Part Eighteen

 

Chapter Twenty

The tall, dark-haired woman lay awake, her head resting on one hand, watching her new lover lying snuggled next to her, breathing deeply as she still slept. Life seemed so simple and uncomplicated lying there, under the nest of warm blankets with this sweet, gentle soul. What did I ever do to deserve this? The older doctor lightly ran her fingers through the blonde locks of hair, smoothing them away from Reginaís face. So, where do we go from here, Regina? What do you want out of this and am I even capable of giving it to you?

Alex closed her eyes trying to imagine what her life would be like without Regina in it; the future she envisioned faded to a murky black void and suddenly a terrifying feeling of desolation overwhelmed her. To lose Regina would be more painful than death itself.

Swallowing the lump forming in her throat, the doctor forced the foreboding thoughts into the far recesses of her mind. The taller woman leaned forward and woke Regina, calling her name softly and kissing her forehead.

The younger woman squirmed, hearing her name called from very far away. Slowly, she woke up over the course of several minutes, resisting the urge to sink back to sleep underneath the warm covers of her bed and the softness of Alexís body that she was nestled against. Blinking, Regina lifted her head and peered up, finding a pair of blue eyes curiously looking back at her. She snuggled back down against Alexís shoulder and wrapped her arm snugly around her waist, an impish grin forming on her lips.

"Morning." Regina kissed the smooth skin beneath her lips, content just to listen to the beating of the womanís heart beneath her ear.

"Good morning yourself, sleepy head." Alex playfully ruffled Reginaís hair with her hand. Lifting her head, Alex smiled at the way Regina wound herself in a tight embrace over her body. "You look cute lying here all snuggled up."

"Iím glad you think so." Regina glanced up at her. "This is what I look like in the mornings."

She liked the way that sounded. Mornings. Pulling Regina on top of her, Alex wrapped her in a hug. "Mm, I think I can live with it."

Regina laughed and rolled off of Alex. "Yeah, well I hear the shower calling my name." Sitting up, the young doctor stretched her arms overhead.

"Nice view." A hand reached out and touched her, fingers gliding seductively down her sensitive flesh and wrapping around her waist, pulling her into a warm embrace.

"Hey, no fair." Regina squirmed and laughed as Alex nibbled at the exposed skin.

"Who said anything about fair?" Alex arched an eyebrow as her lips meandered lower.

"Take a shower with me?" Regina offered as she slid out of the caress and walked toward the bedroom door.

"Well, now thatís an offer I canít refuse." Alex winked at Regina and chuckled as she watched the pink flush rise in the blondeís cheeks before she disappeared out of the room. Oh, I am in deep here, the brunette mused as she rolled over and stared up at the ceiling before she crawled out of the bed.

Regina stood under the hot water with her eyes closed, letting it pound on her back, wondering how she could have ever been afraid of following her heart in the first place. Sheíd fallen in love with this woman and she couldnít alter her course now even if she desired to. Youíre all I want, Alex Ė having you here, holding you, loving you Ė is all I want.

After last night, just the thought of being with this raven haired, blue eyed beauty, left her breathless and wanting. She loved to bury her head against the doctorís shoulder, pressing her face against the exquisite softness of her breasts, allowing herself to melt in the warm embrace of Alexís arms, breathing in her intoxicating scent. Even her orgasms with Alex had been overwhelming and all encompassing, like a bright light exploding deep inside and speeding out from her core, warming her all over.

Opening her eyes, she watched as Alex slipped in beside her, and once again Regina felt a firestorm of desire building inside. Reaching out her hand, she ran her fingers down Alexís stomach, teasing as she ran them through the curls below.

Alex bit her lower lip and closed her eyes, letting out a low growl as Regina continued her playful exploration.

"Youíre going to kill me." Alex captured her hand and brought it up, sucking on moist fingers and stepping closer so their bodies were pressed together. "Let me wash your hair."

A sensuous wave coursed through the blonde as sure hands ran through her long hair, lathering it thoroughly. Regina let out a small moan and leaned against Alex, resting her head against her chest.

"Oh, what are you doing to me?" Regina gasped, sliding her hands around and caressing Alexís buttocks.

"The same thing youíre doing to me, I think." The brunette walked her back under the spray and rinsed her hair. Watching Regina standing naked under the stream of water her eyes closed and head tilted back, made Alex want to make love to her all over again.

Turning the shorter woman around so the spray was out of her face, the brunette bent forward, gently capturing Reginaís lower lip between her teeth and sucked, slowly pulling it inside her mouth.

Hands slid around her waist, pulling her close as Regina steadied herself against Alexís body. "Mm, oh -" Reginaís words were cut off as Alex let the soap drop and curled one arm securely around her waist and slipped her other hand down her stomach. Her fingers slid between Reginaís thighs, teasing and promising more but not quite entering.

Regina gasped at the touch and pressed her hips into Alexís hand, wanting the contact and needing her inside. Yelping at the cold tiles pressed up against her back, Alex caught herself from slipping and stared down into sultry green eyes. "I think we should get out of here before one of us falls and busts a hip."

"I thought this was supposed to be the obligatory Ďletís make love in the shower sceneí?" Regina smirked up at her.

Alex rolled her eyes. "Maybe in the movies, but Iím not that acrobatic. Here." She gave her a lopsided grin and handed the bar of soap back to the blonde. Leisurely, they finished washing each other and climbed out of the shower.

Alex left Regina in the bathroom and stood by the bedroom window, dressed only in an oversized white tee shirt, looking out at the snow-covered landscape. She turned and smiled as the blonde walked over to her and wrapped her arms around her waist, snuggling close.

"I canít stop touching you." Regina nipped gently at Alexís breast through her shirt and watched with pleasure the reaction her touch had on the taller woman.

"I guess you feel more awake now?" Alex glanced down at her, the slightest hint of a smile playing at the corners of her mouth.

Regina poked her in the side. "Hey, itís not my fault, I was at the hospital for twenty-four hours straight and then was up most of last night."

"Uh huh, and whose fault was that?" Alex nudged her back, playfully reminding Regina of just who had ambushed whom several hours before dawn. "You just couldnít let me sleep, could you?"

Regina groaned and buried her head in her hand, knowing that further discussion along this topic were only going to get her deeper in trouble than she already was.

Alex took mercy on her and nuzzled her face in Reginaís hair. "Sorry, youíre just fun to tease, thatís all." Reginaís hair was still wet from the shower and Alex could smell the fresh scent of the herbal shampoo and soap on her body.

It was nice and somewhere inside stirred a memory, just beyond the reaches of her consciousness. Weird, kind of like hearing an old song and having all those emotions wash over you, bringing you back to that one moment in time. Alex blinked and shook her head discarding the thought as being disgustingly romantic.

"You must be hungry. I know I am." Regina patted Alexís stomach.

"Iím starved."

Regina felt the subtle change in Alexís breathing as she looked back out the window. "Whatís on your mind?"

Alex glanced down at the green eyes peering back up at her from underneath the blonde, wet, tousled hair. "Mm. You." She tilted Reginaís face up to hers and kissed her, feeling a stirring of desire course through her again. The tall woman tightened her arm around Regina as she felt her lean heavily against her.

"Oh," Regina breathed out, blinking to clear her vision and focus her thoughts. "I, umÖ Alex?"

Regina caught her breath as warm lips trailed down her neck, and she felt the terry cloth towel that was wrapped around her torso loosen and fall away, against the gentle but insistent tugging of Alexís fingers.

"Um, I thought you were hungry?" Reginaís hands reached up, trembling slightly as she slipped them around Alexís neck. Alex walked her back to the bed, laying her down on her back across it. The tee shirt grazed the blondeís naked skin and she gasped at the contact.

"I am." Alexís eyes twinkled as she crouched over Regina, pulling her arms up over her head, holding them there as she bent forward, and started kissing her.

******

Regina lifted her head and looked at the clock next to her bedside table. "You know, weíre not getting very far today."

Alex rolled toward the smaller woman and cocked an eyebrow upwards. "Really? I thought we were."

A pillow shot across the bed and smacked Alex in the head.

"Hey!" Alex grabbed it from Regina and pounced on top of her. "Careful, youíre going to get yourself in trouble here."

"Promises, promises." Regina challenged her playfully as she lay pinned beneath Alexís body.

"Donít push your luck." Alex rocked her hips against the woman lying beneath her and let out a low, guttural growl.

"Weíll just have to see about that." The young doctor smirked as she sneaked a hand out, catching Alex off guard, and tickled her just below her ribs. This got her rewarded with a frenzied wrestling match with both of them almost falling out of the bed - except that Alex grabbed the head board, catching them before they tumbled over the edge of the mattress. After a few minutes of lying on the bed and catching their breath, the two women lay quietly beside each other.

Looking at Alex, Regina saw something as their eyes met that raced through her like

electricity and then it was gone. "Alex -"

"Regina -" They laughed as they both spoke at the same time.

"You go first," Alex said, rolling onto her side and touching Reginaís face. God, you take my breath away.

Regina turned her face and kissed the palm of Alexís hand. "Can I ask you a question?"

"Yeah." The taller doctor shifted uncomfortably as she anticipated the question that was forming in Reginaís mind.

"What are we going to do about this?" Regina motioned between them with her hand.

Alex tilted her head and smiled, a relieved chuckle escaping her lips. Ok, well at least weíre not onto a more serious topic. "You mean, what are we going to do about us and work?"

Regina looked up at her and nodded her head, suddenly feeling like the entire world would know about them the minute they walked out of the condo.

She hadnít given much thought about how it would be for Regina at work after last night. Alex had walked down this road before and frankly she really didnít give a damn what other people thought about her. There was certainly a significant contingent of gay and lesbian employees at the hospital, but she kept to herself over the years and chose not to socialize with them except for the rare occasion that she went out with Sandy and Tina.

"People see what they want to see, Regina. Some people might think weíre just friends and others," Alex shrugged, "who knows? Let them think what they will. As long as we donít bring our relationship to work, nobody can say anything."

"What about Sandy? She asked me about us yesterday." Regina stared down at the rumpled sheets lying between them and nervously toyed with them.

"What did you tell her?"

"That we were friends."

"Well, we are friends. Right?" Alex replied, leaning in and gently caressing Reginaís lips with her own.

"I donít think she believed me. She said she wanted to throttle the both of us."

"She did, did she? Iím going to have to a word with that woman." Alex chuckled. "I donít think we have to worry about Sandy saying anything. Sheís known about me for as long as weíve worked together. The mystery was over the night we spotted each other in one of the local gay bars. We both just looked at each other and then laughed because there was no sense trying to pretend we didnít notice the other."

Regina leaned into the caress and sighed quietly. Rationally, she knew Alex was right. It was the side of the young doctor that was still reveling in the dizzying heights of passion that Alex brought her to, that wondered if by just looking at her, people would be able to see what she felt inside for this woman, when they started back at work in a few hours.

Later in the morning, as they readied for their shifts, Regina stood in front of the mirror, pulling her hair back into a braid and watching as Alex slipped into her clothes.

Sensing the residentís eyes watching her, Alex looked up from tying her bootlaces and returned the gaze into the mirror.

"Whatís on your mind?" She stood and stomped her feet, shaking her jeans down over the boot tops as she looked at her lover.

A blush crept up into her cheeks, as Regina realized that Alex had caught her pensive stare. "Nothing."

"Uh huh, and Iím Queen Elizabeth. I know that look Dr. Kingston, donít lie to me." Alex set her hands on the shorter womanís shoulders as she looked at their reflection in the mirror. "Well?"

Regina turned, wrapped her arms around Alexís waist and buried her head against the doctorís shoulder. "Itís nothing. Come on, we have to get to the hospital." Nothing, except Iím head over heels in love with you.

******

Alex propped her elbow on the desk of the nurseís station as she regarded the new residents milling about her uncertainly. Today the rotations were changing; it was out with the now well-trained, experienced residents and in with the new ones. God help me, she thought.

Marcus was staying on to give the report on the current patients and to help get the new residents settled before he left in two days for a short vacation. Regina, having missed a week with her suspension, although nullified by the board, was staying on to finish her time out before deciding what she was going to do after this rotation. Alex knew she had several offers on the table from various hospitals and clinics, including Xavierís pediatric department. She hadnít pressed Regina about what she wanted to do, deciding that despite her own personal feelings for the doctor, Regina needed to do what was best for her without any outside pressure. Besides, Alex thought, you have no claim on her.

"Ok people, can someone please start rounds? We donít have all day and I know Marcus would like to start his vacation as soon as possible."

She listened as Marcus stepped closer and started rattling off the vital statistics for each of the patients in the emergency department. Alex frowned at one point and shook her head. "Wait, back up. I want you to run a set of complete lab values on this guy in bed seven."

Out of the corner of her eye, she caught a flash of blonde hair as Regina emerged from one of the exam rooms. Her throat went dry and she swallowed hard as the resident turned and found the tall dark-haired doctor standing in the midst of the group, her eyes softening and a shy smile crossing her face before she walked to the sink and washed her hands.

Alex pulled her attention back to Marcus, nodding in agreement with his diagnosis. "So youíre getting a CT scan to confirm that, right?"

Marcus nodded. "Yes, heís on his way as we speak."

"Good, good, surgery wonít touch him without it." Alex glanced back to the space where Regina had been moments before, finding it vacant. She sighed and then realized Marcusí pupils were dilating, a look of panic setting in as he thought she was about to rip into him. "All right, weíve got an MRI in two, wound cultures pending in four, a CT scan in seven and an ultrasound in eight. Any questions?" She stared hard at the group. "If youíre not sure about something, find Dr. Kingston. Sheís your senior resident until the end of the week. Marcus, enjoy your vacation."

As the residents scattered to their various duties, Alex scanned the assignment board. She turned toward the sound of heels striking the linoleum floor and the Vice President came up beside her.

"Alex, I need to speak with you, now. Where can we go?"

"The lounge, if itís empty," Alex offered to the woman.

Alex held the door for Cassandra as they stepped into the staff lounge. "Sandy, would you give us a moment?" She motioned for the nurse to leave them alone.

The blonde looked up, surprised to see the Vice President standing next to the dark haired attending. "No problem." Quickly she gathered her clipboard and coffee before she slipped through the open door.

Cassandra turned to Alex as the door closed and crossed her arms. "Thereís a rumor going around and I hope you can shed some light on it."

"If I know anything."

"We have a drug distributor whom Dr. Jameson has been working closely with for the past several years." Cassandra paced back and forth across the room. "It turns out that the Office of Investigations is looking into this companyís practices and is filing a suit against them for fraud and malpractice. The trail has unfortunately led to our back door."

"Why arenít you talking to Dr. Jameson about this?" Alex leaned back against the counter and folded her arms.

"Heís refusing to cooperate and now heís got an attorney. Alex, I need to know if there are any more surprises before OIG ends up on our doorstep."

Alex met Cassandraís gaze. "While he was on medical leave I found some things in his office that were suspicious. I confronted him three days ago when I finally put everything together. I gave him a day to make up his mind how he wanted to handle it - come to you himself orÖ I guess he made his decision."

"Iím surprised you didnít call OIG yourself." Cassandra cocked her head and stepped up in front of the taller woman. "Why didnít you, Alex?"

"I probably would have, except someone gave me a different perspective on how to handle it."

The VP regarded Alex thoughtfully. "Well, Iím in meetings all day and tomorrow Iím off site until the evening. Bring what you have to my office and weíll go through it together."

"As soon as Iím done with my shift, Iíll bring it up." Alex walked over to the sink and ran some water before filling a cup with it.

"Good."

The attending took a deep breath as she walked out of the lounge behind the Vice President. She guessed that the medical director was running scared now that his carefully devised plan was falling down around him. She looked up as she heard her name and couldnít help the grin that spread over her face. "Hey, are you doing ok?"

Alex had purposely kept her interactions with the young resident to a minimum during their first shift back to work, sensing Reginaís awkwardness with this new facet to their relationship and how it might affect them.

"Yeah, fine." Regina pulled her eyes away from Alexís piercing gaze. Ok, breathe, Regina. Yeah right, youíre only standing inches from the woman you spent half the night making love to.

Sandy looked up from her work, as the two doctors approached. "God, Iím glad this day is almost over. They mustíve had a two for one sale today. I donít think Iíve seen this many people come through here with the flu at one time."

"I didnít see any signs posted out at the road. How about you, Regina?" Alex leaned on the counter and plucked a potato chip out of the bag that Sandy was holding and popped it into her mouth.

Regina, still recovering from her initial shock at her bodyís visceral reaction just stared at Alex in disbelief.

Sandy waved a hand in front of her face. "Earth to Dr. Kingston. You all right, Regina?"

"Yeah, Iím fine," she responded, looking up at the nurse, a perplexed expression on her face. "Why?"

Sandyís eyes flicked slowly over the two of them and rested on Regina. "You looked uh, flushed."

Regina dropped her head into her hands and groaned, feeling the warmth from the heated blush creeping up her face. "Great, this oneís making jokes, maybe Iím getting hot flashes."

Alex choked on the water she was swallowing and started laughing. Seeing the incensed look she got from Regina, she stepped back and held up a hand. "Sorry," she gasped in between coughing fitfully.

Sensing something else going on, Sandy looked back and forth between the two doctors and rolled her eyes. "Hey, weíre all going out Friday night, right?"

"Yeah, I thought we already decided that." Alex glanced down as the beeper on her waistband vibrated. She frowned, wondering who would be paging her to an outside line.

The brunette reached over the desk, grabbed the phone and quickly punched in the numbers, waiting for the operator to connect her. "This is Dr. Margulies."

The voice that came over the line sent a chill down her back.

"Well, well. If it isnít the illustrious doctor, herself. You should feel quite honored, Alex. Youíre the first person Iíve called since I posted bail." There was long pause as the doctor held onto the phone. "Whatís wrong, Alex? Cat got your tongue?"

"What do you want?" Alex shifted her feet and leaned on the desk, holding her head in one hand and wishing desperately she had taken the call elsewhere than at the desk. Now, whether she liked it or not, she was going to have an audience with Sandy and Regina standing on either side of her listening.

"How nice of you to ask. Tell me, howís your girlfriend? You know the cute blonde. The one that was following you around like a puppy last time I saw you." Dana started to laugh.

Alex turned away from Regina and lowered her voice. "Get to the point, Dana."

"The point, hmm, oh I remember now. Yes, there is a point somewhere." The voice on the other end of the line taunted.

"Are you drunk?"

"Nope Iím drunk and high. Get it right, Doc." Danaís voice turned suddenly menacing. "You bitch. You set me up Alex. I know you did."

"You got sloppy, Dana. It was just a matter of time before you got caught."

"Bullshit! I hate you, Alex. I hope you die and rot in hell."

"Dana, where are you?"

"What do you care, where I am?"

"Youíre Lanaís sister; I care. I donít want you ending up in the morgue with a toe tag on you."

"I donít need your help."

"Where are you?" Alex tried again. There was silence on the other end of the phone as Dana stubbornly refused to answer Alex. "Damn it, Dana. Youíre in enough trouble already."

"Iíll be seeing you Alex, real soon, love." The line went dead and Alex held the receiver in her hand for a moment, staring at it numbly before she placed it back in the cradle.

"Alex?" Regina asked, looking up at the dark haired woman with a worried expression on her face.

"Alex, I donít know why you waste your time," Sandy hissed at her from across the desk.

"Donít go there, Sandy. IÖI have to find her." Alex backed up a step, her eyes darkening at Sandyís remark.

"When will you learn? Nothing you say or do is going to change what Dana does with her life. She is not going to give up using drugs for anything or anybody. Least of all, you."

"Alex, wait." Regina hurried after the attending as she disappeared around the corner and banged through the ER doors. Regina caught the door as it slammed back off the wall into her and pushed it open, calling out the doctorís name out as she rounded the corner.

Alex hesitated and slowly turned around, waiting as Regina walked up next to her. "Can I walk with you?" the resident asked.

The doctor nodded her head and continued walking down the empty corridor. She pushed open the glass door and a blast of frigid air met them as they walked outside. Alex stuffed both her hands in her pockets, ducked her head against the wind and strode silently up the hill that led past the loading docks. She changed directions as an eighteen-wheeler beeped as it backed up the drive. The taller woman didnít have to look back to know that Regina was walking quickly trying to keep up with her.

The resident crossed her arms over her chest, tucking her hands under her arms. Her scrubs and cotton lab coat were little comfort against the cold wind and the snow that was blowing around them.

"Alex, slow down." Regina jogged along as the taller woman slowed her gait, allowing the blonde to catch up with her again.

"You know you are incredibly bull-headed, Alex. You donít even know where Dana is. Do you?" Regina stood in front of Alex defiantly blocking her path. "Sandyís right; whether you like it or not, itís Danaís choice to do what she wants with her life."

Regina shivered and looked down at the ground, studying her sneakers. "Listen, I know you feel like - you have to make things right, because of what happened with Lana, but ultimately itís Dana decision, not yours, Alex."

The doctor looked out off in the distance, her jaw muscles contracting as she clenched her teeth together. "I promised Lana Iíd take care of her. Hell of a job Iím doing, huh? Sheís like a bad penny that just keeps coming back. I donít know what to do anymore."

Regina stepped closer to the woman and took hold of her arm. "Alex, look at me."

Alex pivoted slowly and her blue eyes looked slowly at the blonde, then stared down at the ground. "Sheís going to keep coming back as long as she knows she can manipulate you. Donít you see, Alex? Youíve got to just let her go. Whatever happens, no matter how bad it is, you canít be there to keep picking her up." Regina let go of Alexís arm, afraid she had pushed too far. "JustÖjust think about it, Alex." The blonde shivered, her teeth starting to chatter from the cold. "Iím going back inside."

The wind whipped Alexís hair off her shoulders as she stood watching Reginaís retreating form. As the door closed behind the resident, the doctor turned and continued walking up the hill.

Regina didnít see Alex for the rest of her shift and she worried that the doctor had gone out looking for Dana anyway. The young woman, resolving to let doctor do what she felt she needed to, quietly finished her work. Later, in the locker room, she carefully taped a note to Alexís locker and then returned home alone.

******

Regina hurried to turn the key in the lock as she heard the phone ringing inside. She ran across the living room in her wet boots, almost falling on the hardwood floor in her effort to get to the phone.

"Hello?"

"Regina, itís dad."

"Dad? Is everything alright?" Regina sat down heavily on the couch, catching her breath as she listened. This was the last person she expected to hear from, considering the blow out she had with her mother over a month ago.

"Yes, everything is fine. Well no, itís not. Itís your mother."

"Oh, Jesus, whatís wrong? Is she sick?"

"No, no. I know you tried to call and even though she wonít admit it, this whole thing is killing her."

Regina hesitated. "She told you about me?"

"She didnít have to. I heard the whole thing from the living room."

"Oh."

"Regina, I wanted to know if you would come up this weekend and talk with her."

Regina groaned and buried her head in her hand. "Dad, you know I want to but Iím working all weekend."

"Oh." His voice became muffled as he turned and talked away from the phone.

"Mom doesnít know youíre calling me, does she?"

"No, she doesnít. It doesnít matter, Regina." He sighed before he continued. "If I find a way to bring her down there, will you talk to her?"

"Do you think sheís even going to want to see me?" She was surprised to hear his voice choke when he spoke again.

"Regina, I already lost one son, Iím not losing my daughter as well. I want you back. I want you both back."

Regina wiped tears away and leaned back on the couch. "Iíll talk to her dad. Have you talked to Jeff, yet?"

"No, thatís going to be a lot tougher. Your mother and I did a lot of damage to that relationship. Itís going to take a long time to repair all that."

"I think the sooner you start, the better, dad. Youíve lost so much time already."

"I know, little one."

Regina laughed softly. "You havenít called me that in years."

"Eh, your old manís getting sentimental. Let me get off this phone before I make a fool of myself."

"Youíre really going to bring her down here?"

"Kicking and screaming if I have to."

"I get off at nine tomorrow night."

"Weíll be there."

"Goodnight dad."

Regina pressed her head against the wall and sighed heavily before she hung up the phone. Over the next couple of hours, she tried unsuccessfully to distract herself by watching television and reading, but her thoughts continued to revolve around the fact that her parentsí impending arrival was coinciding with her newfound relationship with Alex.

She wasnít even sure she wanted to tell Alex that her parents were coming down. Things were complicated enough already without adding them to the mix. Oh boy, this is going to be interesting. Finally, unable to resist her bodyís need any longer, Regina drifted off to sleep as she lay on the couch.

It was shortly after midnight when the shrill ringing of the phone jerked her awake. She fumbled for the phone and mumbled a barely intelligible hello.

"Hi, I just read your note. I woke you up; IÖIím sorry."

Regina smiled. The familiar voice was deep and sensuous as it came over the phone line and her ears reddened as she felt the heat stirring in her guts. "No, itísÖitís ok. I fell asleep on the couch. Are you still at the hospital?"

"Yeah. We had a couple of admissions come in, so I stayed and helped out."

"Do you want to come over, Alex?" Regina inquired hopefully, staring into space and thinking about her lover.

"Arenít you getting tired of having me camped out at your place?" Alex joked to hide her nervousness. She found her thoughts frequently revolving around the blonde, wondering what she was doing throughout the day.

Regina blushed. "I hardly call one night camping out Alex, and no - I miss you."

"Give me ten minutes," Relieved, Alex chuckled softly into the phone. "Iíll be right over."

A short while later, Regina heard the Jeep pull into the driveway. Regina opened the door before the taller woman made it to the steps, letting Alex walk inside. The doctor looked tired and the stress from everything going on showed with the dark circles shadowing her pale blue eyes. After she shed her coat, scarf, and gloves, Alex reached over and pulled Regina into a tight hug.

"God, Iíve wanted to do that all day." Her arms pulled the blonde into a tight embrace and she buried her face in the smaller womanís neck, inhaling the fragrance of her perfume.

Regina reached up behind Alex and slipped the leather band off that held her braid in place. She ran her hands through the womanís thick hair, settling it around her shoulders.

"Are you ok?" Regina rubbed her hands over the bulky sweater that Alex wore.

Alex tightened her arms around Regina again, gathering strength from the contact. "Yeah," she breathed out. "IÖthanks for being there and talking some sense into me. Iím not sure what the hell I was planning on doing." She knew it was an automatic reaction for herself to try and help Dana. Sheíd promised Lana that she would take care of her, but despite all her efforts over the past year, Dana continued her uncontrolled downward spiral.

"She scares me. I donít want her to hurt you, Alex." Regina buried her head against the taller womanís shoulder.

"Donít worry, nothing is going to happen. I wonít let it," Alex reassured the young woman. The brunette lowered her head and gently kissed the soft lips. She felt a stirring sensation deep down in her belly as they slowly re-acquainted themselves; their caresses becoming more fervent as memories of their recent lovemaking ignited the passion that had been dampened by the long day at work.

After several more minutes, they slowly broke off their embrace and gazed quietly into each otherís eyes.

"Wow." Regina peered up at Alex, very aware of her racing heartbeat and the pulsing she felt between her legs. "That was some kiss."

The taller woman slid her arms around Reginaís waist, pulled her close and nibbled an earlobe. "Mm, letís see what else you like."

"Oh, thatísÖnot fair, Alex." Regina tilted her head back and groaned as her body began to tremble under her loverís touch.

Still holding onto her, Alex walked Regina backwards until the smaller woman was pressed firmly up against a wall in the bedroom. She ran her hands against the blondeís skin, running lightly over the swell of her breasts, smiling as she felt the nipples harden at her lingering touch.

Regina pulled Alexís head down to her and kissed her hungrily, their tongues and lips teasing each other. The blonde lowered her hands to Alexís hips, pulled her close and rubbed her body against the taller woman. "Oh, I want you so much."

Alex obliged her need by slipping a thigh up between the blondeís legs. "Thatís it, just let go," she coaxed her. The taller woman slipped Reginaís shirt off and ducked her head, first drawing one nipple and then the other into her mouth.

"Oh, your lips, theyíre so soft," Regina gasped, feeling the dampness from her arousal as she rocked her hips over Alexís muscular thigh. "Donít let me go; Iíll fall."

"Iíve got you." Alex worked the button free on the blondeís pants and tugged the zipper down. She slipped her hand down through the blonde curls and caressed her, tightening her grip around Reginaís waist with her other arm as she felt the younger woman tense against her.

"Alex, IÖdonít think I can come like this."

"Yes, you can. Just relax, youíre ok." Alex lowered her head and captured Reginaís lips in a heated kiss. She nibbled at her lips and tongue, as her hand continued to caress and stroke the younger womanís hot and swollen flesh. "Ah, Regina, youíre so wet. I want you right here."

The blonde closed her eyes and tilted her head back, her breaths quickening in response to Alexís touch. Her loverís tongue and lips played along her neck, slowly gliding lower over her breasts. Regina felt Alex move against her, kneeling in front of her and at the same time pulling her pants down so she could step out of them.

Alex rubbed her face over the silky skin of Reginaís belly, inhaling the scent of her arousal as she sank back on her heels and brushed her lips against the damp curls. She heard Regina moan softly as she pressed up against her, tasting the moistness on her lips.

The blondeís hands clenched and unclenched at her side, her hips undulating against the exquisite sensations coursing through her center. She clutched at Alexís shoulders, steadying herself against the tremors that threatened her legs to give out on her. "Alex, ohÖoh God. What are you doingÖto me?"

The dark haired woman pulled away, her fingers replacing her lips and tongue. "Making love to you, baby. Making love to you."

Reginaís head lolled forward and she held tightly to the shoulders in front of her. She gasped as Alexís fingers slid inside. Her hips moved in rhythm with the slow stroking movements that sent a fire speeding out from her center. "AlexÖI, oh right there," she whispered, her hands clutching Alexís arms. She cried out as Alexís tongue covered the engorged head of her clitoris and stroked over its length.

Reginaís words caught in her throat and she sobbed, her body and soul overcome by the intensity of her climax as Alex claimed her. She collapsed against the woman, holding onto her, panting from her release. "Oh, God. Donít move, just hold me."

"Iím right here." Alex continued to hold onto Regina as her body shuddered several more times.

"I canít move." Regina responded drowsily, her body limp and spent after she came. She gasped again softly as Alex removed her hand and stood up, gathering her into her arms. The blonde brushed the dark hair back, lifted Alexís head and kissed her mouth, tasting the evidence of her own passion.

Alex pulled back and searched her eyes, before she ducked her head and kissed the blonde thoroughly. Ah, Regina, never in my dreams did I imagine it could be like this. After a few minutes, Alex felt the blondeís body relax against hers. "Hey, are you falling asleep on me?" she teased, wrapping her arms tighter around the woman.

Regina lifted her head off Alexís shoulder and smiled crookedly, stifling a yawn. "Mm, you make a nice pillow."

Alex looked down at the smaller woman and patted her side affectionately. "Right now, you look like you could fall asleep standing up. Come on."

The resident didnít resist when Alex tugged her into the bedroom and crawled into bed beside her.

"I think I could fall asleep on a bed of nails," Regina said, as she leaned into Alexís body.

"I think the bed is a much safer option, donít you?" Alex whispered as she nuzzled Reginaís neck with her lips. Her fingers drew a lazy pattern over the firm muscles of the smaller womanís stomach, dipping lower between her thighs.

Regina curled against Alexís body, sighing in contentment. "Youíre incorrigible," she whispered, her mouth closing softly on the earlobe in front of her.

Alex shivered at the touch. She slid her arm back up around Reginaís waist and pulled her close. "I canít help it. You drive me crazy."

Regina rested her head on her hand as she watched the doctorís eyes drift shut. I never dreamed I could feel this way, want someone the way I do you. I love you, Alex Margulies.

Alex felt Regina watching and turned her head, looking over at the blonde. "I thought you were sleepy. Now, whatís going on inside that head of yours?"

The blonde closed her eyes and shook her head. "My father called before you came over."

Alex propped her head up on her hand and raised an eyebrow. So, your fatherís the one that breaks the ice. She remembered what Regina told her about her fight with her parents. "I guess that was a surprise."

Regina blew out a breath and ran her finger over the sheets between them. "Yeah, he wants to bring my mother down here, tomorrow - to talk."

The brunette noticed the pensive look on her loverís face, slid her hand under Reginaís chin, and lifted her face up. "How do you feel about that?"

Regina shrugged her shoulders. "I donít know what Iíll say to her that will change how she feels."

Alex let her hand caress Reginaís cheek as she studied her face. "Youíre not going to change how she feels, Regina. Sheís the only one that can do that. Just be yourself."

Regina smiled and reached out, sliding her hand into Alexís larger one and entwined their fingers together. She brought the womanís palm to her lips and kissed it gently, then slid it down so it covered her heart. "I want to spend more time with you. I donít care what we do; just being togetherÖit makes me feelÖwhole." When she looked back up she saw the startled expression on her companionís face.

Alex swallowed nervously as her mind registered what Regina said to her. "I make you feel that way?"

The blonde let go of Alexís hand and ran her fingers through her loverís hair. Her hand rested lightly on the nape of her neck and she rubbed the soft skin, eliciting a low growl from her companion. "Yes, you do. You have no idea how amazing you are to me. You make me feel alive, Alex." She smiled as she saw the wide-eyed look of shock on Alexís face.

Alex shook her head. "How can you say that, after everything Iíve told you? I see things in you I wish I could be, your strength, your courage -"

"Alex, I think I lost track of how many times youíve taken care of me or protected me from Derrick."

"Iím not talking about that kind of strength, Regina. What you have inside, thatís what makes you strong." The taller woman touched the blondeís chest with her hand. "I donít have that kind of strength."

"Yes, you do. Youíre alive and here, and talking to me. If you didnít have that strength, you wouldnít be here right now." Regina pulled her into a tight embrace.

Alex wrapped her arms around the smaller woman as if her life depended on it. "I wouldnít have made it through the past few months if it hadnít been for you," she whispered hoarsely.

"You would have found a way, Alex," Regina reassured her, keeping up the gentle rhythmic pressure of her hand on her neck.

"I did find my way, you."

Regina lifted her head and looked quietly into blue eyes that reflected back to her an understanding that extended beyond words. Wrapped securely in each otherís arms they held each other, content to drift peacefully off to sleep comforted by each otherís presence.

Part 19

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