MY SISTERS KEEPER
By Mavis Applewater
For disclaimers, see Part One.
A special thank you goes out to my overworked beta reader, Joanne.
As always, this is for Heather.
When they arrived back at Katies apartment, Jenny had managed to convince herself that the intimate contact shed had with Lizzie was nothing more than a shared lapse in judgment. As Lizzie unlocked and opened the door, Jenny had decided to simply forget that it had happened. She wasnt prepared for the sight of Katie staring at both of them with an angry expression. For a brief moment Jenny feared that Katie had discovered the truth about their past and present, although Jenny was confused as to what exactly was happening in the present.
"Lizzie," Katie hissed and Jenny breathed a sigh of relief when she realized she wasnt the one who was in trouble.
"What?" Lizzie spat out, suddenly sounding very much like the teenager Jenny had once loved with all of her heart.
Katies eyes drifted to meet Jennys. The look of fear in her superiors eyes made Jennys heart beat faster. "Charles Englewood," Katie said in slow careful tone.
Jenny felt a rush of panic run through her at the name. Dear God! Shes been in South America! Please tell me she didnt do anything stupid, Jenny thought frantically.
"Youve heard of him?" Lizzie responded calmly.
Jenny stood there wondering how Lizzie could be so relaxed. Maybe shes lost her mind? Thats it; shes crazy. It would certainly explain everything, Jenny mentally reasoned.
"Heard of him?" Katie shouted, barely able to contain herself. "Lizzie, this guys gives the other drug lords a bad name!"
"Yes. Well, he can be a most disagreeable person," Lizzie responded thoughtfully.
"Hes a sadistic killer!" Katie bellowed, her body trembling.
Lizzie just stood there; the picture of calm. Jenny blinked as her jaw hung open, trying to understand just what was happening. "Lizzie, Im damn glad to see you but just what kind of trouble did you get yourself into?" Katie pleaded as Jenny watched the scene unfold, feeling completely helpless. "How did this happen?" Katie wept as Lizzie wrapped her arms around her taller sibling.
"Its okay," Lizzie comforted her older sister. "Katie, it will be okay."
The words sent a shiver down Jennys spine. Why did I leave you that night? her mind screamed as she blamed herself once again for failing to be there for her young lover. Lizzie led her sister over to the futon and sat her down. Jennys feeling of hopelessness grew as she watched the tiny blonde take her sisters hand in her own. Katie seemed to relax slightly from Lizzies touch. "Just over three years ago, the church sent me to a very rural community just outside of Columbia," Lizzie began her story.
"But youre a teacher?" Katie protested. "Why did they keep sending you to places like that?"
"Because they need teachers," Lizzie responded in a calm voice.
Lizzie was a teacher? Jenny still found the concept hard to grasp. Lizzie was the one whod never wanted to go to class. When they were growing up, Lizzie never once mentioned wanting to become a teacher. Of course, back then Jenny had never considered becoming a cop either.
Jenny began to pace nervously as Lizzie continued her story. "The place they sent me to was as I said, very rural and it was a bit of a hot spot. " Jenny was amazed at how calm Lizzies voice remained. "I was needed there. These were good people caught between politics and criminals. Everyone wanted to exploit them. Very often the criminals and the politicians were one and the same. Thats where Englewood comes in. He wanted the villagers to grow crops for him - the wrong kind of crops. They resisted. Father OBrien, Father Desposa, and I helped them refuse. When things began to get tense, the Peace Corp workers were pulled out. Our superiors had warned us to stay out of what they referred to as the local political climate. Im certain in light of recent events that youre aware that the church can be really good at burying their collective heads in the sand." Katie nodded in understanding as she silently encouraged her younger sister to continue. "We couldnt. We lived there with these people. How could we just stand back and allow them to become a part of something they didnt want? How could we simply stand by while innocent people were murdered and forced into slavery? Englewood failed to take over the village. And with our small help, his hired guns ended up behind bars."
"Which pissed him off," Katie added with a hint of pride.
"You could say that," Lizzie sighed in agreement. "So how do you know about this?"
"My boss called me to talk," Katie explained. "OBrien has taken the churchs offer to be placed out of the country in an undisclosed location. You and Father Desposa refused. The DEA wants to put both of you in protective custody. Inspector Gillette thought that I might be able to talk some sense into you."
"No," Lizzie flatly refused. "I know Englewood and Im not going to be locked away because he has a grudge against me. I came home to get my life back and Im not going to delay that again. I want to live my life, starting with having dinner with you and Dad tonight."
"Lizzie, the Catholic church can hide you anywhere in the world," Katie vehemently protested.
"No," Lizzie argued. "Im tired of running and hiding. Im over thirty years old and I have no idea who I am. Plus Englewood seems to have a lot of other problems that don't include one pesky little nun. Hes under investigation, and from what I understand, its just a matter of time before hes locked up."
"True," Katie conceded.
"A man like that doesnt just ignore it when his prides been hurt," Jenny interrupted, unable to remain silent any longer.
"Ive been home for a couple of days," Lizzie pointed out. "Ive been out in the open. Im staying with two cops. Hes too busy trying to keep his sorry butt out of prison. The only thing that worries me is that even if they do lock him up for the rest of his life some other low life is just going to take his place."
The room fell into a heavy silence. Jenny knew that Lizzies reasoning was true. If Englewood had wanted her dead, he would have at least tried before now. Fear still gripped her heart. "Please stop pacing," Lizzie addressed Jenny, finally breaking the uneasy tension that hung over them. Jenny scowled as she halted. Her fingers reached up to her long dark tresses, which she absently began to play with. It was a nervous habit shed had throughout her entire life. "And dont twirl your hair. It drives me nuts," Lizzie scolded her.
"Whatever." Jenny scowled as she rolled her eyes.
"Bite me," Lizzie shot back.
Jenny was suddenly lost in the familiar playful banter theyd shared in their youth. She bit back the urge to inquire just where Lizzie would like her to bite her. Yet she was unable to keep the question out of her smoldering gaze. Lizzie blushed as she pursed her lips in response to Jennys unspoken teasing. "Lizzie, may I suggest something?" Katies question broke through the growing intensity of their feelings.
Lizzie cleared her throat and tore her gaze from Jennys. "Uhm, sure," Lizzie squeaked out and Jenny stifled a giggle.
"Ive already discussed it with the DEA; theyre not thrilled but they agree that it might work," Katie carefully began to explain. "What if Jenny and I kept an eye on you? It would only be until Englewood is locked up or you go off to Zaire. That is, if you go to Zaire."
"What do you mean?" Lizzie asked. She seemed to be considering the suggestion.
"I mean that the department gives us a little extra assignment and we hang around you," Katie explained. "We could take the boat out and just enjoy ourselves and keep an eye on you."
"So the two of you would be babysitting me?" Lizzie pressed with a hint of discomfort. "I dont want to disrupt either of your lives."
"It wouldnt be like that," Katie stressed. "Plus it would look good for both us. The Feds are planning on calling you as a witness since you have direct knowledge of Englewoods illegal activities. Think of it as a chance to hang out with your big sister and an old buddy from high school wholl just happen to be armed."
"I still have my teaching assignment," Lizzie pointed out.
"Which is only a couple of days a week," Katie argued. "In the meantime we can go sailing, do some camping, fun stuff like that. You can help Jenny look for an apartment."
"Sounds reasonable," Lizzie agreed. "And it would give me an excuse to avoid Mom. All right. But only if the two of you swear I wont be putting a crimp in your lives."
"What life?" Jenny snorted, relieved that Lizzie would be under their watchful gaze.
Wait! Did I just agree to spend my days and nights watching over my ex-lover? Jennys mind suddenly panicked as Katie excused herself to get ready for dinner. What am I thinking? I almost kissed her after spending a few hours with her!
"You should be ashamed of yourself," Lizzie teased her in a husky tone from her spot on the futon. Jennys eyes widened in surprise as a shiver traveled down her spine. "Teasing a nun." Lizzie wagged her finger at her playfully.
"What did I do?" Jenny feigned innocence as she recalled the look theyd shared.
"Dont try to play innocent with me, Miss Jacobs," Lizzie cautioned her as the blondes tone maintained its teasing quality. "I know that look you gave me." Lizzies emerald eyes darkened. Suddenly Lizzies face turned ashen and her eyes filled with the same sense of panic Jenny was feeling. "Forgive me," Lizzie said in a frightened tone just above a whisper. "Maybe this isnt such a good idea."
"Too late," Jenny responded harshly, somehow blaming Lizzie for the new predicament they found themselves trapped in. Lizzie seemed flustered as she turned away to get ready for dinner with her father. Left alone with her thoughts, Jenny tried to steady herself. Just keep reminding yourself how she broke your heart, Jennys inner voice instructed her harshly.
A few hours later Jenny found herself unable to sleep; Katie and Lizzie were still out. The thought that she would once again be bunking with Lizzie made her uncomfortable. "I need to find my own place," Jenny muttered as she absently flipped through the television channels. "I dont know why this is getting to me," she grumbled as she tossed the remote down with a frustrated growl. "Its not like I cant control myself," she berated herself, wondering if she should be concerned with the fact that she was talking to herself.
Once again she invoked the image of a younger Lizzie lying in the arms of another woman. Her teeth clenched in hatred. "Still, as bad as what Lizzie did, at least she wasnt the freak Erika turned out to be." Jenny rolled her eyes at the memory of the tall Nordic woman shed met her freshman year of college. "Now women like Erika should come with warning labels." Jenny scowled as she recalled the first time shed seen the tall blonde strolling across campus.
The blonde stood over six feet tall and she strode confidently across the lawn. The autumn sun had illuminated her fair skin and her long blonde hair. Jennys eyes were glued to the upper class womans firm backside, which was accented by her tight blue jeans. "Wow," Jenny exclaimed in amazement, thinking that the woman looked like shed just stepped off a magazine cover. Jenny was elated later in the week when she discovered that she was actually in the same literature class as the older woman.
For weeks Jenny had lustfully watched the leggy blonde from afar. She almost went into a full panic attack when Erika actually spoke to her one day after class and invited her to study with her. For the life of her, Jenny couldnt understand why the vision of beauty would want to talk to her. Everyone noticed Erika. Heads spun whenever she walked by. If Jenny had paid closer attention, she might have noticed that several women shied away when they saw Erika approach.
Jenny had been so enamored with Erikas beauty that she never noticed the chilly reception the blonde received from other women. If she had only taken the time, she might have been prepared for what happened. They studied together for a couple of weeks and Jenny had to fight to keep herself focused on the study topic. Inevitably her mind would wander to lustful images of Erika. It didnt help that Erika was always touching her. The one thing Jenny was grateful for was that they always studied in the busy college library.
Then one day Erika invited Jenny to come over to her dorm room to just hang out for the evening. Jenny was both terrified and thrilled at the idea of spending time alone with Erika. Jenny recalled how she had to wipe her sweating palms on her jeans before knocking on the door to Erikas room. She checked her attire quickly as the door slowly opened. It was too late to change, plus she had already tried on five different outfits before she had to dash out of her own dorm room.
Jennys mouth went dry as she drank in the sight of Erika standing in the doorway clad in a pair of faded jeans and a loose-fitting black cotton oxford; it hung slightly open, giving Jenny an ample view of Erikas cleavage. "Ive been waiting for you," Erika offered with a sensual purr that reverberated through Jennys body.
"Hi," she squeaked out in embarrassment.
Her pulse was beating rapidly as Erika guided her into her dorm room by taking her by the hand. Jennys body tingled as her eyes adjusted to the dim lighting of the room. Erika had forgone electricity in favor of candlelight. Ironically Jennys body was humming with enough energy to light a city block as she sat on the floor dangerously close to Erika.
Jenny reluctantly accepted the glass of wine Erika offered her; she wasnt much of a drinker and she was underage. Still, she hoped the alcohol would help calm her nerves. She struggled to hold up her end of the casual conversation as Erika leaned her long body slightly into her. Jennys eyes continually drifted to the swell of the older womans cleavage.
Against her better judgment, Jenny accepted another glass of wine. She wouldnt have refused Erika anything when she whispered the request hotly in her ear. Jennys body was trembling and her hard nipples strained against the material of her silk blouse. She suppressed a deep moan when Erikas hand came to rest on her quivering thigh. "Do you like the wine?" Erika whispered in her ear as Jennys clit began to throb in a steady rhythm.
"Yes," Jenny managed to choke out as she felt her jeans become damp with desire. Jenny was terrified that she was going to spontaneously combust when Erika dipped her index finger in her own glass of wine and traced Jennys trembling lips with the sweet nectar. "Taste it," Erika growled into her ear, her lips brushing Jennys skin.
Jenny was trembling as she slowly licked her lips, savoring each drop. "Its good, isnt it?" Erika offered huskily as her tongue began to trace Jennys ear. Jennys eyes fluttered shut as Erika dipped her tongue playfully into her ear. She was panting heavily as she felt Erikas mouth explore her neck; Erika relieved her of the glass of wine that was threatening to spill on the carpet. "Youre very beautiful, Jenny," Erika whispered against her skin as she lowered Jenny down onto the worn carpet.
Jenny gave herself over to Erikas touch as strong hands began to explore her body. She opened her eyes, wanting to capture the vision of Erika making love to her. Jennys body was crying out as Erikas hands became more insistent, cupping Jennys breasts. Jenny was lost in the feel of Erika unbuttoning her blouse, kissing her newly exposed skin. It had been so long since shed felt or invited another womans touch. Not since . . . her mind ground to a halt as a familiar pain stabbed at her heart.
"Just relax," Erika encouraged her softly. "Im going to teach you." Jenny was far too busy trying to expel Lizzies image from her thoughts to grasp what Erika was saying. She felt her blouse being opened and her bra undone. Erikas tongue traced her nipple slowly as Jennys demons slipped from her mind. The feel of Erikas mouth capturing her nipple and her long blonde hair tickling Jennys skin freed her from the past. "Im going to make love to you, Jenny," Erika promised as she released Jennys nipple from the warmth of her mouth. Erika lowered her body down and Jenny arched in response. "Im going to show you what it means to be loved by a woman," Erika promised as she feasted upon Jennys neck. "Then after youve learned the pleasures of being loved by a woman, I am going to teach you how to make love to a woman."
Jennys eyes flew open as she finally grasped what this woman was saying to her. Thoughts of correcting Erikas misunderstanding flew from her mind as Erika once again suckled her nipple greedily. Jennys body arched as her hips swayed against Erikas firm body. Jenny was thrusting urgently as Erika teased her aching nipple with her teeth and her tongue. "Thats it, baby. Let go. Let me show you," Erika encouraged her as she began to kiss her way further down the swell of Jennys breasts.
Despite her bodys urgent need to continue, her heart couldnt. A misconception was no way to start things off with Erika who was being so gentle and loving. "Erika?" Jenny pleaded as she tried to squirm away from the taller woman.
"Its all right," Erika reassured her as she lifted her head. Erikas hazel eyes gazed deeply into Jennys crystal blue eyes. She leaned down to capture Jennys lips. Jenny stopped her by placing her fingers against Erikas soft lips.
"Erika," she repeated softly. "Ive made love to a woman before," she reassured her soon-to-be lover with a sweet smile.
She was completely unprepared for what happened next. Erika yanked her body away and jumped to her feet. "What?" Erika demanded bitterly as she glared at Jenny.
"I said Ive made love to woman before," Jenny repeated in bewilderment as she sat up.
"How could you deceive me like this?" Erika demanded as she stormed across the room and flipped on the lights.
"Deceive you?" Jenny stammered as she blinked at the sudden brightness.
"What about the guy who keeps coming to visit you all the time?" Erika fumed as Jenny scrambled to her feet.
"Robby?" she questioned as her mind tried to understand just what was happening. "I dated him for a short time last year after my girlfriend and I broke up," Jenny tried to explain.
"You had a girlfriend?" Erika spat out as Jenny just stared at her. "I think you should leave," Erika demanded. Jenny was speechless as Erika threw open the door.
In a mass of confusion and humiliation, Jenny stumbled out into the hallway. Erika slammed the door behind her. "What the hell just happened?" she blurted out as she quickly began to button up her blouse, noticing a woman averting her gaze. Suddenly the woman stopped and turned to the bewildered and embarrassed Jenny.
"You must have just been introduced to the ice princess," the woman commented in a sorrowful tone.
Jenny hastily tucked her blouse back into her pants. "I dont think Im going to like this," Jenny grumbled as she approached the small brunette. "Im Jenny by the way."
"Emily, and welcome to the club," Emily explained as she guided Jenny towards her room.
"The club?" Jenny choked out in horror as she stepped into Emilys room.
"Yes, the club," Emily answered with a heartfelt sigh. "The Im a notch on Erikas bedpost club."
"But Im not," Jenny protested, realizing that Erika had just played her for a fool.
"Huh?" Emily responded in confusion.
"Almost," Jenny confessed as she sat down next to Emily on her bed. "But she kicked me out."
"Thats not like her." Emily blinked in confusion. "Normally she wouldnt toss aside a chance to deflower some young thing."
Jennys jaw clenched in anger as reality slammed into her thoughts. "Now I get it," Jenny fumed as Emily looked at her curiously. "Erika only sleeps with women who havent slept with a woman before?"
"Yes," Emily sadly confessed. Jennys heart dropped as she realized that Emily had been one of Erikas conquests. She captured Emilys trembling hand and offered her a shy smile. "So why did she throw you out?" Emily asked.
"Because when things started to . . . well, you know," Jenny began to explain.
"Unfortunately I do," Emily confided.
"I told her that she didnt need to show me the way," Jenny explained in amusement. "I had a girlfriend in high school." Jenny smiled at how good it felt to just be able to say it after all the years of hiding the truth.
"She must have freaked," Emily exclaimed in glee. "Tell me everything. Its not often I get hear about someone taking the ice princess down a notch."
Jenny smiled at the memory of the night she and Emily became friends. Theyd talked all night long and still remained friends to this day. "I need to call her," Jenny said thoughtfully. "Shell probably do a happy dance about Wendy. I should have listened to her about that one. Maybe shell have some advice about Lizzie," she pondered. A scowl formed on her lips as she realized that shed never told Emily everything about Lizzie. Shed never told anyone the whole story. It had just hurt too much. "Still does," Jenny confessed in the darkness.
Jenny was suddenly stirred out of her musings as the front door opened and the light flipped on. Lizzie and Katie entered the apartment, each sporting a smile. "Hey, kiddo," Katie greeted her with a smile as Lizzies expression dropped slightly.
"You two have fun?" Jenny offered as Lizzie looked at her in concern.
Katie told Jenny about the dinner while Lizzie kept a watchful eye on her. After Katie excused herself to go to bed, Jenny looked at Lizzie. "Yes?" Jenny asked.
"Are you all right?" Lizzie asked in concern.
"Fine," Jenny clipped.
"Sorry. You just seemed a little . . . ," Lizzie began to explain.
"Just a lot on my mind," Jenny cut her off gently. "You know, the breakup and all."
"She was a fool," Lizzie offered. Jenny stared at her in bewilderment as her mind screamed, What was your excuse?
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