, Abel had come home from school and found them laughing and cleaning up after one of their numerous food fights. She wasnt sure why Jessica insisted on having those juvenile fights, but they both seemed to enjoy it, so be it.
Abel turned another page, shocked at the rather skanky picture of Paris Hilton. She did not understand what the draw was with that girl. Sighing, she tried to get interested in the article, but it wasnt working so well. Finally she gave up and set the mag aside, beginning to understand why the person had left it there in the first place.
So, humming it was. She tapped her fingers to a distant beat in someones parked car, her head beginning to follow in a bob.
"Care to dance?"
The blonde head popped up, startled and slightly embarrassed. She saw a grinning Zac standing there, hands on her hips.
"Why yes, I would." Abel stood, taking Zacs hands in her, and singing in a really bad voice, began to lead Zac all over the front of the building. Passersby on the sidewalk grinned at the pair. "So?" Abel asked, bringing their impromptu dance to an end.
"Ill be working on the docks," Zac said, grinning from ear to ear.
"What? You got a job?"
"Yep. Helping to unload boats."
"Zac, thats great!" Abel grabbed Zac in a massive hug, so proud of her. "Thats wonderful! When do you start?" She put her arm through Zacs as they walked along the street, headed for the blondes car.
"Monday. Ive got a week. That is, I start Monday, provided my drug test comes out okay. Have you ever had to pee in a cup? Thats not fun. I just kept thinking of when I have to pee in coffee cans when I travel the rails. Got real good at my aim."
Abel glanced up at her love, brow raised and her nose pulled up in a grimace.
"Fourteen dollars an hour!?" Abel groaned, again. "That is so not fair!"
"What? Is that a lot?" Zac asked, grabbing the milk and juice out of the fridge.
"Ive been at the grocery for four years and still have only managed to get them to raise me to six!" She slammed the cabinet closed.
Jessica snickered. "Is that good?"
"Hey, I dont know." Zac shrugged.
"Yes, thats good. Thats very good considering youre a human crane." Abel said, plopping the tuna casserole shed made onto the table.
"Whoa! Down girl." Jess grinned, picking up a stray piece of tuna that leaped out of the still-hot pan on contact.
Abel plunked her own defeated self into her chair, arms crossed over her chest, and pouted at Zac. "Youre buyin me nice stuff, then."
Zac leaned over and whispered into her ear, making her giggle and blush.
"Okay, ew." Jess grabbed plates and silverware, handing the pair a set. "Congrats, Zac. Im proud of you even if Stimpy here isnt."
"Hey, I am too." Abel threw her balled up napkin at her friend.
"Oh, thanks." Jess unballed it and stuffed it in her shirt.
"Give me that back." The blonde pouted again.
"Finders keepers, losers weepers."
"I am not a loser. Just because Im poor."
And the celebrations continued.
The leaves changed and the temperatures dropped. Winter was coming, and it was coming fast. One thing Zac found she definitely liked better was being inside during those storms. She loved that she could curl up with Spinney any time she wanted to, plus was kept warm.
Aure loved his three mistresses. Heck, he was in doggy heaven all the time now. Always somebody there to take him to the park across the street and toss the ball for him or just let him chase the few squirrels out of the couple of trees. What could be better?
Zac was settling into her job at the docks. It was backbreaking work, but she was able to work alone often. This being with people all the time thing was strange for her, and took a great deal of getting used to. At first, her co-workers scared the crap out of her, but she was used to them now. She even liked a few. There was a guy named George who was rather nice to her. She liked him.
Abels second-to-last semester was flying by, and she was ready for it to end. Certainly ready for Christmas break, which was in two weeks. She had gone all out to make Zacs first Christmas in the city a good one.
One fall day, the two had driven to a tree lot and had bought a beautiful, full six footer. They tied it to the top of the blondes Jetta and drove home. Getting that tree into the building had been a task at patience. Luckily they lived on the first floor, but still, the tree did NOT want to go through the front or back door. Finally with a mighty push, it popped through, only taking about half the paint from the doorway with it.
"Extra decoration," Zac had proudly announced of the white-tipped branches.
They had waited until Jess had gotten home with the decorations, then the three had set to trimming it. They put tons of colorful balls on it made of glass. Tons of garland and popcorn strings. This, they found, was an extraordinarily bad idea. Aure went behind them and ate it off as soon as it was placed. He even managed to get the higher strings.
Three yelling women chased him out of the room to figure out what would replace it. More garland and lights it was. Later that night, Zac once again stood next to Abel as she lit the first of the eight candles on her menorah and recited the song of Hanukkah.
Zac watched the blonde as she sang, her voice low and sweet. She saw the way the burgeoning flame from the candle lit up her profile. The delicate, beautiful features. The way her green eyes looked gray in the orange hue, yet her blonde hair seemed to glow with a light of its own.
Zac was transfixed. She didnt even notice when the blonde finished her song and turned to look at her. Without a word, Abel grabbed Zacs hand and pulled the brunette to her. She leaned up and kissed those soft lips that she grew to love more and more with each passing day.
She stepped away from the kiss, but not the circle of Zacs arms. "I love you, Zac. So much."
"I love you, too, my Spinney," Zac whispered, kissing the tip of that nose that she had been looking at only moments before.
"I am yours."
"I know. And youre mine. Happy Hanukkah." Zac reached to the shelf nearby and handed Abel a small, wrapped package. Green eyes lit up.
"Who else?" Zac grinned. Shyly, she clasped her hands behind her back as she watched. Like a little kid, Abel tucked into the wrapping paper like nothing else. Zac had never been able to buy her blonde anything, so she was excited.
Abel unwrapped the small gift, finding a small, long, white box beneath. She glanced up into shy, uncertain blue eyes before looking back to the box. Carefully opening it, she saw a simple, but very beautiful, white gold bracelet tucked into velvet.
"Oh, Zac," she breathed.
"Jess said you like white gold a lot," Zac shyly offered.
"I do. Put it on me." Quickly Zac took the bracelet and the proffered wrist, clasping the piece of jewelry.
"Do you like it?" she asked, watching as Spinney studied the bracelet.
"Oh, yes." Abel looked up at the brunette, tears in her eyes. "Thank you, Zac. Thank you so much." She grabbed the beautiful girl in a massive hug and laid one on her. "I love it. And I love you."
"Im glad, and I love you, too."
The drive up to the cabin was beautiful. Fresh snow had fallen over the past couple weeks, but not enough to stop traffic.
Zac sat in the passenger seat, looking excitedly out the window, Aure panting over her shoulder.
"Going home, boy." She grinned, ruffling the dogs velvet-like ears. Abel glanced over, feeling that comment like a dagger. She said nothing. It was not made to her.
Instead she focused on the welcome shed receive from her family. Back in October, she had called her mother.
"Wait, whos there?"
"Zac!" The blonde had been bouncing in her seat with excitement. She just hoped shed have the support of her mother on this. She also hoped her mother would do the dirty work of telling her father.
"Oh, honey! Thats wonderful! How did that happen?" As Sherry listened to her daughter recount the happy news, she couldnt help but worry and hope. She hoped that Zac, after being so very upset when Abel had gone back to school, was sure about what she had done. If Zac Lipton hurt her baby girl, shed hunt the girl down herself and hang her from her toenails.
"Oh mom, shes wonderful. Shes so sweet and loving. Jess gets along with her really well, too, and tomorrow she has some job interviews! Its so great. God, I was SO stunned to see her standing there. It was like something out of a movie. So awesome!"
"Im so happy for you, honey. I really am." Sherry smiled into the phone, wanting her baby to know just how happy for her she really was. She still did not understand the whole girl-with-girl thing, but it was her daughters business. She had already slightly cracked the news to Adam. That is, put a little bug in his ear that something may be going on. She knew it was a matter of time before hed have to hear the whole enchilada.
"Mom?" Abel began to play with her hair, a definite sign of nerves. "What about dad?"
"What about him? Hes not a monster, honey."
"I know. But he doesnt understand like you do. I mean, with you teaching in a high school, youre around messed-up kids all the time. Hes not."
"Honey, youre not messed up. Youre in love. Not a huge difference, but there still is one."
"Ha ha." Abel smiled despite her worry. "Shell be coming out with me for Christmas, mom."
"Nice choice of words, honey."
"Thanks. Is he going to freak?"
"Well," Sherry sat back in her chair, watching the kids play video games, their father in his workshop building . . . something. "Thats always a possibility. You need to set yourself up for that. Hell come around ultimately, you know that. He loves you kids more than anything. Hell let off steam, then realize that youre happy. Thats all hes after in the end."
"Yeah, its just getting to that end thats the problem."
"Dont think about that now, sweetie. Youve got a brand new life ahead of you with this wonderful girl. I love her, your sisters and brothers love her. Shoot, Beckys always asking where Zac is and When can we see her again."
Abel smiled at the thought of her baby sister who grew to look more and more like her every day. "Well, tell Beck that shell be able to see Zac whenever she sees me."
"Oh, shell be thrilled." Sherry laughed.
"Okay. Well thanks, mom. Im so glad you know. This was eating me up. I hated not being able to talk to you about it."
"Abel, you can talk to me about anything. You should know that. I may not always understand or approve, but Ill always do my best to give you the credit youve earned. Youve got a good head on your shoulders, and I know you routinely use it. This is no exception. Okay?"
"Okay. Thanks, mom. I love you."
"I love you too, honey. I cant wait to see you two at Christmas."
Abel smiled, so grateful for her mother. She had gotten her through some pretty amazing things already. She was lucky.
"What are you smiling at?" Zac asked, taking the blondes hand in her own and resting them on her thigh.
"Oh, just thinking about my mom."
"Shes pretty amazing."
"Yes, she is."
Green eyes opened and looked around her room. She saw all of her stuff and Zacs piled near the wall, but no Zac or Aure. Slightly irritated, she got up, the cold air sending a chill across her naked skin. Quickly pulling on her clothes from yesterday, she headed downstairs. She loved waking up wrapped up in Zac. Where did she go?
There were no food smells as she reached the second floor landing, and the house was quiet. Hurrying faster, she was about to start down to the first floor when she glanced out of the window that looked out over the back of the cabin.
Twenty yards from the house, she spotted two figures, one dark, one light. Zac was bundled up, and she and the dog were playing in the snow. Abel folded her arms across her chest, feeling hurt and left out. She knew she was feeling very sensitive right now. She was so worried that Zac would come back to the cabin and realize she wanted to stay there. She almost packed more clothes for the brunette for that reason.
Dog and human frolicked, throwing up snow as they pranced around each other and the trees. Aure could vaguely be heard barking, a white puff accompanying each one. Zac grinned like a fool and threw snow up into the air, which the dog swiftly jumped up to try and catch.
Abel couldnt help but smile at the show, even as her heart sank. Why didnt Zac wake her up? Did she not want her with them? Did Zac want to be alone? Did she regret that she had left the forest in the first place?
The blonde swiped at a tear she felt jump from her eye and headed back upstairs.
Zac inhaled the cold air, letting it fill her lungs to capacity. Aure had pooped out on her, so she was letting him take a rest. As he did, she turned in a slow circle, taking in the trees and land that she knew so well. She could be blind and shed still know where every single tree stood, and how to get around them. She could find all the hidden little holes and caves. All the bumps and ruts in the path. It felt good to know something so well.
The snow, so white and clean and crisp. One thing she didnt like about Boston was the snow didnt stay so pure. So soon it was ruined by either dogs or traffic exhaust and dirt. Shed never take snow from the ground and eat it like she did in the forest. To prove her point, she grabbed a handful, chewing on the wetness.
As Zac looked around, she realized that she felt different being there than she had three months ago, or even this time last year. She felt more at ease with herself, and less afraid. Before, she always had this strange feeling of anxiety or anticipation lurking in the back of her mind. Now that she had faced so many of her fears, had a job, had walked the streets of Boston alone as well as with Spinney, she felt like she had conquered so many of those anxieties. She knew now that there was not a Boogie Man waiting around every corner, and in fact, some cops could be really nice. Like when that guy in the SUV had knocked her over as he pulled out of his parking space, that cop had been so nice and helpful.
"You lied, dad," Zac said into the cold morning air. "You lied to me so many times." No longer. She didnt believe him anymore. He was dead and so were all his lies. Selfish, selfish lies.
Zac grinned, feeling so free and happy. She put her arms out and up into the air and spun around in a circle where she stood.
Abel watched Zacs excitement at being home again. She couldnt keep the tears from streaming down her cheeks, knowing that she was losing Zac. They had had three of the most amazing months, and it was coming to an end.
Her heart was breaking.
"Dad, why are you mad at me?" Abel asked, watching her father pace back and forth, hands shoved into his pockets.
"Im not mad at you, Abel," he said, though his clenched jaw seemed to say different.
"For some reason, I dont believe that."
"Why, Abel? Why a girl? Arent there plenty of nice, good-looking guys there at your school? Wasnt that why you chose BU over Stapleton? Co-ed?"
"Yes dad, but"
"But what? You have the pick of the crop, honey." He walked over to his daughter, placing his hands on her shoulders. "Honey, youre a beautiful, intelligent young woman. Any man would be honored and lucky to have you."
"That may be, dad, but I dont want them. I only want Zac."
Adam stared down at her, brows drawn as he took in what she said. "You do, huh?"
"Yes. Please understand that. There is nothing you can say or do to change that. Please dont make me choose." Abel looked up at her father with pleading eyes. They had been close when she was little, but ever since shed started making her own decisions, he had had problems with it. She hated to admit that perhaps her father had a bit of chauvinism in there.
Adam sighed and took his daughter in a hug. "I love you, honey. I want you to be happy. Okay?" He felt her nod against her chest. "Does this girl make you happy?" Again a nod. "I dont understand, and I have to be honest and tell you, I dont approve. But, alas, I have nothing to say in this. It is your life, and it pisses me off that I owe your mother ten dollars."
Abel pulled away, looking up at his smiling face. He shrugged. "Teach me to bet against you."
"Jerk." Abel grabbed him in another hug, happy to be safe in her daddys arms.
"Did you enjoy Christmas, honey?" Sherry asked, walking up behind her daughter, who stared out the window. Abel glanced over at her and nodded.
"Yeah, it was great. You outdid yourself with dinner." The younger blonde patted her satisfied stomach.
"Good. Glad you approve. So, whats up?"
"What do you mean?"
"I know you, my sweet. You cant hide your emotions from me." Sherrys green eyes, so much like those of her daughter, bored into her profile.
"Nothing. Really mom, its nothing."
"I am not a liar, mom." Abel glared at her mother, then returned her gaze to the night beyond.
"Maybe not, but you are lying. Come on . . ." She put her arm around her eldests shoulders. "Talk to me."
"Im so afraid that Zac is going to want to stay here," she finally said, her voice quiet.
"Why do you say that?"
"Shes out there all the time, mom." Abel looked up at her mother with pleading eyes, hoping that shed understand. "Its like she cant get enough. And so often now, she goes off by herself with just Aure. Like she doesnt want to spend any time with me."
"Honey, she was with you all day. She was at your side, and rather solicitous of your needs, for that matter."
"Yeah, she was." The blonde smiled at the memory. "But at the same time, I dont know. Just a feeling I get."
"Have you asked her?"
"No!" Abel looked terrified at the idea.
"Im so afraid of what she might say. You know, the If its not said, its not thought, mentality." Abel hugged herself, leaning her forehead against the cool glass. "I now its childish, but I love her so much, and Ive been happier in the past few months than I can ever remember. It would kill me if she left."
"Well, honey, until you decide to talk to her, Im afraid youre stuck in your rut of indecision and doubt." She leaned over and kissed her daughter on the top of the head. "I love you, honey, and know your family is here, no matter what happens. Kay?" She saw her daughter nod, and decided to leave her be.
Later that night, Abel lay in bed, listening to Zac get ready in the bathroom. She was amazed that the brunette was staying with her in the house. She totally expected her to want to stay in her lean-to. She already had once this trip.
The bathroom door opened, and Zac quickly made her way over to the bed, climbing in and automatically taking Abel in her arms.
"Ive gotten spoiled in Boston," the brunette said, inhaling the scent of the blondes hair.
"In what way?" Abel wrapped an arm around Zac, tucking her fingers under the taller girls side.
"The apartment being so warm. But being colder here means more snuggling." She wiggled her body contentedly. "I love it here, babe," she breathed, her voice full of wonder and happiness. "I love having you here with me. Smelling the fresh, clean air again. Seeing all my old haunts. I was thinking wed go into Spectreville tomorrow if youre game."
"Oh, okay." Abel felt her eyes stinging again, and swiped an annoyed hand at them. "We can do that." She did her best to keep her voice steady and calm.
"Great!" Zac pulled the little blonde even closer to her, oblivious to the tempest of emotions that was wanting to explode in her little blonde.
Zac held Abels hand in a death grip as they walked through the forest, bundled up to no end, but that didnt matter. She had to see it one last time. She had to absorb as much of her old life as possible so she could say goodbye. She had to say goodbye, and was getting ready for just that.
Abel watched as the trees passed, seeing a memory at each one. She wanted so badly to know how Zac was feeling, and what she was thinking. She didnt dare ask. She could not stand the thought of hearing that Zac was deciding to stay in Maine, and that shed be driving home by herself. The thought of that seemingly big bed alone was too much to bear.
Zac could feel the weight starting to press upon her. Theyd be leaving the following morning, and a sense of dread at leaving covered her completely. She was anxious to get back to the life she had begun to build in Boston, but at the same time, she was afraid to have to once again leave her comfort zone.
Over the past six weeks, she had fallen back into her old world. She had been in every nook and cranny of the woods, stayed in her lean-to and had visited Spectreville several times as well. Sometimes the little blonde was at her side, sometimes not.
Zac was grieving. She was hurting inside, feeling a part of herself die slowly. It was painful, yet she was so hopeful. With Abel at her side, she could do anything, and she knew that the blonde was worth all the pain in the world. Saying goodbye to her world was not easy. She felt guilty, like she was betraying her father, but she knew he had betrayed her long ago. He had filled her head with so many lies, so much that had held her back from a normal life.
The brunette smiled, thinking of all that she wanted to do once she got back to the city. She wanted to go to school and get her GED. She had read about it on the internet, which she had figured out how to use. She wanted to take Jessica up on the driving lessons she had offered before theyd left for the cabin. She wanted to do so many things for and with Spinney. She wanted to make the blonde proud of her, and wanted to make herself proud, too.
"Its beautiful here, isnt it?" Zac asked, feeling her chest expand with pride in her new-found decisions and strength and courage.
"Sure is. Will you miss it?" Abel felt like a heel quizzing Zac that way, but she had to know, even if she didnt want to.
"God, yes. Its going to be so hard." Zacs voice was quiet and filled with reverence for her surroundings. No matter where she ended up, she would always love her beloved forest. Shed even missed her little squirrel buddy, who, to her dismay, she had not seen since returning. "Ill miss it very much."
"Im sorry, Zac. Really, I am," Abel said, her head down.
"Its okay," Zac said, squeezing the blondes hand, not understanding that Abels heart was breaking wide open, the crack louder than the sound of a falling tree.
"I love you."
"I love you, too." Zac didnt see the watery smile that accompanied the sentiment.
"Good luck, honey. Were here for you," Sherry whispered into her daughters ear as they stood out next to the packed Jetta.
"Thanks, mom. Ill call you later."
"Okay. I love you."
"I love you, too."
With final goodbyes and hugs and kisses, Abel and Zac climbed into her car and drove into the falling snow.
Zac was quiet on the drive. She tried to do her best not to cry, feeling that final tear in the strings of evolution. She also tried to not look in the rearview mirror. She did not want to see a final look at her past gone. She only looked forward out the windshield and into her future.
"Are you okay?" Abel asked, her voice quiet and unsure. Zac nodded.
"Want to talk about it?"
"Nothing to talk about."
Abel nodded, hoping that Zac would stop being stubborn and just talk to her about what she was feeling. What was going on in that brain of hers? Her heart? Anything. She knew Zac wasnt spectacular at talking about her feelings, but this one could be potentially bad. She would hate it if the brunette hated or resented her, feeling like it was because of Abel that she had left what she knew and loved.
The blonde sighed, turning up the radio to absorb the silence.
Abel rolled over, a deep, sleep-induced sigh escaping her lips. She immediately reached out for the familiar warm body, only to find a cold mattress. Opening one eye, the blonde saw the empty space next to her.
She listened, and realized that she didnt hear the soft snoring of Aure, either. She sat up, nearly throwing the covers to the floor in her haste. Panic filled her hazy brain as she realized that both her love and the dog were gone.
As she jumped out of the bed, tugging on any clothing she found, she just knew that they had gone, hopping the rails to make their way back to Maine. She grabbed two shoes, just happy that there was a left and a right one, not caring if they matched. Grabbing her keys off the side table, she was about to bolt out of the room when she glanced out the window. There, across the street in the tiny park, were two figures. They sat under one of the only trees, one with his head laying in the others lap.
Abel slowly made her way across the icy street, mismatched, too big shoes flopping against the pavement. As she got closer, she saw Zac sitting there, chin resting on a raised knee.
"Zac?" she said, her voice so quiet against the even quieter early-morning chill. She pulled her jacket a little closer to her body.
"What are you doing up?" Zac asked, raising her head to look up at her love.
"What are you doing out here?" Abel indicated the park around them.
"Just thinking." The brunette rested her head back against the tree at her back.
"Oh." Abel shoved her hands into the front pockets of her jeans, sighing in a puff of white. "Listen Zac, Ive been doing some thinking, too." She looked down, her long, blonde hair falling to cover her face. "I saw the way you were back at the cabin. I know how much your heart is still there." She glanced up, but could not look at Zac. "Im sorry Ive kept you here, Zac. I know you cant stand the craziness of the city when you love the peaceful quiet of the forest so much." Her voice began to tremble.
"No! Please just let me get this out." Abel glanced very briefly at Zac, but once again her gaze fell to the snow-covered grass at her feet. "Im not going to keep you here against your will. I know you long for the wild, and probably Aure does too. If you want, I would be," she swallowed, "happy to drive you back to Maine. Just say the word, Zac." She was on the verge of outright crying. "Ill do it. For you. I love you that much." She could not hold it in. "Just tell me." She turned and began to quickly head for the apartment building.
Zac watched, stunned and not sure what to do. What the hell? What just happened? The brunette was utterly confused. Did Spinney not love her anymore? Did she want her to leave?
"Abel?" The blonde stopped, her back still to Zac.
"Yeah?" she managed through her tears.
"Do you love me?"
Abel turned, fuming. "Of course I do, goddamn it! Thats why Im willing to let you go, Zac! I want you to be happy, and if its back in the woods, then so be it. It would kill me to see you unhappy, especially if I were the cause. I saw the way you looked out into those trees, such longing." Abel took a breath. "Oh, Zac. Im so sorry Ive made you so unhappy here."
"Abel, I, Im out here because Aure needed to pee." Zac stood, the dog in question groaning in protest at being moved. Zac stared at her love, feeling her whole being fill with love and compassion for this woman who had taken her and turned her life upside down, all for the better. Abel had made her happier than she had ever known was possible, ever thought could be. She had taken her by the hand and had shown her what the real world was all about.
Sure, Zac loved the forest and the wild, always would, but she was dying there. Slowly but surely dying. The blonde had made her come to life, and she wanted to share that with the blonde in any way she could. Zac had said her goodbyes to the woods over Christmas, and was now ready to spend the rest of her life with Abel, in a city, wherever Abel wanted. She wanted them to have something together to signify that. Something they could both work on.
"Spinney?" she said, her voice soft.
"What?" Abel wiped at her eyes, the tears just not stopping. She was confused.
"Can we get a house plant?"
"Wait, what?" Abel wasnt sure shed heard right. She was even more confused now. "A house plant?"
"Yeah." Zac grinned, that cute little crooked one that Abel loved so much. "We can water it together, watch it grow, have to replant it in like six months, yell at Aure as he tries to pee in it, you know."
Abel turned to fully face Zac, her head cocked to the side, trying to absorb what she was being told. "You and me? Where?" She took a tentative step forward.
"What do you mean, where? Here, you goof. And of course you and me. I dont want crazy Jess anywhere near any plant of mine."
Without warning, it all hit Abel at the same time, and with a squeal of relieved delight, she ran to Zac and bowled her over. The brunette fell back into the snow, squirming under the onslaught of kisses that were being littered all over her face and neck.
"I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you!" Abel managed between each one.
"I love you, too," Zac giggled, trying to avoid being kissed in the eye. Finally Abel let up, looking down into the beautiful face of her love.
"You mean it? Youre not unhappy here?"
"God no! Youre here, Spinney. I could never be unhappy where you are."
"But at the cabin . . ."
"Honey, I was saying goodbye. I knew my life belonged with you and Aure here. It wasnt home anymore. I love it there, always will, but its not where I belong anymore. Im with you. Only with you."
Abel wrapped her arms around Zacs neck and held her close, eyes squeezed shut in utter relief and love.
"Yours. And Aures."
So you see, Abel found me, saved me and inspires me every day. I did eventually get that GED, and obviously found my way to college. After four years I wasnt ready to stop, so here I am, asking you, good sirs, to find it in your hearts to let me into your masters program.
The wild is in my blood, and my love for it is indisputable. Just ask Abel. It is my dream to save and preserve what has been so generously been given to us in the form of the forests of the world, all that cannot protect itself. My sworn duty to protect, preserve and learn about. My desire will never die, but grow with the foliage around me.
You can take a girl out of the wild, but cant take the wild out of the girl.
"I always loved that line," Abel said, grinning as she handed the old papers back to Zac.
"I guess they did, too, huh?" Zac filed her entrance letter back with all her old papers and grades.
"How do you feel? Leaving here?" Abel looked around the bedroom theyd had in the small townhouse for the past ten years.
"Im sad to leave Boston, but I cant even begin to say how excited I am to start the new job." Zac grinned from ear to ear.
"I bet, baby. Im so proud of you." The blonde wrapped her arms around her loves neck, smiling up at her and bestowing a small kiss on her lips. "I just wish Aure could be around to see the cabin now. Hed be so excited."
"I know." Zac rested her head on her Spinneys shoulder. It had been a sad day for her last summer when theyd had to bury the old dog. Hed lived to be seventeen, so she couldnt really complain. But still . . .
"But, well be getting lots and lots of animals there. No limit." Abel rested her head against that of her partner, running her fingers through the thick strands of her hair.
"The old cabin. Crazy. I cant believe your folks sold it to us."
"Hey, Im not going to complain. I guess it was just so hard for dad to keep that drive every year, you know? Got tired of it." With a final kiss to Zacs neck, Abel let her go and turned to finish packing their bedroom.
"Yeah. Oh, let the remodel begin!" Zac clapped her hands together happily.
"Yeah, yeah. Speak for yourself, Ranger Rick." Zac stuck her tongue out at the blonde, only to have it caught between straight, white teeth. After a moment of it being sucked on, Abel grinned sexily up at her.
"Careful with that. Its a registered weapon." Zac smacked the smaller woman on the butt, then headed into their bathroom to start packing it, too.
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