Chapter 48

Michelle, sitting on the carpeted library floor, closed tired eyes, leaned back against the half empty bookshelf and listened to the sounds around her. Somewhere in the library a printer whirred; the doors beeped a someone entered and exited; and feet shuffled over the carpet as patrons moved from aisle to aisle. Right beside her, in a small section of the Kid's Corner designated for smaller children, Toby sat, cooed and shook his favorite toy in contentment. The combination of the subtle noises coud not blot out the patter of rain against the building's windows and roof.

Fair brows were drawn in concentration. Michelle listened to each sound, seperating them and hoping they would drown out the uneven beat of her heart. Fear, anger, and regret made the organ thump with purpose against her ribcage. It should have hurt, but things were beyond pain. It was agony, and in the mist of it, her body betrayed her, forgetting its usually smooth movements--moving jerkily one moment and slowly as if through mud the next. Even her insides felt cold and foreign as if they did not belong.

Silently, the blonde brought legs that felt like lead up to her chest and wrapped her arms around her knees. Through it all, her mind was alert and aware of life continuing around her as well as the possible ceasation of her own carefully structured existence. Michelle swallowed hard and rubbed trembling hands over her jean clad legs. She wanted to cry, but the tears would not come. They're coming for me. I knew they would. It was only a matter of time, and I don't know if I'm more scared or angry. I have a life now, and I can't abandon it for Toby's sake and for mine. They would win. The petite woman snorted inwardly. Maybe either way they'll win, but not like this. She opened her eyes and glanced at her son. No, not like this. He deserves this life and so do I. I can't hide. There must be something we can do. Her thoughts turned to Bobbi. She looked more scared than I was, but of all people I thought she would understand why I can't run from this.

Maybe I would have a couple months ago, but not now. It's time to make a stand. I knew that it was time as soon as the words came out of her mouth. It has to end, and I will do whatever I have to do to be the one standing. I can't take anymore of that life. That Michelle is dead. I know that just as sure as I'm sitting here. Somehow, some way, I have to fight for Toby, for my life with Bobbi, for everything. I don't understand why she can't see that. Michelle ran a hand through her shoulder length hair. The appendage returned to rest at the bridge of her nose where fingertips squeezed in hopes of relieving the tension that coiled around her head like a tight band. To top it all off, we had our first argument. Michelle sucked in a shaky breath. "Please God, help Bobbi to understand. I need her. I can't lose her. I can't," she muttered. The regret trodded to the forefront as she recalled the heated words they exchanged.

Toby sat on his mother's naked thighs, but somehow the toddler was able to reach the water anyway. Michelle chuckled as she watched him splash and make waves in the warm bath water. With sure hands, she kept hold of his slippery naked body as they lounged in the bathtub. Having finished washing long ago, it was now time for play and closeness. It was during these times that as a mother, Michelle could see the changes and growth in her child from size to the awareness now gleaming in blue-green eyes. "Being here is so good for you," the blonde thought.

Michelle laid back against the cold tile happily as Toby squealed and squirmed in delight. It was early yet, giving them time to dawdle, but as the water started to cool, the blonde extricated them both to avoid catching a chill. Wrapped in towels, they made their way back to the bedroom. The petite blonde pushed open the door to see the tall doctor standing there with her back to them. Broad shoulders were slumped, and the brunette's lanky body seemed to sag. Taz stood at her side. He whimpered as if he could feel the tension. "Bobbi? What's wrong?"

Bobbi turned around slowly, and Michelle was immediately stricken by the fear etched in sculpted features. Her heart dropped to her stomach, and a single audible breath whooshed out, sounding more like a pained whimper. The blonde tightened her hold on her son and took a tentative step forward, knowing something was terribly wrong. "Bobbi? Wha--?"

"Beatrice. Someone. . .named Beatrice called." Bobbi's voice was scratchy, shaky and full of emotion.

Michelle stopped mid stride. Her eyes widened and her mouth fell open, but neither worked properly. The blonde's vision tipped and blurred, and her mouth open and shut, emitting no coherent sound. The last few months flashed before her eyes in rapid succession. She saw the beginning, and suddenly, Michelle could see the end. A pained keening sound exited her throat, and before the blonde could realize what was happening, strong arms engulfed her.

"They. . .know?" Michelle croaked.

Bobbi squeezed the blonde, careful of the now whimpering baby. "No, um, she said that she was the only one who knew. She was warning us. She seems to think that it's a matter of time. Men have been hired to look, Chelle and look hard." With each word, the doctor's voice trembled as did her body. "God, we've got to get outta here."

Michelle held onto the doctor's lanky form for dear life. Under her ear, she felt the incredibly fast beat of the brunette's heart as well as each intake of raspy breath. The sounds and the feel of the woman around her was life personified, and to go back meant destruction. "I-I can't go back," the blonde uttered huskily.

"No, you can't. We'll get away from here. There's gotta be somewhere we can hide until this blows over," Bobbi added.

Bile rushed up into the blonde's throat. 'Hide? I can't hide anymore. I'll never stop hiding, never stop running because they'll always be looking,' an inner voice whispered. The squirming child caught her attention. 'That's no way for him to live. I have to fight this. There's got to be some way. . .' she said to herself. "I can't---"

Misunderstanding, Bobbi went on, "I know. We'll pack some clothes and get some money together like the plan we had a while back. We can take the Caddy--"

Michelle fought free of the embrace and stepped back until her back brushed against the door. "No! I can't go. We can't go," she finished with a whisper.

Green met blue and silence stretched between them. Different levels of fear and determination clashed, thickening the air around them. Michelle stared into pale blue eyes, seeing the lost expression spilling from them. Arms that were holding her seconds before, still lingered in the air. The doctor's large hands clenched at the emptiness before falling limply at her side. Bobbi took a stop forward. "I can't lose you. Either one of you." Her lips trembled as she spoke and azure eyes shined with unshed tears. "We have to go. Don't you understand?" The doctor pleaded. "My life would be shit."

Michelle swallowed and shook her head vehemently. Almost a year ago, she gathered the strength to leave, now as she stood there, she gathered the courage to make a stand. "We can't. What kind of life would that be for Toby? For you? Your life is here with this practice. My life is here. Can't you see that? We have to think--"

"What kind of life?! At least we'll be living! What does it matter how we live?" The brunette's face flushed in fear and sudden anger. "You're not making any sense! Think about this. This doesn't sound like you! Think about what it could mean for Toby and for you. He could kill next time he hits you!"

"I am, and it is me! It's who I've become, and if we run now, we'll always be running. They'll never stop unless I make them stop! I won't let anyone walk all over me again!" Michelle's voice rose along with her determination. Her chest heaved with every breath and her heart threatened to beat out of her chest.

Bobbi's hands clenched into fist. "How are you going to do that?!" She husked.

"I don't know! But together, we should be able to come up with something---"

The doctor threw her hands up in the air. "Listen to yourself, Chelle! Someone could find out tomorrow, today or even in an hour who you are! We don't have the time!"

"Then, we make the time! Listen--"

"No, you listen!" Bobbi stopped and took several deep breaths. "Listen, I know you're scared, but you have to listen to reason. Us leaving is the only way, and for your own good, I'll force you if I have to Chelle. It's for your own good," she repeated. Her voice was soft, pleading, but desperate.

Michelle was momentarily struck dumb by the words. Never did she expect to hear them from the doctor's mouth. 'For your own good,' she had heard her mother say that many times, and Michelle knew about force, Max Jr. had made the introductions a long time ago. "Then, you're no better than they are," the words fell from her mouth. Michelle watched as the emotions chased themselves across the doctor's face from confusion, anger, resolve to recognition.

She moved the now crying baby to the other hip and took a few steps forward. They were inches apart. The blonde reached out a hand an brushed from cheek to chin with gentle fingertips. "After over twenty years, I am finally living. I was dead before, Bobbi. I won't allow them to kill me all over again. If we run, they'll do that slowly but surely to me and Toby. I have to fight this whatever way I can. If it gets to the courts, I'll expose them for the animals they are, but I won't run. Don't ask me too. Don't take it away from me. I know what's good for me, and this is the right thing to do. I want this life, Bobbi. I want this life with you just the way it is. Have faith in me. Fight with me?"

Bobbi leaned into the touch as the tears started to spill from her eyes. She squeezed them shut then opened them slowly, revealing pain and desperation. "There's nothing I can say is there?"

Michelle did not answer but held the blue gaze with her own.

"I-I don't know, Chelle. I'm so scared. I just. . .God. I have to get out of here. I can't think." The brunette stepped away from the caress. "I'm just---" She shook her head, and without another word, left the room.

Michelle's arm fell to her side. She stood stock still as the foundation of the life she worked to build started to crack around her.


Michelle wrapped her arms around her torso, remembering the chill that permeated the room after the doctor left it. I thought I knew what it was to be alone. I don't think I really knew until now. It's like being yanked from a smoldering fire and being put into the cold dark night. I understand that she's scared for us, but she has to be able to see my side of things. I don't think I can do this without her. The blonde tilted her head upward to stare up at the ceiling. And to think all this time since I've been gone, I've been getting help from the most unsuspected place. Beatrice. She always seemed so remote. The only time she showed any emotion was when Toby was around. Still, what kind of woman raises a son like that? I wonder does she know what he did to me? Why on earth is she doing this now? Michelle let out a long sigh. No answers were forthcoming.

She looked down as something brushed against her leg. Without a thought, the petite woman picked up the slobber riddled keys that her son had thrown and handed them back. Toby lunged gratefully and let out an excited gurgle. "Gaa!" Michelle smiled despite her somber thoughts.

"Here you go, Peanut." Her insides clenched with emotion as a sob escaped from somewhere deep down. Still sniffing, she turned to Toby. "She loves you, you know. So why doesn't she get it? Why?"

Toby blinked at his mother then shoved the keys back into his mouth. Michelle chuckled through the tears that threatened to fall. "Yeah, me either." Maybe I should have stayed and tried to talk to her more, but I just had to get out of there. There were too many memories, too many feelings. I couldn't breathe.


Annie leaned against a convenient shelf and watched her friend from several feet away. She waited until the younger blonde quieted before making her presence known. Then, with definate purpose she strolled toward the younger woman. Jewelry jingled as she walked, alerting Michelle to another person close by. Michelle looked up and blinked as the clerk stood before her in fuschia glory. "Hey," she whispered.

Annie didn't pull any punches. "Something's happened hasn't it?"

Michelle released an ungraceful snort. "I think that would qualify as an understatement. I could lose everything, including Bobbi, and I don't think I could take that. In fact, I know it. She's become so much to me."

Annie grunted as she kneeled and folded her body to the floor, finding a place right beside her friend. "I don't understand, Jo. Everything seemed to be going fine. How could you lose everything?"

Michelle sighed deeply. This is a lie that I need to correct. She's been a good friend. "I don't know where to start." She added as she turned her head toward the clerk.

"Start from wherever you feel comfortable."

Michelle reached out grasping the other woman's hand. "You've been a good friend, and I know a friendship shouldn't start out with a lie. But, ours did. I want to correct that now if you'll let me?" She looked deep into the older woman's eyes, seeing patience and wisdom there.

Annie nodded slowly. "I picked up on that a long time ago." She shrugged. "I just figured you would tell me when you were ready."

"I'm ready, and I probably need your advice right now more than ever."

"Go on. I'm here for you," the clerk added.

"Um, my name's not Jo. It's Michelle, and that's only the beginning." She paused. "I'm here because of a snow storm, but I stayed because of Bobbi. I'm running, Annie, and I've been running for a long time from my husband and my family. But, it's time to stop now."

Annie canted her head to the side. "He hurt you didn't he?" She squeezed the hand in hers.

Michelle swallowed. "Every time he could and as much as possible. My mother wasn't any different except she used words." Her voice was hollow and emotionless.

"And you had the courage to leave. I knew there was something about you."

"Toby gave me the courage to leave. If he hadn't been born, I don't know where I would be right now," Michelle mumbled, wiping away the compliment.

"Mmm, and this thing about you losing everything? You think they're coming after you?"

"I think they're getting closer, yes." Michelle took a deep breath. "And Bobbi wants me to do something I can no longer do."

Annie smiled sadly. "She means a lot to you doesn't she?"

Michelle sniffed back the tears that suddenly threatened. "I-I know it sounds cliche, but there are no words for what she means to me. My life just wouldn't be the same without her. She listens to me. She makes me feel things, and she understands--" Her gaze drops to her free hand laying clench in her lap. ". . .at least I thought she did. She wants us to run, Annie, and I can't do it anymore. That wouldn't be living at all. I thought that was one of the things we learned together. Let them come. I think I'm ready to fight now that I have something to fight for."

"Do you know what you're gonna do?" The clerk asked.

Michelle shook her head. "No, no I don't, and I need her because I think together we can come up with something to end this. I won't run for the rest of my life. I won't!"

Annie rubbed the younger woman's forearms, hoping to comfort her in some small way. "Shhh, I hear you, but Bobbi is scared. She's very scared from the sound of things, and this is a natural reaction. I imagine she's thinking the same way you are that she has so much to protect and live for now. She doesn't want to lose that. She's seen these monsters through you eyes only, and what you've shown her has made a lasting impression. You can't fault her for this--"

"No," Michelle interrupted. "You should have heard her. It was almost scary she was going to force me, and it was like I was back there again with them."

"But you weren't. You weren't." Annie squeezed Michelle's hand for emphasis. "And she's not them, and could never be. She's afraid, and sometimes fear can be paralyzing enough to change who you are for even an instant."

"I can understand that, Annie. Really, I can." Michelle growled in frustration. No, she isn't him, and her heart is too big and too good for her to ever be cruel to me.

Annie inched closer to her friend. "Look at you so strong and ready to fight for what you have. What Bobbi is feeling is the other side of the same coin. Give her time to think about this."

Michelle found herself leaning on the clerk's shoulder. "I hear you, and I'll try. But when she walked out of that bedroom it felt like part of me went missing." I don't like that feeling, and I don't ever want to experience it again.

The blonde clerk patted her friend's head affectionately. "I bet it did, J--I mean, Michelle."

The petite blonde stiffened. I hope she can forgive me for not telling the truth. "Um, are we okay?"

"Hmm?" Annie glanced down, seeing a cap of blonde hair. "Oh, you mean. . . ?" She raised a hand and gestured for emphasis. "Sure we are. We all have our secrets, and if you had chosen not to tell me, I still would be here for you."

"God, I am so glad I came to the library that day. It seems like a lifetime ago. In a way, it was."

Annie nodded and reached for the keys that landed in her lap. "You could be right about that." The clerk shook away the slobber and handed them back to the excited toddler. "So, you up to reading to the kids today?"

"Yeah, I think I need to. It'll keep my mind off things. I would go home to talk to Bobbi, but she left before I did. There was a note too. She's out on housecalls."

"Well, there's nothing like a book to take your mind off things. The kids should be coming in soon, and I'll take the little munchkin off your hands." Toby crawled toward the clerk. Her eyes widened. "Um, when did that happen?" She pointed in Toby's direction, making her bracelets clang.

Michelle smiled. "Just yesterday. You should have seen him. I was so proud, so was Bo--" Her stomach clenched painfully. "I have to fix this between us, Annie. Things just don't feel right, you know? Inside." She pointed to her belly.

"I know, but as long as you believe things will work out you've gotten half way there already."

"Yeah." They both looked up as a little boy and his mother entered the area. Michelle pushed herself up from the floor and dusted off her behind. "I hope you're right," Michelle whispered to the clerk, who was in the process of scooping up her son.


Bobbi pulled the jeep into the Morningside Cemetery parking lot. It was empty except for a couple of cars and a beat up truck. A huge, fancy iron gate twisted and loomed in front of her, she looked past it and the raindrops that splattered the windshield to stare out at the sea of green grass and headstones, hoping to find some point to concentrate on so her mind could just be still. A million thoughts raced through her head, and they all centered around the petite blonde. The doctor pushed the still damp bangs off her forehead and sucked in a deep breath. I fucked up royally. I shouldn't have walked out on her like that. What the hell is wrong with me? Fear is one thing but stupidity is another. That was way stupid. She needed me, and I let her down. My God, the look on her face nearly tore my heart out. She said I was like them. Am I? I just want them safe. I can't lose them. They've become my life. With the threat of losing them, I just couldn't think straight. Bobbi swallowed. She felt hollow on the inside as if she were almost empty. I guess I am. I left all that mattered back at the house.

Bobbi placed her elbows on top of the steering wheel and leaned on them. "I just left her," she whispered. Jumbled emotions that were close the surface snared her, leaving her the prisoner of a combination of sadness, regret, confusion and uncertainty. Her stomach fluttered, and she grabbed it hoping to keep her insides in place. "I'm a total asshole. Maybe I am no better than the asshole she escaped from." The brunette reared back in the car seat. Tears threatened, but Bobbi squeezed her eyes closed tightly to keep them at bay. I helped put myself in this situation. She glanced back out at the cemetery. Why the hell am I here of all places? I'm supposed to be out seeing patients. "I know why I'm here so I need to just get out and face it. It may just help with this mess." The doctor sighed and pulled the collar of the old blue trenchcoat up around her neck. A second later she opened the door and darted out into the cool rain toward the gate.

The brunette slicked her hair back, sending it in lovely disarray down her back. "Thank God, it's just sprinkling now." She cut through well worn dirt paths glancing at the frest cut flowers that adorned some graves. The slight wind whisked against their petals, releasing perfume. The fragrance wafted toward her hidden in the rain. I should have brought you flowers, Dad. Guess I'm just not thinking straight today.

Bobbi's heartbeat doubled as she neared her destination. The headstone stood tall, defiant. The rain glanced off as if it was repelled. There were no flowers, no frills, no adornments of anykind just a stone that read Peter Waszinski, Beloved Healer. Bobbi blinked excess moisture out of her eyes. "I guess I should have put Beloved Father there after all, huh dad? But I didn't know then what I know now, and I didn't want you to go to the next world wrapped in a lie." She continued to stare as if waiting for an appearance or an answer. God, what am I doing? He's dead.

The raven haired doctor made up her mind to go on anyway. It doesn't keep me from talking to mom or Stevie. I heard somewhere that the dead can hear our thoughts. "Um, it's me, your little girl, Bobbi." She shoved her hands deep into her coat pockets, pulling it taut around her lanky body. "I, uh, really don't know why I'm doing this. I just felt compelled to come here. The funny thing is I don't have anyone else to talk to." She shrugged. "I don't know. In times like these, I usually think about what mom would say, but something just led me here. Weird, huh?" Bobbi kicked at a leaf that the wind blew on Timberland boots.

"The funny thing is that I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for Michelle, so I guess you could say that she's instrumental in leading me here. I guess you need to know who Michelle is, huh?" Bobbi husked. "She's my best friend, dad. She's also the woman in my life, and I think I messed up. We're good at that you and me. Maybe that's why I came to you." Bobbi pulled a hand out of her pocket and wiped away the wetness on her face. "I know a lot more about you now. I went to Josh, and he told me so much it had my head spinning. You loved us, dad, but you just didn't know how to show us did you?"

"I was going down the same path, but Michelle steered me right. Now, when she needs me most I wanted to run away. How stupid is that? They're my family, dad. She has this little boy who's just stolen my heart right out of my chest, and there's the dog. It would take me years to explain him." Bobbi rolled her eyes at the thought. She cleared her throat. "The truth is that I'm scared. I'm petrified really. I can't lose them, and just the thought of Max getting hold of them again makes me think bloody murder. I won't get into the Max thing right now, but let's just say it's not good, not good at all. But, Michelle is something else. She's a very special woman, so strong. She's grown so much, and I have too. I just didn't want it all to be for nothing. Chelle wants to stay and fight. She says she's tired of running, but I don't understand why she can't see what she's putting in jeopardy. I can feel it all caving in on me, dad. I mean, if we run this could all blow over in time. Don't you think?"

She paused, listening to the soft wind, the patter of the rain, and the beat of her own heart. "We'll still have each other. That's what counts isn't it? What could be--" A hard gust of wind stole Bobbi's breath and whipped her hair and trenchcoat around her. She swayed slightly before righting herself. Wet strands of midnight clung to her neck and cheeks. She shook them loose and pushed them back with an errant hand. "Am I looking at this the wrong way? I know I shouldn't have left her. I just need to slow down and think. What's important to her?" Bobbi squinted against the rain as she looked past the headstones, past the cloudy skyline into nothingness. As if her memories of the past seven months were on video tape, the doctor rewound them. Moments, the petite blonde and her shared, flashed in her mind. The doctor staggered forward suddenly. She put her hands out to balance herself. "Oh God, I really am an idiot. She said I was the only one to ever listen to her. This time, I didn't listen did I?"

Bobbi covered her face with her hands to hold back the sob. "What does she stand to lose?" The brunette muffled. "The woman she's becoming. The woman she can be proud of; the mother Toby can be proud of. She needs to do this doesn't she? To be that woman, she needs to stand up to them. That's it isn't it, dad? That's what she was trying to tell me, and she was asking me to help. She was asking me to believe in her. Instead, I let my fear get the best of me." Except for the sounds of nature, silence surrounded her.

I'm so sorry, Chelle. I'm still so afraid, but you need me. Bobbi closed her eyes and tilted her face upward toward the sprinkling rain, letting the drops splash against her countenance. It was a baptism of sorts reminding her of the life that used that was borne into the fears and triumphs of her life today. I'm here, Chelle. It has to be that simple. I'm scared, but I'm here. She glanced back down at the grave with a new resolve schooling chiseled features. "I know what I need to do, dad." Something inside her clicked into place, and it felt right, extremely right. "We have to come up with something, even if we have to get the whole damn town to help." A kernel of hope and confidence blossomed.

For long minutes, she didn't utter another word. Then, her head canted to the side. "You know, this is the most we've ever talked? I'm sorry I haven't come out here since the funeral. In my mind, I didn't have a reason, but I did. Didn't I? I'm glad I realized that, and I'm very happy I came today. You're a good listener. Um, I was gonna bring, Chelle with me, but next time for sure. You'll like her." Bobbi let out a sigh of relief as the rain began to stop. It's clearing up in more ways than one.

Her thoughts went to the past. "Did you miss them, dad? I did, and I still do. They were all I had. I didn't know I could have you. Maybe if I had tried harder--no I'm not gonna go there." She shoved her hands back into her pockets. "Despite it all, I still loved you. Thank you for accepting me, for being proud of me, and for listening. I guess it was never too late." She sniffed and looked up into the still gray skies. "Next time I'll bring flowers. I gotta go now. I have a mess to fix, and patients to see."

With death at her back, Bobbi moved forward to further partake of her new life. Once she reached the jeep, the doctor pulled open the door and stripped the trenchcoat from her body, revealing relatively dry Levi's and a red button down cotton tee. She threw the coat into the passenger seat and climbed in only to reach for her bag to search for the cell phone. It could go a long way if I talk to her now. Bobbi decided to check the library before calling home.

After the third ring, a familiar voice met her ear. "Ivanhoe Library. How can I help you?"

Bobbi swored she could hear the woman's jewelry clanging in the background. "Um, Annie?"

The blonde clerk raised an eyebrow as she leaned over the desk. "Yes, this is she. How may I help you?"

"This is, uh, Bobbi. Is Jo still there?" Maybe she was too hurt to go out.

"Oh hi!" The woman's voice brightened. "And don't you mean, Michelle? You missed her by about twenty minutes."

The doctor looked at her watch. Was I out there that long? I guess so. Oh my God, what did she just say? " You know? Did she, ah, seem okay?" The brunette asked hesitantly.

"Well, let's just say she has a lot on her mind, and most of it involves you. We did talk though, and I think that helped."

Bobbi sighed. "I know. I just--well, I messed up. But, I want to fix it. Thank you for being there to listen to her. She must really trust you. That's important to her."

"So are you--very, very important."

"Yeah, uh. I'm gonna call her now. Thanks again." The brunette could feel herself blushing.

"You're both very welcome."

Bobbi pushed the end button and took several deep breaths. She could feel her hands sweating. Why am I so nervous about this? Maybe because it seems like ages since I've talked to her. "Okay, here goes."

After the fourth ring, the doctor was about to hang up when she was greeted by a breathless, "Hello?"

"Um, hey," Bobbi said shyly.

An awkward silence stretched between them.

Michelle adjusted the baby on her hip and sat down on the couch. For the first time in a long while, I don't know what to say to her. She looked at the Husky helplessly. Taz whimpered and stared back.

God, I don't know what to say. "Ah, I'm not interrupting anything am I? You sounded kinda winded." Way to go,B. Perfect seguay.

The blonde let out a long breath. "I was just on the computer, trying to get my mind off things for a little while."

Bobbi moved the phone from her left ear to the right. I shouldn't beat around the bush here. "Listen, Chelle. I'm sorry that I didn't listen to you. It took some soul searching, but I realized what this means to you."

Michelle's breath caught audibly, and somewhere deep inside, a light came back on. Thank you. Thank you. "I- I don't know what to say." She couldn't keep the emotion from her voice.

"You don't have to say anything. I'm coming home so we can talk." Warmth and need oozed from her voice. Already, the doctor could visualize holding her, touching her. Her body missed it. She missed it.

The blonde could feel the connection between them zing through the telephone line. She shivered. Still, she asked, "You're done already?"

Bobbi chuckled guiltily. "Uhm, no I haven't even started. I only had a couple of patients I wanted to go see--"

"Go see them," Michelle interrupted. "I'll be at home waiting for you. I'm not going anywhere."

The brunette closed her eyes and smiled. "Those are the best words I've heard all day."

Out of habit, Michelle bit her lip. "I know what you mean. So, I guess I'll see you in a little bit." She breathed a sigh of relief as the missing piece she felt slowly slid back in place. Nothing feels right in my world without her in it.

"Yeah, you will." Bobbi looked back out at the cemetery. Thanks again, dad.

Bobbi peered at the phone, turning it over in her hands, as if it held some kind of magic. After a seconds more perusal, she stuck it back in her bag, noticing that her hands were shaking. The doctor swallowed the fear gripping her. "I have to believe that we can do this. I have to."

Hope you enjoyed this little update. More to come real soon. Let me hear from you atMinerva

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