By M.E. Tudor


Pat stepped into the shower gingerly. She didn’t make the water as hot as she usually liked it so that it wouldn’t hurt her scraped hands and knees more than necessary. Within a few minutes the curtain pulled back and Kelly shyly stepped into the shower. Pat turned away from the water to look at the body she had been dreaming about for weeks. As she suspected, Kelly had full breast with large rosy aureoles surrounding hardening nipples that Pat longed to touch but her throbbing hands reminded her that she couldn’t use them tonight.

Kelly stood to the back of the shower nervously watching Pat study her body. She felt very self conscious of her full figure in comparison to Pat’s lanky one. She had wondered about Pat’s breasts that Pat seemed to cover up with shirts that were loose. Kelly didn’t know why she wouldn’t want people to notice them, they were perfect. She stepped closer to Pat, reaching up to cup the orange sized breasts with small tight nipples. Kelly’s mouth watered. She longed to taste these beautiful fruits but when she ran her tongue over her lips she was reminded that her mouth was out of commission.

Pat rolled her head back into the water and sighed when Kelly rolled her nipples between her fingers. Pat looked down into Kelly’s darkening eyes. They were going to hurt each other tonight, it was inevitable. She knew that she would try to be conscientious of Kelly’s sore lips but she didn’t know if she could go all night with out kissing her.

The look in Pat’ eyes reflected what Kelly was feeling. She wanted to make love to her in a ravenous manner but knew that they had to try not to get carried away with their passion.

Pat moved closer to Kelly and wrapped her arms around her without touching her with her hands. She pulled her into her and kissed her forehead, her cheeks, the corners of her mouth and down her neck.

The water ran over the two of them as they pressed into each other. Kelly ran her hands over Pat’s back and down to her buttocks. She moaned when she cupped Pat’s butt, feeling the heat coming from Pat’s core as she pressed Pat into her.

“We have to get out of here.” Pat said breathlessly.

Kelly nodded. She stepped out of the shower and held her hand out to help Pat out. She started to hand Pat a towel but changed her mind an started toweling Pat off. Pat stood there staring down at her with her brown eyes ablaze with passion. She pulled Pat to her and kissed her. She tried to ignore the pain in her lips but she couldn’t she pulled back and tentatively touched her swollen lips.

“Sorry,” Pat whispered.

Kelly smiled, “Don’t be sorry. I did it. I just want to kiss you so badly.”

“I know, Baby,” Pat said as she leaned her forehead against Kelly’s, “I want to touch you but I know I can’t and it’s driving me nuts.”

“Let’s get into the bed and just see what we can do,” Kelly leaned down and gently patted Pat’s legs dry then quickly toweled off herself. She took Pat’s arm and led her to the bed.

“Lay down,” Pat urged huskily.

Kelly did as Pat bid her to. She laid there and watched as Pat gingerly got onto the bed. Pat’s dark eyes raked Kelly’s body. Pat found a position that didn’t hurt her legs too much and began kissing Kelly. She gently kissed the corner of her mouth that was not her hurt, her cheek, by her ear, then began moving her lips down Kelly’s throat. Kelly let out a soft sigh as Pat’s soft hair brushed over her shoulders and breasts. Pat ran her tongue over Kelly’s nipple, pulling it gently into her mouth making Kelly moan.

Pat moved lower, kissing Kelly’s stomach and sides. She moved again and winced at the pain in her knees and hands but she was determined to find a position where she could taste Kelly and not hurt herself too much.

Kelly moaned softly as Pat continued her way down her body and settled between her legs. Kelly opened her legs to allow Pat plenty of room to access the place between her legs that ached for Pat’s touch. She tried not to arch too much when Pat’s tongue finally found her but it was hard. She knew Pat wouldn’t be able to use her hands to move her body the way she wanted it so Kelly tried to follow Pat’s movements. It was a successful plan. When she moved with Pat and opened herself up more to her, Pat sucked Kelly’s clit into her mouth making Kelly cry out.

Pat rode out the waves of Kelly’s orgasm despite the pain she was feeling in her hands and knees. She had waited so long to have Kelly this way and she was savoring it.

She let Kelly settled down before working her way up to her. She kissed her gently on the side of her mouth that was not swollen. “You are so beautiful,” she whispered.

Kelly touched her tongue to the corner of her mouth where Pat had kissed her. She could taste herself on her lips. She wanted so much to give Pat the same treatment but knew she couldn’t. She wasn’t sure how to use her hands to please Pat but she knew that Pat would help her.

Kelly leaned over Pat after she had gently rolled her onto her back. She wanted to kiss her so badly but the throbbing in her lip reminded her that she couldn’t. She straddled Pat’s hips and ran her hands on Pat’s taunt breasts. She gently squeezed her nipples, making Pat moan.

Pat lifted her hips so that Kelly could feel her wetness. Kelly scooted back and gently nudged Pat’s legs apart. Pat took Kelly’s hand and put in on her where she wanted her to touch her. Pat opened her legs more and was surprised when Kelly slid two fingers inside her wet folds. “Oh my God.” Pat whispered.

Kelly stroked Pat inside and out. Pat’s sighs and whispers of encouragement told her what she needed to do. Kelly moved her dripping fingers over Pat’s clit and strummed it until Pat cried out.

Pat reached down and took Kelly’s hand, bringing her fingers to her lips and licking them. Kelly moan and pushed herself down on Pat’s thigh, wetting Pat leg with the new surge of want that had come over her but stopped when Pat whimpered.

“I’m sorry.” Kelly whispered.

“It’s okay.” Pat said, pulling Kelly down beside her with the good part of her hand. “That was amazing. Now let’s just lie here and cuddle.”

Kelly snuggled up to Pat, making sure she wasn’t touching her scraped knees. She tucked herself into the crook of Pat’s arm and put her head on Pat’s shoulder. Pat settled her arm around Kelly with her hand lying across Kelly’s stomach. They fell asleep like that and slept until morning.



The most wonderful night of Kelly’s life ended abruptly with the beating on the motel room door. “Hey sleepyheads!” Rick hollered, “It’s time to get up.”

Pat groaned and rolled out of bed. She walked to the door with a slight limp. She opened it a little and peaked out at Rick, “Go away.”

Rick laughed at his sister’s disheveled appearance. “Hey, it’s not my fault you didn’t get much sleep last night.”

Pat glared at him.

Rick laughed harder. “Did you forget that we have a breakfast date?”

“Oh yeah,” Pat moaned. “We’ll be ready in a few minutes.”

“Okay,” Rick snickered as he walked away.

“Jerk,” Pat said as she closed the door. She turned around to see Kelly sitting on the side of the bed stretching in all of her naked glory. It made Pat want her again but she knew they wouldn’t have time for that this morning.

Kelly looked at Pat, who was standing by the door staring at her. She grinned and got off the bed. She went to Pat and wrapped her arms around her, molding their bodies together and kissed her deeply.

Pat ran her hands down Kelly’s naked back and pulled her into her. Pat moaned into Kelly’s ear when she felt Kelly’s hot core against her legs. “You have no idea how much I want to make love to you again.”

“Yes, I do,” said Kelly as she kissed Pat again. She pulled back and looked at the heat in Pat’s eyes. “I want to make love to you again too but I’m afraid we would be interrupted in the middle of it, then we wouldn’t get showers and would go to breakfast smelling like the wild sex we just had and everyone would tease us relentlessly.”

Pat grinned, “Yeah.” She furrowed her brow like she was debating about whether or not the teasing would be worth it.

Kelly laughed and grabbed Pat’s hand, “Come on.” She said pulling her towards the bathroom.

* * * * * *

Rick and Dale were leaning against the wall outside of Pat and Kelly’s hotel room waiting on them when they finally emerged from their room. They were freshly showered but also flushed from the hot lovemaking session they had in the shower. Rick and Dale gave them a knowing grin which made both of them blush.

“Ready?” Rick grinned.

“Yes,” Pat said taking Kelly’s hand.

They went downstairs and outside where it was already starting to warm up. It was early autumn but the days were still quite warm and humid. Denny’s was busy with breakfast in full swing. Brandy and Bruce were already there. They had the manager let them push two tables together so the six of them could sit together.

Kelly was starving. The only thing she had tried to eat in jail was the oatmeal at breakfast and mashed potatoes at dinner. She figured those were the two things that anyone could make and it taste okay. As soon as they had all sit down, Kelly stated that she was getting the buffet. She grabbed Pat’s hand and pulled her to where the breakfast buffet was laid out. Everyone else joined them after the waitress had been told what they wanted to drink and that everyone was getting the buffet.

Once everyone was sitting down again, the conversation immediately went to what kind of work Rick had going on in Colorado. Bruce was very interested in hearing about what kind of work Rick might be able to get him. Bruce told Rick that he hadn’t had steady work in almost a year. Rick and Kelly assured him that he wouldn’t have to worry about being busy.

The conversation moved to what needed to be done about Kelly’s situation. It was too early to call the attorney’s office. Rick and Dale decided that they would all head downtown after breakfast and wait for the attorney’s office to open so they could catch the attorney before he had to head off to court.

When everyone was done eating, Brandy looked over at Kelly, “You really should go by your mother’s house.” Kelly closed her eyes and sighed. Brandy went on, “Samantha is staying there with her new son.”

“God,” Kelly sighed again. “I can’t believe that I’m a grandmother.” She sipped her coffee then asked, “Why isn’t Sam living with her new husband?”

Brandy shook her head sadly. She knew that Kelly and Samantha had never gotten along but she also knew that Samantha had been through a lot that might have actually changed her outlook on life too. “He never became her husband. When she told him she was pregnant he dumped her and moved on to the next girl.”

Kelly dropped her head. She had only felt a little guilty for leaving with Sam pregnant but Sam had been so cocky that day and talked like the father of the baby already knew about the baby and that they had already planned to get married. “I’ll go by to see her.” Kelly stated, knowing that she was not looking forward to the confrontation that would come from her mother.

They all left the restaurant. Brandy and Bruce when home. Everyone else piled up into Rick’s truck and went to the attorney’s office.

Michael Whittinghill did not seem a formidable man to look at him. He was only five foot, four inches tall, had a slight build and was balding. All four were surprised when a booming, confident voice came out of the small man’s mouth.

“Having problems with Steve McCluskey?” Michael growled, “You’ve come to the right place. I put a stop payment on a check for over thirty thousand dollars that I wrote to him in good faith that he would do a good job on my house. He had come highly recommended from a good friend of mine so I trusted him.”

“I wonder if that’s the thirty thousand he’s trying to say I took from him?” Kelly wondered out loud.

Michael looked at Kelly, “You seem very familiar to me.”

“I’m originally from here. My real name is Sandy McCluskey but went I went to Colorado I started going by Kelly Dean. Partially because I didn’t want to be Sandy McCluskey anymore, mostly because I didn’t want Steve to find me.”

Michael nodded. “That’s how I know you. I went to school with your brother, Tony.”

“Oh really?” Kelly smiled, “Were you two friends?”

“Oh yeah. In fact, I had just gotten an email from him last week about you having disappeared. He was certain that Steve had done something to you.” Michael took out a fresh legal pad. “Let’s get started. I have to be in court at eleven, so I think I can get enough of the information by then to get started.

Kelly told Michael about how she left and why. She told him that she had taken three thousand dollars of Steve’s payroll money but that she had sent it back to him in a certified check by certified mail. She told him about Steve coming to Colorado after her and then attacking her last night on the sidewalk.

Michael wrote quickly and nodded while she talked. She told him about Steve having filed charges against her saying that she had stolen thirty thousand dollars from him. “I’ve never known him to have that much money at one time and he definitely didn’t seem to have it when I left.”

“Are you sure about that?” Michael asked, stopping writing to look at Kelly intensely.

“According to Steve, he didn’t have the money to make the house payment after he paid his helpers.” Kelly stated. “He didn’t let me do much with the money but I had seen the bank statement from the month before and it said that he had about five thousand dollars in the bank.”

Michael nodded and wrote some more on the legal pad. He took Rick, Dale and Pat’s addresses. “You all can go back to Colorado and I’ll handle things here. I don’t think you’ll be having anymore trouble from Steve McCluskey.” He stood and shook everyone’s hand. “Kelly Dean? Is that what you want your name to be when the divorce is final?” He asked Kelly when he got to her.

“Yes.” Kelly said confidently.

“I’ll get it done.” Michael opened the door and let them all out.

“All right,” Rick said when they got outside. “Let’s go back to the motel and get packed.”



Kelly was pacing by Pat’s jeep when Pat came out of the hotel with the last of their bags. “What’s wrong?” She asked.

“I’m nervous about going to my mother’s.” Kelly said as she wrung her hands.

Pat took her hands in hers and made Kelly look at her. “It’s going to be okay. They can’t hurt you anymore.”

Kelly nodded and got into the Jeep. She gave Pat directions to her mother’s house. They had promised Rick and Dale that they would be back in less than two hours. Kelly was glad to have a time restriction so she would have an excuse to get away if she needed to.

Pat followed Kelly’s directions and shortly they were driving through a very quiet neighborhood at the edge of town. The houses were small but nice. Pat was surprised. She didn’t know exactly what she had expected but this wasn’t it. They pulled up in front of a small, one story house with a short, white picket fence.

“This is it,” Kelly stated with her hand on the door. This is the house I grew up in.”

Pat looked around the small yard. It had a lot of wildflowers, roses and peonies in the front and side yard. It looked like something right out of Better Homes and Gardens. That was until a large woman, who only slightly resembled Kelly stormed out of the house.

“Where the hell have you been?” The woman bellowed at Kelly, “Sandra Jean, you should be ashamed of yourself. How in the hell could you leave you children and husband and just go off like that, especially when your daughter was expecting a baby? That was one of the most selfish, childish things you have done to date. And your poor little baby girl,” The woman went on, just barely taking a breath, “Here she was all alone having this baby. The daddy done run off and her daddy put her out. And where was her mama? Who the hell knows ‘cause she didn’t care enough about her own family to call or nothing. Now what do you have to say for yourself?”

Pat stood there shocked. There was no: How are you? Are you okay? We’ve missed you. Nothing. Pat looked over at Kelly for her reaction.

Kelly, who had stood there silently flexing her jaw while her mother berated her, pointed to Pat and said, “Mom, this is my girlfriend, Pat. Pat this is my mother, Barbara Dean.”

Barbara Dean looked Pat up and down then turned back to Kelly, “Is that all you have to say?”

Kelly looked up at the house, “Is Samantha here?”

Just then, the door burst open and a young woman who looked a lot like Kelly hurried out with a small baby in her arms, “Mom!” She cried. She came up to Kelly and hugged her, then stepped back, “Here’s your grandson, Mikey.”

Pat could see the tears flowing down Kelly’s cheeks as she took the small baby boy and held him to her. Kelly looked up at her daughter and pulled her into her arms.

Kelly was in awe of this tiny baby that had come from her daughter. She was sorry now that she hadn’t been there for his birth but there was no way for her to know that her daughter had wanted her there. In the past, Sam would have not wanted Kelly there.

As Samantha hugged her mother, she whispered in her ear, “How on earth did you live with that woman?” She asked referring to her grandmother.

Kelly started laughing. She was still crying and laughing. “It was very, very hard.” She whispered back and kissed her daughter on the cheek. She stepped back and motioned to Pat, “Samantha, this is Pat. Pat this is my daughter.”

“Hi,” Pat said quietly as the girl studied her.

“Why didn’t you introduce her as your girlfriend to Sam?” Barbara demanded.

Kelly looked at her mother and smiled. Pat took a step back because she could see the imaginary horns coming up out of Kelly’s head. Kelly reached out and grabbed Pat’s hand before Pat could get too far away. She pulled Pat closer and put her arm around her. “Sam, Pat is my lover.” She pulled Pat down and kissed her on the lips to the gasps of her mother and sister, who had just arrived at the house, and the giggles of her daughter.

Samantha looked at the ghastly look on her grandmother’s face and burst out laughing. “It’s nice to meet you, Pat.”

“Oh my God! Sandra, have you lost your mind? Are you trying to give Mother a heart attack? What the hell is the matter with you? You leave without a word, you’re gone for months and then you show back up and kiss a woman in your mother’s front lawn for all the neighbors to see.”

Kelly looked around to see if they had drawn an audience. Fortunately for her mother, they hadn’t because she might have done something far worse than kiss Pat. Kelly motioned to her sister, “Pat, this is my sister, Brigitte.”

Brigitte glared a whole into Pat, “Where the hell did you find her, Sandra? And what is this bullshit I hear about you changing your name? Wasn’t the name your parents give you good enough?”

Kelly looked at Pat who was fairly pale. “You know Brig. I missed you and mom too. I’m sorry that I don’t have time to stay and explain myself to you but we are getting ready to go back to Colorado.”

“Take me with you,” Samantha begged.

“Ungrateful child,” growled Brigitte. “Mama took you in and cared for you while you were pregnant and now is giving a home to you and your bastard son because you are too lazy to work. How dare you ask your mother for help now? Where was she when you really needed her?”

“She had gotten herself the hell out of here and I don’t blame her.” Samantha stated in her mother’s defense. “All of us treated her awfully, especially me,” Samantha turned to Kelly, “And I am so sorry. I had no idea what all you were going through with Dad and Donald. I knew how Grandma and Aunt Brigitte talked to you but I was just too selfish and stupid to care. Now that I’ve been through some things I feel so awful about my part in all that and I’m not angry with you about leaving. I would have too.”

Kelly put her arms around her daughter and her grandson. “Thank you. I am so proud of you for seeing a little of my side of things.”

Samantha nodded and kissed the baby’s head. “This little guy has taught me a lot.”

Kelly kissed his head too and kissed Samantha on the cheek. “I can’t take you with me right now but…”

“Why can’t you?” Pat interrupted. “There’s room in my Jeep for her and the baby.”

Kelly looked at Pat, “Are you sure?”

Pat smiled lovingly at Kelly, “Yes, I’m sure. I also have a small house that I might be able to work something out with Samantha, so she and little Mikey can have their own place.”

“That would be great.” Kelly said, realizing how much she wanted a second chance with her daughter. “Get your stuff together and we’ll be back to get you in about an hour.”

“You can’t do this.” Barbara cried. “I’ve taken that girl in and provided for her and now you’re going to just come in here and swoop her away.”

“How much did it cost you, Mom?” Kelly demanded. “You give me a price and I’ll send you the money.”

“It’s not about the money.” Barbara said putting her hands on her hips.

“It’s the principal, right?” Kelly asked. “It’s about you having to take some of your precious time away from your church friends or your gossip buddies will talk about you having to care for your granddaughter, isn’t that right? It’s just another way that I’ve embarrassed you because I didn’t turn out to be the perfect little princess that Brigitte is. I didn’t turn out to be the perfect little girl who did exactly what her mama said. That’s why you’ve always cut me down isn’t it, or was it because Dad liked doing things with me and Anthony more than he liked doing things with you?”

“That’s enough!” Brigitte said getting in between Kelly and her mother. “You just take your dyke self and your slut daughter back to Colorado.”

Kelly drew her fist back to punch her sister right in the mouth but Pat grabbed her arm. “Come on,” she coaxed.

Samantha stood there in shock. She had always wondered why there were so many issues with her mother, her aunt and her grandmother and this shed a little light on it.

Barbara turned to her granddaughter, “Go get your stuff out of my house, hussy. You can go with your mother now you ungrateful piece of shit.”

Kelly went for her mother but Pat stopped her again. “Samantha just run and get what you have to have.” Pat called over her shoulder.

Samantha ran into the house holding her son to her tightly. She looked around at the couch she had been sleeping on with the baby. All she really had was the suitcase of clothes she had brought from her fathers and Mikey’s diaper bag. She grabbed up all of their things that she could see and went back outside.

Kelly was in the Jeep fuming. Pat was waiting for her. She grabbed Samantha and Mikey’s stuff. “Get his car seat.” Pat told her.

Samantha took Mikey to her grandmother’s car. She grabbed his car seat and lugged it over to Pat’s Jeep. Pat helped her get it secured in the Jeep and helped her get in with the baby. Samantha could see her mother’s clenched fists in her lap. Pat was saying soothing things to her, trying to keep her calm so they could leave.

After they had driven away, Pat turned to Kelly, “I would never has suspected that there was such a wild cat under that soft skin.”

Kelly couldn’t help but grin. She reached over and squeezed Pat’s hand, “Thank you for stopping me from killing my sister and mother. I would really hate to go to jail over those two but I think I might have been able to get off on the insanity plea.”

“For real,” Samantha chimed in from the back seat. “I have always wondered about the problems between you, Brigitte and Grandma but, now that I’ve lived with both of them, I totally understand why you don’t like them. They are awful people.”

Kelly turned in her seat to look at Samantha and Mikey. “He’s very beautiful, Sam.”

“Thank you,” Samantha smiled smoothing back the wisps of hair from her son’s head. “He’s had a bit of a chaotic life so far but I’m hoping that is all going to change.” Samantha looked at Kelly, “I am so sorry I was such an ass to you. I was so stupid to listen to all of Dad’s lies. He made you out to be lazy and stupid and I should have seen that was not true. He completely undermined everything that you tried to do with me and Kevin just so we would love him more.”

“How is Kevin?” Kelly asked.

“He’s a jackass just like Dad,” Samantha growled.

Kelly nodded. She wasn’t surprised that nothing had changed with Kevin. “Is he working with your dad?”

Samantha sighed. “Yeah, they’ve been good buddies since you and I both left. They turned the house into a bachelor pad and have been partying pretty much every weekend.”

Kelly nodded again. Once again she wasn’t surprised by Steve or Kevin’s behavior. “What about Mickey’s father?”

“Jason disappeared as soon as he found out that I was really pregnant.” Samantha looked at Mickey sadly. “He hasn’t even seen him.” Tears slipped from her eyes, “And Mickey looks just like him.”

Kelly reached back and squeezed Samantha’s hand. “It’s his loss. It may be better for you if he doesn’t come around. It gives you more control over the baby and you can leave the state without him being able to stop you.”

A terrified look came over Samantha’s face. “I hadn’t thought of him being able to stop me from leaving the state. What will I do if he finds out I’ve left and tries to make me come back?”

“Has he claimed Mickey?” Pat asked, looking back at Samantha in the rearview mirror.

Samantha shrugged. “I guess not. His parents know about Mickey. They’ve seen him but they don’t have anything to do with him. I’m sure they’ve told Jason about Mickey but he hasn’t tried to call or anything.”

“Does he pay child support?” Kelly asked.

“No.” Samantha said as she reached into Mickey’s diaper bag for his bottle. Mickey was making whining noises but stopped as soon as he was given his bottle.

“You don’t have to worry about him stopping you from leaving then,” Pat stated. “If he hasn’t made any claim to the child and is not paying child support he can’t stop you from leaving. Is his name on the birth certificate?”

“No. The nurse working the day I was filling out the information said I should wait to put his name on there until I had the paternity test done. I guess she did me a favor suggesting that, huh?”

“Yes, she did.” Kelly said, squeezing Sam’s hand again. “Both of you will be better off by yourselves than with a man who doesn’t care about you.”

Sam smiled at her mother. She wished now that she had allowed her mom to be closer to her when she was younger but maybe now they could make up for lost time.



The trip back to Colorado was a long but good trip. Kelly and Samantha talked about a lot of things that had never been spoken between them before. They made peace with each other, both agreeing to start their relationship fresh.

Pat and Kelly had also talked extensively about their relationship. They talked about their dreams and desires. They also talked about what they expected from each other. Pat had wanted Kelly, Samantha and Mickey to move in with her when they got back to Colorado but Kelly talked her out of. She assured Pat that a few nights with an infant in her house would make her glad that Kelly insisted that she and Samantha live in a different location. By the time they had gotten to Colorado, Pat was in full agreement. The little over two days spent with a fussy baby was enough to make her appreciate her quiet house when she did finally get home.

Kelly was excited to find out from Rick that Brandy and Bruce had put their house up for sell and were preparing to move to Colorado. They had also told Rick that Steve was being charged with several accounts of fraud. Michael Whittinghill had gone out of his way to find as much stuff on Steve that he could and got Steve charged with a truck load of stuff.

Marge had been ecstatic to see Kelly come back. She welcomed Samantha and Mickey into her home as if they were her own grand children. She fawned over Mickey as if he were the first baby she had ever seen.

Kelly couldn’t be happier. She had made amends with her daughter and was going to get to be part of her grandson’s life. Marge had really become a surrogate mother to her and was taking in her family as well. Rick had made her a supervisor over several jobs in Montrose and bought her a truck to drive.

Best of all, she and Pat had become closer. They were completely honest and open with each other. Pat and Rick’s parents had also taken Kelly, Samantha and Mickey in as a part of their family. Kelly was still surprised by how all these people, these strangers, had taken her in and made them a part of their world and made her feel welcome there.

* * * * * *

Christmas was in two days and Pat was rushing around trying to get the last of her shopping done. She had ordered a special gift for Kelly and it still hadn’t arrived yet. She was panicking because if it didn’t get there before Christmas it would ruin her plans.

She had finally talked Kelly into moving in with her over Thanksgiving and had moved Samantha, Mickey and Marge into a house close to theirs. Marge had become sick shortly before Thanksgiving and her brother talked her into selling the motel. He wanted her to move out to his farm but Marge didn’t want to live with him and his wife. Samantha had offered to help take care of Marge and let her live with her and Mickey.

It had been a precious moment to see Kelly’s face light up when Pat had told her that she was moving the three of them into the house down the road from them. She was hoping to get an even better response from Kelly when she gave her the Christmas gift she had ordered, if it got there before Christmas.

Kelly knew Pat was up to something. She wasn’t exactly being secretive but she seemed to be looking for something to arrive at the house, either by mail or delivery. Kelly had her own surprise for Pat that she had bought as soon as they had come back from Kentucky.

* * * * * *

Christmas day arrived with a beautiful snowfall. The ground was completely covered with a thick layer of white, fluffy snow. Samantha, Mickey and Marge had spent the night with Kelly and Pat so that Santa Clause could visit Mickey and everyone would get to see him open his presents.

Pat was up at dawn cooking breakfast. Kelly came into the kitchen about an hour or so later. She came up behind Pat and put her arms around her. “Merry Christmas, Sweetheart.”

“Merry Christmas to you too,” Pat said and turned in Kelly’s arms, kissing her thoroughly.

They heard Mickey squealing in the living room. They went into to see Sam trying to keep him out of the brightly colored presents. “Mickey, you have to wait, baby.”

“Wait for what?” Marge asked as she came into the living room. “We’re all here. Let that boy have at it.”

Sam let Mickey go and he crawled over to the presents and began pulling and tearing at them. Kelly had made sure that only his presents were where he could get to them. Sam helped him open his presents while the other three women drank their coffee and laughed at the little boy’s antics. They started exchanging the adults’ gifts when Mickey got done opening his and was quietly playing with one of his new toys.

Pat was waiting until they went to her parents’ house for dinner later to give Kelly the present that finally arrived yesterday at the last minute.

Pat didn’t know that Kelly had a gift for her that she was also waiting to give to her at Pat’s parents’ house.

Just as they were about to sit down for breakfast, they heard a snowmobile approaching. “Who on Earth,” Pat asked looking at the window to see two men pulling up her drive on a snowmobile. One she recognized as Bruce Wilson.

“I bet that’s Mom’s Christmas present from Brandy and Bruce arriving.” Sam said with a big grin.

Kelly looked at Sam. What on Earth could Brandy and Bruce have gotten her that wouldn’t wait until they saw them tomorrow. She was about to find out.

There was a loud knock at the door just as Pat opened it. The two men stepped into the mud room and began knocking the snow off their coats and boots. Bruce took his ski masked off and grinned at Pat. “Merry Christmas!”

“Merry Christmas, yourself.” Pat said, studying the other man who had not taken off his ski mask.

Kelly came into the mud room. She walked up to Bruce and hugged him, “Merry Christmas.

“Can I have a hug too?” The man with Bruce asked and took off his ski mask.

“Tony!” Kelly cried and threw her arms around her brother.

Pat’s mouth dropped open and she looked at Bruce. Bruce just grinned from ear to ear.

“We didn’t think he would be here until tomorrow,” Bruce explained, “but when he arrived last night we decided to bring him over first thing this morning.”

Kelly looked from Tony to Bruce, “You and Brandy brought him here, didn’t you?”

“Kind of.” Bruce grinned.

Tony smiled at Pat, “You must be Pat.” He held out his hand to her.

“Yes,” Pat took his hand with a slight smile. She was quite surprised by Kelly’s brother’s sudden appearance on her doorstep and the fact that he didn’t look anything like Kelly. He was very tall and slender with dark hair and eyes. Brigitte had looked very much like Kelly and their mother, who had graying auburn hair and blue eyes.

Kelly grinned at Pat’s surprise. “Tony took after our father who was three-quarters Cherokee Indian. Brigitte and I took after Mom’s side of the family.”

“Wow,” Pat breathed. “It’s a good thing Bruce brought you out. I would have never believed that you were Kelly’s brother.”

Tony looked at Kelly, “I like the name change. I think dad would have too.”

“How on earth did your father end of with a name like Dean Kelly if he was three-quarter’s Cherokee?” Pat asked.

“Mammaw was a full-blooded Cherokee and Pappy was half Irish-American and half Cherokee. His father’s family was originally from upstate New York. They named dad after Pappy’s father, Marcus Dean Kelly.”

“Wow.” Pat stated. “Well, I’m glad you’re here. Why don’t all of you come to my parents this afternoon for dinner?”

“No,” Bruce shook his head, “Brandy and I wouldn’t want to impose on your family’s gathering.”

“Yeah,” Tony agreed. “This is a time for you and your family.”

“Well,” Pat smiled at Kelly, “You all are a part of my family now and my mother would love having extra people there to eat up the masses of food she has made.”

“Are you sure?” Kelly asked uncertainly.

“Yep, in fact, I’ll call her and confirm.” Pat went into the house and got the cell phone. She dialed her mom and dad’s number. Her mom picked up right away. “Merry Christmas to you too. Hey, would you mind if Kelly and I bring some more people to dinner this afternoon?”

“How many more, not that I care, I just wanted to be prepared.” Pat’s mom said over the phone.

“ Just three more, you had already planned on Marge, Sam and Mickey being there, right?”

“Of course we planned on them being here.”

“Kelly’s brother just arrived and I had wanted to invite Bruce and Brandy anyway. Are you sure it’s okay,” Pat asked as she was standing in front of everyone at her house, Bruce and Tony had moved to the living room and were playing with Mickey.

“Absolutely, the more the merrier,” Pat’s mom smiled into the phone.

“Wonderful! We’ll be there at four. Tell dad, Merry Christmas and we’ll see you in a little bit.” Pat hung up the phone. “Okay, it’s settled. Everyone is going to my parents house for dinner this afternoon.



Pat and Kelly had been out to see Pat’s parents when they first came back from Kentucky, so they knew all of Kelly’s story now. They had been very understanding and supportive. Becky was completely enamored with Mickey. She made a point of telling Rick that Sam and Mickey would probably be her only grandchildren and great-grandchildren since Rick refused to think about having a family and Kelly and Pat weren’t going to have anymore children.

Rick had just rolled his eyes at his mother’s suggestion that he adopt some children and raise them as a single father. Rick told his mother that he was still waiting on the perfect woman. He had looked over at Kelly and winked, “I might have gotten the perfect woman if Pat hadn’t a snatched her up first.”

Kelly loved that they could all cut up and tease each other without fighting and harsh words. She would never have believed that she would have a family that got along so well. Kelly smiled as she looked in the rear view mirror at the convoy of cars heading up Pat’s parents drive. Just nine months ago her life was horrible and her spirit so low, she thought it was beyond repair but today she was completely happy and would be even more so if Pat accepted the gift that she had gotten her for Christmas.

Becky and Richard Bryant were standing on the front porch waving as everyone drove up. Pat and Kelly bound out of the Jeep, followed by Sam and Mickey. They went up onto the porch and hugged both parents. Sam and Mickey were hugged too, just as if they really were their granddaughter and great-grandson. They were followed by Rick and Marge, who had ridden with him. Finally, Bruce, Brandy and Tony came up to the porch. Becky hugged all three of them and Richard shook their hands.

“Let’s get inside and eat,” Becky announced after everyone was on the porch. They followed them into the dining room that was set up like a buffet. Everyone filled their plates then went into the living room that had been set up like a dining room so they could all sit by the fire place.

Becky really enjoyed cooking for the holidays. She had made everything she could think of to suit everyone’s tastes. There was ham, turkey, rolls, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, along with a wide array of pies, cookies and homemade candies.

Everyone stuffed themselves until they couldn’t eat anymore. The conversations around the table were light and funny. It was a wonderful dinner with wonderful family and friends. Kelly looked around the table as everyone was finished up and getting ready for coffee. She had never had a Christmas this wonderful in her entire life.

The women went into the kitchen to make coffee for everyone while the men stirred up the fire. Bruce, Brandy and Tony insisted that they were only going to stay long enough for coffee. They didn’t want to stay too late from another snow storm on the way, plus they knew that Pat’s family still had gifts to exchange.

Kelly waited until she knew that Bruce and Brandy were about ready to go and then made her announcement. “I’d like to give my Christmas gift to Pat while you are all still here. You guys are my family and I want you to be here for this.”

Pat looked at Kelly in surprise. She had her own gift that she wanted to give Kelly before everyone left. It would just be incredible if they both had the same plan for each other.

Kelly was so nervous about what she was about to do. She knew that Pat’s family loved her and was very accepting about her relationship with Pat but that didn’t make this any easier. She went to her coat and took out a small package that was clearly some sort of jewelry box. She handed it to Pat. “Merry Christmas, Pat. Please go ahead and open this.”

Pat was sure she knew what Kelly had gotten her but she was shocked when she opened the box. She put her hand over her mouth that had dropped open. She went to look up at Kelly who had been standing over her to see that Kelly had got down on one knee and took her hand.

“Pat Bryant, will you marry me?” Kelly asked nervously.

A tear rolled down Pat’s face as she reached out and wiped a tear off of Kelly’s cheek. “Only if you’ll marry me.” She said as she took a small jewelry box out of her sweater pocket and handed it to Kelly.

Kelly’s mouth dropped open when she opened the package. Pat had picked out the exact same ring to give to her. Kelly laughed and got up to hug Pat. “Yes, I’ll marry you.”

Pat looked over at her parents who were both wiping tears away and Rick was trying to keep from crying. Bruce and Tony were grinning while Brandy was crying in earnest.

“That is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.” Brandy sobbed.

Kelly went to her and hugged her, Bruce and Tony. “I’m so glad you all were here to see this.” She cupped Tony’s face, “And, I expect to see you when we actually have our ceremony.”

Becky’s expression turned serious, “Where are you guys going to be able to go to get married?”

Pat looked at Kelly and smiled, “Canada.” She pulled out train tickets for everyone except Tony. “I’ll have to order another ticket for Tony, but I’ve got tickets for us all to go to Canada so we can get married in the Canadian Rockies.”

“When did you have time to do all this?” Kelly asked.

“I’ve been working on it since we got back from Kentucky.” Pat grinned.

“So, when are you planning to do this?” Becky asked.

“I thought it would be a wonderful way to start out the summer. I have reservations for the trains and wedding ceremony set up for June twenty-first of next year, I hope everyone can work things out to come.” Pat said looking around the room. Her eyes fell back on Kelly, who was looking at her with a raised eyebrow.

“Pretty sure of yourself, aren’t you?” Kelly grinned.

Pat grinned back, “No, actually I was allowing extra time just in case I had to do some more convincing to get you to marry me.”

Everyone in the room laughed and Kelly went to Pat and kissed her. “I could I say no to someone as beautiful and wonderful as you?”

“Ahhhh.” Brandy smiled, “Ya’ll are so cute. I can’t wait to help Becky plan to wedding.” Brandy winked at Becky.

“Oh yeah, I think we should start now.” Becky laughed.

“What do you think about pink and yellow being their colors?” Brandy asked Becky, in mock seriousness.

“Oh, I think those would be beautiful colors for those to girls.” Becky grinned at Pat.

“Maybe we should think about eloping,” Kelly whispered to Pat.

“Good plan,” Pat smiled mischievously, “But I think we should go home and start working on the honeymoon now.”

Kelly looked around the room. The men had turned on a football game and Becky and Brandy had gone into the kitchen. “I don’t think anyone will miss us.”

“Me either,” Pat said as she took Kelly’s hand and let her to the mud room. They put on their coats and boots. Pat cupped Kelly’s face and kissed her soundly. “Don’t we have a great family?”

“Yes,” Kelly said looking back through the window and seeing everyone eating cookies and watching the football game. “Yes, we do.”

The End

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