For disclaimers: see part 1

Let me know what you think, okay?..;-)


Kelly emerged from her bedroom, a towel wrapped around her body and nearly bumping into her waiting sister.

She sheepishly looked at the brunette who stood there with her eyebrow raised, hands on her hips, emphatically looking at her watch.

"Sorry, I got distracted. I’ll be ready in a few minutes." The blonde apologized. It seemed a bit insincere to Tamara’s eyes, since Kelly had a satisfied smile on her face and her eyes sparkled with pleasure.

"Uhuh." Was the only reply Tamara gave, again rushing to the door at the sound of a bell. "That must be J, you go get yourself and miss Smelly dressed now."

Expecting the dark cop who was supposed to meet them at Kelly’s place, Tamara was shocked to see the angry face of her father when she opened the door. Behind him the slumped figure of her mother could be seen. The old woman was wringing her hands and looked like she wanted to be any place but there.

"Wha…what are you doing here?" She stammered in surprise. Automatically stepping back to let them inside.

Her father brushed by her and marched on into the living room where the unsuspecting Kelly received a torrent of accusations. Tamara walked in to stand between the angry father and daughter facing each other.

"I haven’t come here to argue with you Kelly, I came to take Tamara home and that’s all I’m going to do," the tall man remarked to his eldest daughter, grabbing Tamara by her arm and turning around. Expecting her to follow him, he was taken aback when she didn’t budge an inch.

"I’m not going anywhere with you Dad," the brunette stated with quiet conviction. "I’ve decided to go to college and make something of my life. Something I want."

David Ashwood stared at his youngest in shock. ‘When did she grow a backbone?’ he thought. His temper flared when he realized Tamara wasn’t the girl he could order around anymore and the 3 women could see his fists clench and unclench while he was trying to control his rage.

"Dave, maybe this isn’t such a bad thing. Kelly turned out okay, didn’t she?" their mother interjected hesitantly; earning a glare from her husband.

"Shut up, what do you know about it?" he shouted against the trembling woman. Kelly moved in and challenged him: "Don’t you speak like that to mother. She doesn’t deserve that."

A string of curses left her father’s mouth but Kelly didn’t move an inch, staying in his face which caused him to raise his voice some more. A vein started to throb on his forehead and his face turned a deep shade of red.

"What the hell is going on here?" a low voice demanded to know, immediately quieting the room.

All eyes moved to the scantly clad tall woman who came out of the bathroom. With only a T-shirt thrown on and a towel around her wet hair it was clear she had just left the shower.

Kelly was afraid her father would suffer from a heart attack. His eyes were bulging out when he tried to take in the new woman in the room. His gaze kept flicking from his daughter wrapped in a towel to Sydney, who had walked over to stand beside Kelly.

‘Ah well, it can’t get any worse.’ The little blonde sighed. ‘He’s probably drawn his conclusions already anyway.’ She reached out to grasp a strong hand and said: "Syd, these are my parents: David and Grace Ashwood."

"This is my partner, Sydney Rambuletti." She was grateful for her sister, who had moved to stand beside them, silently showing her support.

Her father stared without saying a word for several minutes, the tension painfully palpable. "I’m giving up on you!" he spit out eventually, turning his back on them and moving for the door.

At the door he turned one last time. "I’ll be back for you Tamara. No way I’m going to let you stay in an environment like this," he said, disgust coloring his voice.

"Come along Grace," he commanded his wife, not even waiting to see if she would follow.

"Mom?" Kelly pleaded in a childlike voice, catching her mother’s eye. The old woman sighed sadly and shrugged a bit. "I’m sorry Kels, but I have to go. Good luck with everything. Be happy, okay?" was the last thing she said before moving away.

Kelly buried her head against Sydney’s chest, strong arms cradling her and offering comfort while hot tears flowed from her eyes.

Whispering nonsense and rocking the small woman in her arms, Sydney looked at Tamara who murmured in a bitter voice: "That went awesome."

Absentmindedly she rubbed her sister’s back as she decided to try and have a long talk with their mother. Alone.

A determined glint appeared in the brown eyes when she started to think about the best approach.

Kelly pulled back and looked up at the woman holding her. "Thanks and sorry," she smiled watery, but she had stopped crying.

"Sorry for what?" Sydney replied, a bit confused by the apology.

"For falling apart like that. It’s not like I’m used to anything different from them," the blonde shrugged dimissively.

Sydney put her finger on Kelly’s chin and stated: "Maybe not, but they’re still your parents and you were hoping on getting a chance to talk some things out with your mother."

"Yeah well, I doubt that that’s possible anytime soon. Not with me announcing I’m gay and Dad as mad with me as he is at the moment," Kelly concluded a bit sad.

"And I got your shirt all wet! Sorry about that, do you have another for the dinner?" she exclaimed, looking at a big wet spot at the center of the shirt Sydney was wearing.

The tall woman grinned a bit and spread out her arms: "This isn’t what I was going to wear, sweetie. I heard raised voices and threw on the first thing in sight before I interrupted you to see what was going on. It’s one of yours, I think."

Kelly stepped back and took a good look at the dark-haired woman in front of her. Eyes raking over the tall body, she saw the shirt ended near the top of Sydney’s thighs, just barely covering the more private parts. Toned brown legs went on for miles and the reporter unconsciously licked her suddenly dry lips.

"Oh boy, no wonder Dad’s eyes looked like they were going to pop out,"a dreamy voice came from their right, causing blue and green eyes to pin the blushing brunette, who was wishing for the ground to open up and swallow her at that particular instant.

Tamara started stammering: "Eh, never mind. Who said that? It wasn’t me that’s for sure." Making a quick turn she dashed for the bathroom.

"I need to….uhm….see about…Got to do my hair before we go. You two get dressed will ya, J will be here soon." And she was gone, followed by trails of laughter.


An impatient Sydney was standing in the middle of the living room; being circled by a loudly sniffing J. The dark cop made a whole show out of it, earning the laughter of the two sisters who were watching the interaction.

"Smells like you took a nice shower, Rambo. And a good thing too, cause you literally stinked this afternoon," he smirked while moving in a bit more, practically shoving his nose in her ear.

"Alright! Enough already," the woman cop growled, swatting at her big partner’s head.

"Well, I didn’t end up in a dumpster," he teased, puffing his chest up in mock pride.

"No," Sydney remarked, passing him. "But only because you’re not fit enough to keep up with running people and therefore I had to do the catching, along with that rookie cop."

She held out her arm for Kelly: "Are you ready to escort me?" the tall woman winked at the blonde. Not looking back at J, who was feigning hurt and mouthing ‘ouch’ in reaction to the sarcastic remark.

"Okay, seems like I get the honor to escort you this evening," he smiled at Tamara, offering his arm. "Let’s go have some fun, shall we?"


"Hey, what are you doing?" Kelly softly asked the woman on the porch, who seemed to be lost in thought.

She had slipped out when she had noticed Sydney wasn’t in the Bailey’s living room anymore. The whole group had transferred to that room after dinner for some drinks and more talk.

‘It had been a fun evening,’ Kelly reflected. Tamara looked like she was having fun and J acted as a perfect date. ‘He hasn’t been away from her for more than a few minutes.’ The blonde thought amused.

She returned her attention to the tall woman leaning on the railing, humming a tune while staring pensively in the distance. Kelly bumped her lightly against the shoulder, repeating her earlier question.

Sydney turned her head and smiled a bit. "It was just a bit too warm for me inside, I needed some air."

"And you were thinking about…?" Kelly pushed a bit more, also leaning on the railing.

A sigh. "About Saturday actually. I’m a bit nervous I guess." The other woman finally admitted.

Kelly moved closer and leaned against a strong shoulder. "I see. You really don’t have anything to be afraid of Syd. They want to see you and I know you want to see them. Just go with your feelings and you’ll be fine."

"I know that. I’ll be okay." Sydney stated, squaring her shoulders. "Besides, you’ll be there to back me up," she added, throwing an arm around the blonde’s shoulder.

"Yes, I am." Kelly replied, shivering a bit in the evening breeze.

"Come here," Sydney had felt the smaller woman shiver and she moved to stand behind her, wrapping long arms securely around Kelly. "Better?"

Kelly gratefully relaxed against the warm body and entwined her fingers with the ones resting on her stomach. "Much." She answered, both women enjoying the quiet time together.

After a few moments the blonde piped up again: "What was it you were humming? It didn’t sound familiar to me."

Sydney shrugged. "Just some song I once heard. I don’t know all of it anymore, but this part happened to pop up in my head."

Kelly was thrilled when a low voice started to sing in her ear. She hadn’t heard the tall cop sing often, but it did something to her. The soft voice seemingly singing directly to her heart sent a shiver down her spine and she nestled even closer to woman behind her.

"The way I tremble when you touch me

The way I shiver when you say you love me

One kiss, and my heart knew

Oh baby I was made to love you

Every hour, every minute

With every thought I think you’re in it

Without a doubt, I know it’s true

Oh baby I was made to love you"

Sydney’s voice trailed off and she hugged Kelly to her, whispering in her ear: "That’s how I feel about you, sweetie. I’m not big with words and not good in showing my emotions, but this is what I’m feeling."

The woman in her arms turned around and peeked up at her with wet eyes. Kelly put a trembling hand against a warm cheek, the words had moved her like nothing else had ever done before and she could only stare into blue eyes filled with love.

‘For me’, Kelly thought, still amazed by the events of the last few weeks. She had never pictured herself finding someone she would love as much as she did Sydney now, in such a short time.

Standing on her tiptoes she pressed her lips against Sydney’s in a tender kiss, trying to convey all her emotions with that one act.

"Thanks," she breathed against moist lips. "I love you too."

More kissed followed, getting more passionate as time went on and soon soft moans filled the evening air. Both women were so consumed with the other that they didn’t notice the door behind them open.

A gasp and then hesitantly: "Sorry, we were wondering if you came back in for coffee, but eh….I’ll say you’re busy."

Kelly glanced over Sydney’s shoulder to see Tess standing at the door, a light blush coloring her face. "We’ll be right in." she replied slightly out of breath.

She jumped when teeth softly nibbled her ear and Tess hastily retreated back inside. "You brat!" Kelly shoved the chuckling woman away from her.

"You embarrassed that poor girl," she accused, blithely ignoring the heat of her own face.

Sydney grinned mischievously at her. "Uhuh, but she’ll live and it sure was fun to see two cute girls blushing like that."

"I did not blush!" the blonde huffed, striding away with her head held high. Pretending not to hear Sydney, who mumbled: "No, you always look like a ripe tomato. I forgot that for a moment."


Saturday morning arrived too soon for the woman cop. She was up at the crack of dawn, not that that was so unusual, but the slight fluttering in her stomach was.

Sydney had tried to release some tension by going on a long run, but now she was back in her apartment. Showered and dressed to go, idly pacing from the kitchen to the living room. And back again.

The women had agreed that Kelly would stop by Sydney’s place and from there on they would ride the bike to Stacey. The restless woman glanced at the clock. ‘She should be here already, what’s keeping her?’ Sydney wondered, jumping a bit when the doorbell sounded.

"Get a grip Sydney," she admonished herself. "You can do this. It will go okay." She took a deep breath and settled her nerves while walking to the door, more or less prepared for the visit.

Kelly glanced at the silent woman sitting besides her on a small wall opposite from the house they had been looking for. Sydney was staring down at her folded hands, taking slow deliberate breaths.

They had parked the bike a few blocks back, because the tall woman wanted to walk the last part. "Well, I think I’d better head on in. No sense in sitting here

all afternoon," Sydney wryly said.

The blonde reached out and grabbed the other woman’s hand, lifting it up and pressing a kiss on it. "I’ll wait here for you," she said simply.

Sydney nodded and got up, crossing the street at a slow pace and hesitating slightly before opening the gate that led into a well-kept garden.

Kelly watched as a small boy came running from around the house. Bryan stopped in surprise when he saw who was standing there, but with a joyful cry he stormed over to the dark haired woman.

Sydney crouched down and hugged the boy to her for a few moments. She pulled back to look at him and talked to him for a short while. Bryan reluctantly stepped away when Sydney rose to her full height and started for the door.

The blonde watched anxiously as the door was opened and nothing happened for a moment. Then the door was opened wider and her lover disappeared inside.

It had been a while already since Kelly had seen Sydney enter the house and she was starting to get a bit nervous.

She was so lost in thought that she hadn’t noticed Bryan coming over to her until he touched her leg hesitantly. With a shy look he asked: "You’re Sydney’s friend, right?"

The blonde smiled gently at him and answered: "I sure am Bryan." Grinning broadly when he started tugging her hand and demanded for her to come with him.

"She said I should wait in the garden and that she would come to get me and her friend. You can wait with me. I have swing over there. Do you see it?" the boy babbled on excitedly

Kelly couldn’t get a word in, so she obediently went along with the enthusiastic little boy. They ended up at the swing, which she admired extensively, causing Bryan to beam with pride.

"Can you push me?" he asked with pleading eyes. The boy quickly got on after Kelly agreed to do some pushing and soon cries of pleasure filled the air.


Sydney took a deep breath when she approached the green door, raising her hand to deliver a sharp knock on the worn wood. She really felt like turning around and leaving, but she knew Kelly was there. Waiting for her to go through with this, believing that Sydney could do it and, more importantly, needed to do it.

So the nervous woman was still standing there when the door opened and Stacey’s gray eyes met hers. A look of surprise passed the brunette’s face, quickly followed by a short smile.

Opening the door further she waved Sydney inside, closing the door behind them and motioning the tall woman to follow her inside a room at the left of the hallway. Sydney stood awkwardly in the middle of a cozy living room, a bit unsure how to interpret the ongoing silence.

She focused on the room before facing Stacey. It was a small, but neat place. A cushy couch at one end and lots of plants in front of the window. ‘That hasn’t changed much,’ Sydney thought, knowing her partner’s wife had always enjoyed working with flowers and all sorts of plants.

Her eye fell on the pictures adorning the shelve at the far wall and she stepped closer, drawn by an unexplainable urge to see them. There was the traditional wedding picture and pictures of Bryan at different ages.

One grabbed her attention though; it showed her holding the blonde boy above her head playing the ‘flight game’ Bryan had always enjoyed so much. And it was clear that he did, laughing broadly at the strong woman holding him in the air and Sydney was smiling back at him, looking happy and relaxed.

She remembered that day; it was the weekend before her life fell to pieces. One of the many barbecues they had together, the last one. Sydney felt a lump form in her throat when she saw Stacey, Patrick and Cory standing in the background, looking at the woman and child with amused and loving expressions.

Swallowing hard she turned around and caught Stacey’s gaze. The brunette’s eyes softened as she walked over and picked up the photo Sydney had been looking at.

"I didn’t had the guts to develop that last role of film in the camera. I knew which photos were going to be on there," she said softly, knowing that Sydney knew when they were taken.

"I finally did it, about 7 months ago, took me another 3 months though to have the courage to place it up there."

Sydney replied in a raspy voice: "Why would you want a picture of me on your shelve, among the good ones of Patrick?"

She stepped back in surprise when stormy gray eyes fixed on her.

"Because Bryan missed you. And I missed you, " Stacey forced out through clenched teeth. "Since you kinda abandoned us, this photo was all we had," she stated in a bitter voice. "Not only did I lose my husband, I lost two of the best friends I ever had…."

Stacey trailed off when she saw the hurt and regret in blue eyes. The defeated posture made her realize this wasn’t the way she had planned the meeting to go.

Sydney dropped her gaze to the floor and whispered in a painfilled voice: "I’m so sorry Stacey. I figured you wouldn’t want me around anymore, after all, I was the one that got Patrick killed. If it hadn’t been necessary to take me home, then…"

Startled eyes looked up when a determined looking Stacey suddenly started shaking the still talking woman. "Get that out of your head once and for all: I do not blame you. I have not blamed you for a single second."

The words, carefully enunciated, reached the taller woman’s ears and, suddenly tired, she ungracefully dropped down on the couch. Burying her head in her hands, Sydney mumbled: "No, but you should have."

The brunette sighed heavily and sat down as well, gently placing her hand on the other woman’s shoulder. "You’re wrong," she stated with quiet conviction, "and neither should you."

Sydney glanced at Stacey. "I’ll try, " she promised. "And I am real sorry for letting you and Bryan down like that. I was in a very dark place at the time," here she faltered, not wanting to tell everything.

Stacey sensed that the cop didn’t feel comfortable discussing that part of her past with her so she smiled, invitingly opening her arms. "How about a hug then and a promise that we’ll see an awful lot of you in the future?"

Sydney happily obliged and both women found comfort in the warm hug. With the heavy stuff out of the way, Stacey stood up and inquired: "Do you want a drink? Coke right?" she added, knowing that to be the cop’s favorite beverage.

"Sure," the dark-haired woman replied while she made her way to the window, grinning when she saw Bryan fly through the air, pushed by a tired looking blonde who stood panting after every push.

Stacey came over to see what caught her friend’s attention. Peeking up and seeing the unguarded expression on Sydney’s face she smiled knowingly.

"I assume I have her to thank for this, haven’t I?" she asked softly.

"Yes, Kelly made me realize I needed to face my past and accept what had happened. There’s nothing I can do about it now, except keeping the people who mean a lot to me where they belong: close by."

"She seems like a very kind woman. And she can keep up with Bryan, that’s an accomplishment in itself," the brunette chuckled. "He just keeps going and going."

Sydney laughed along. "Ah, she’s great Stace. I didn’t think I’d ever meet someone like her," the still smiling woman said, tapping the window to wave the little blonde to the house.

"But you did, now make sure you keep her. Looks to me like she’s right for you," Stacey rubbed the broad back and went out front to meet the reporter at the door.

Kelly was a bit surprised when she was welcomed with a warm hug. She tentatively hugged the woman back, wrapping her arms more strongly around the brunette when she heard the whispered: "Thank you."

An excited boy that came barging through the door, yelling for Sydney cut off the blonde’s reply. The proud mom grinned apologetically before turning to follow her energetic son.

Kelly walked after the woman and smiled when she saw Bryan bouncing up and down on the Sydney’s lap meanwhile telling some story or another.

An indulgent expression graced the sitting woman’s face, but Kelly could see the twinkle in her eyes that told her she was loving every moment of it.

Blue eyes found the green ones observing her from a distance and their gaze held. Stacey noticed the silent communication and she beckoned for Bryan: "Hey, you think you can help me get some drinks?"

After the boy and his mom left the room Sydney raised from the couch and approached Kelly. The blonde met the weary woman halfway and simply opened her arms.

The tall woman gratefully entered the embrace, suddenly the emotions of the afternoon had caught up with her and she was feeling drained, but being in this small woman’s arms, hearing the soft: "I’m proud of you, sweetie," made a huge difference.

Sydney gave in to her need to be comforted and she put her head on the blonde’s shoulder, closing her eyes for an instant. Kelly felt a breath warm her skin through the fabric of her blouse and she reveled in the sensation of being the one that could comfort the proud woman in her arms. She rested her head on the dark locks, loving the silky feel of it against her cheek.

Both women pulled away when they heard Bryan make his way back to the living room. Sydney composed herself and when Stacey entered the room both women were waiting for her on the couch, accepting the drinks.

A slightly awkward silence stretched out until Sydney started: "So, Bryan, did you start school yet?" This made the boy launch into a long story about some of his adventures and the ice was broken.

The rest of the afternoon was spent with getting up to date about the happenings in each other’s life. Stacey particularly wanted to know a lot about the woman who had made her way into the once well-guarded heart of the tall cop.

She barely managed to avoid it from turning into an interrogation, but Kelly was rather amused by the whole situation and artfully dodged the too personal questions while a smirking Sydney observed the verbal sparring with a half eye since Bryan, who was very happy to have his favorite ‘aunt’ back in his life, demanded most of her attention.

When they were about to leave, after accepting an invitation for dinner that next week, Stacey came over to Sydney, handing her an envelope. "I had this made for you as well. I’ve never stopped hoping you’d find your way back here."

Sydney fingered the thin envelope, having an idea what the contents could be. A curious Kelly was looking on when she opened it and the photo she had been watching came out. Staring at it for a few seconds, Sydney had to swallow before speaking: "Thank you Stace, I’ll cherish it."

Sydney kissed her friend on the cheek, hugged the little boy standing at her feet and walked out onto the street. Carefully clutching the photograph against her chest.

Kelly also said her good-byes before following the dark-haired woman, grasping her hand when she reached Sydney.

"Well, this has been one hell of an afternoon, I need to unwind a bit. How do you feel about dropping by the video store, getting something to eat and spend a leisurely evening at my place?" The tall woman proposed, squeezing Kelly’s hand.

"I say: lead on!" the blonde replied, going along with Sydney’s ploy to push the events of the day back for the moment.


"That was really good." Kelly patted her stomach and leaned back in her chair, stretching her arms over her head. Sydney watched the material of her shirt go taut and outline the curves of the blonde’s body.

Smirking, Kelly waved her hand in front of the distracted woman’s face: "I think we should clean the table and then pop in that video instead of admiring, well, me." She batted her blond lashes seductively, gaining a chuckle from Sydney when she added: "Not that I can’t understand the sentiment ofcourse."

Sydney dryly responded: "Hmm, upon seeing you, one would assume your ego to not be as big either."

Avoiding a swat aimed for her head, she continued teasing: " ’Don’t aim for things that are out of your reach’, is what my daddy used to say."

"Uhuh, that remark just earned you the right to do the cleaning all by yourself," the blonde responded. Walking out in mock indignation, she was followed by a trail of light laughter.

After Sydney finished cleaning up she strolled to the living room, suddenly stopping when a certain blonde guest blocked her way, a wicked smile on her lips.

"Y’know," Kelly started, seductively licking her lips while moving closer to stand directly in front of the amused woman.

Sydney just raised her eyebrow in question.

"I think I’ve found an aim I have an advantage in," she said, tilting her head and sneaking out her tongue. Sydney held her breath when she felt the warm, wet sensation against her neck.

Kelly murmured: "I bet you don’t think I’m too short now do you?" attaching herself to the dark haired woman’s pulse point, which she could feel fluttering irratically.

Sydney closed her eyes and moaned in appreciation, arching her neck to give better access to the sucking blonde.

"Do you?"she repeated, biting down on the soft flesh. "No…no, you’re just perfect," the flushed woman managed to get out.

"And don’t you forget it!" One last nibble and Kelly swiveled around, leaving Sydney to regain her balance. When she was finally composed enough to open her eyes she saw a smirking reporter sitting on the couch. "Come on, slow pokes. The video is waiting for us."

Grinning, Sydney shook her head while joining the the other woman on the couch. "You know, technically I never called you too short," she pointed out, bumping Kelly’s shoulder.

"Yeah, yeah," Kelly waved it off, "technicalities. You implied it though. Now shut up already and let me enjoy Angelina."

Sydney smiled fondly at the blonde head nestled against her shoulder. Throwing her arm around the smaller woman she encouraged Kelly to snuggle a bit closer and then she too got comfortable to watch the movie.


The blonde woman gasped for air after reluctantly pulling away from Sydney’s warm lips. Putting her hands against the amorous woman’s chest she stilled the advancing movements, pointing out: "It’s time for me to go home, unfortunately."

"Hmm, well you could always," Sydney whispered seductively, nibbling the blonde’s jaw until she reached a tasty earlobe. "Stay the night," she ended, smiling against soft skin when she heard a moan escape Kelly’s throat.

The smaller woman tilted her head back, willing her mind to stay focused. "Tam,"she replied, slightly out of breath.

"Call her," the dark-haired woman advised, before once again seizing the tempting lips. Kelly couldn’t resist the sweet seduction and she hummed her approval of the idea.

Sydney jumped up, suddenly breaking free from the kiss and got the phone, handing it to the dumbfounded woman. Kelly chuckled: "Guess you want the call out of the way huh?"

The tall woman wiggled her eyebrows, playfully stating: "I’ve got plans that’ll make you forget all about phone calls and sisters. So you’d better call now, now that you still remember how to."

"Promises, promises," Kelly answered, waiting for her sister to pick up the phone.

"Hi Tam," Kelly started, inquiring with her sister if she would mind spending the night alone at her place. After listening to the answer, the blonde gave Sydney the ‘thumbs up’ sign, causing a broad grin to break through on the pleased woman’s face.

Sydney indicated that she was going to change and left the blonde alone to speak with Tamara in private.

After a quick recounting of the events of that day, Kelly asked one more time: "Are you sure it’s okay if I stay here tonight? Sydney will understand if I go home."

Tamara ensured her concerned sister of the fact that she had to be able to stand on her own feet. "So, you have fun and I’ll see you tomorrow. Don’t wear the poor cop out, sis," she teased, not even waiting for a reply, but quickly ending the connection.

Kelly watched at the phone in amazement for a few seconds. Shaking her head, she grinned cheerfully. ‘I hope she wears me out, Tam,’ was her last thought, before following her lover into the bedroom.


A week had gone by since Sydney’s visit to Bryan and Stacey and she had kept her promise of staying in touch. On Tuesday, mother and son had been over at Sydney’s house for dinner.

Just the three of them, and it had been a nice evening. Allowing Sydney to accept what had happened and to her surprise the pain that was always present when seeing someone from her past had been almost absent.

She and Stacey had managed to discuss the whole situation after Patrick’s death some more, both women trying to understand why they hadn’t managed to stay in touch. Ultimately deciding that neither had done anything wrong, things had just happened and there was nothing either of them good do about it now.

‘Things are definitely looking up,’ Sydney thought, closing the top drawer of her desk and glancing at the clock. It was Friday evening and she had a date with Kelly.

The blonde had made a teasing remark about the two of them never having gone on a real date and Sydney was determined to do something about that.

First some dinner and dancing and afterwards Sydney wanted to share some of her favorite spots of the town with the woman she loved. She knew it would probably mean telling some more about her mother, but she felt that she was ready to talk about what happened between them.

Kelly had been dropping by the station every now and again to follow up on the Thomas Shrine story and to see if they had any new leads, but so far nothing major had happened, although Sydney’s instinct told her they were getting closer and closer.

The little blonde reporter had spent all of last weekend at Sydney’s place, but they hadn’t managed to spend a lot of time together ever since. The cop smirked at herself, ‘I never imagined actually wanting someone around me while being home. Guess you fell pretty hard for this one, Syd.’

She could just imagine the expression Cory would have when he knew. That bemused one he used to have, and the twinkle in his eye that warned her about a teasing she was about to receive.

"Yes, Cory," she murmured. "I missed having her around these last few days. I bet you’d be laughing in my face if I’d told you that a few years back, but my bed feels empty at night. Hell, my whole house seems empty."

She startled a bit when a large shadow fell over her desk. Sydney looked up to the sight of J, shuffling his feet a bit and asking: "What are your plans for tonight Rambo?"

The dark-haired woman leaned back in her chair and tried to figure out why her friend seemed so nervous. He hardly looked her in the eye when she answered: "I’m taking Kelly out on a date. Why, what are your plans?"

"Ehm, I have date as well. Will you pick her up or is she coming to you? What time?" J didn’t even leave room for the woman to answer the questions that came rushing out of his mouth.

Sydney narrowed her eyes and studied him thoughtfully. He was hopping from one foot to the other; his eyes still cast down at the floor. She didn’t understand what the reasoning behind his interrogation was.

"I’m picking her up," she replied cautiously. "Why?" she repeated her earlier question.

The dark cop quickly turned around and strode away. "Okay, thanks," he threw over his shoulder.

A voice boomed out: "Jeremiah Maximillian! Get your ass back here."

The man stopped moving and waited in the middle of the squad room. Sydney sighed and mentioned offhandedly: "You’d better get back here or I’ll have to throw my theories about why you’re acting like a scared rabbit into the group."

J glanced around him and saw several other detectives looking on with interest. Sighing resignedly he turned and made his way back to his smirking partner, fervently wishing he hadn’t asked anything.

Sydney patted the desk for him to sit down, smiling sweetly at him. "I think I have an idea about why you are so evasive, my friend," she started, enjoying the look of discomfort that crossed his face.

"There’s absolutely nothing wrong with you going out on a date with Tamara. Why are you so worried about me seeing you there?" she inquired curiously.

J let out a breath in relief. "I’m glad you don’t mind, Syd. I was worrying because you know my track record and I was thinking you might not want me to take out Tamara. You seem protective of her."

"Oh, I am protective. But I know you and I know you wouldn’t do anything to hurt her," she patted his jeans clad knee. Then she stood up and put her face inches from his, startling the dark man.

"But hurt her in any way and I hunt you down to make you regret it. Big time!" she growled, causing J to watch her in shock.

Sydney started laughing when J tried to say something, but couldn’t get the words to leave his mouth. She leaned in and kissed him on a flushed cheek.

"Relax, I was just toying with ya. Guess I’ll see you this evening, buddy."

Still chuckling, Sydney walked around the desk, patting J’s head when she heard him mutter: "I’ll get her for this."


Tamara whistled between her teeth when her sister finally emerged from her bedroom. She twirled her finger, indicating Kelly should turn around so that she could get a good look.

The blonde smilingly obliged, spreading her arms and showing off the red dress. It had a low neckline, showing a lot of skin in front, but even more in the back. Her toned arms were bare, only covered by a small watch on her left wrist and a delicate bracelet. The dress stopped at about mid-thigh, hugging every curve of Kelly’s body.

Her blonde hair contrasted nicely with the color of the dress and her green eyes sparkled in anticipation of the evening ahead.

‘She looks happy,’ Tamara thought, not able to remember a time when she saw her sister like this. Out loud she said: "You’re going to drive your date crazy, you know that, do you?"

"Thanks for the compliment, sis. It took me long enough to decide," Kelly grinned in reply, having spent the last hour and a half trying to decide what to wear. Her bed resembled a disaster site right now, clothes covering every inch of the available surface.

The blonde blinked, finally taking in her sister’s appearance. "You look pretty dressed up yourself, Tam. Nice skirt."

Her sister fumbled with the skirt a bit. "Yes, thanks. I was meaning to tell you. I have a date as well," she told Kelly, a bit nervous.

"That’s nice," Kelly replied. "With whom? And when did you meet the guy?" she added as an afterthought, not understanding where Tamara could have met anyone in the short time she had been here.

Tamara half-grinned. "With J, actually," she retorted, a giddy feeling running through her body. "He’s supposed to pick me up in a few minutes."

Kelly nodded a bit. "I knew it! I saw you looking at him. That’s great, he’s a good guy," she enthused, happy that her sister found a more decent guy to go out with.

"Easy, Kels, it’s only a first date," Tamara laughed.

Just then the doorbell rang and both sisters dashed to the mirror to have a last glance. Their eyes caught when the bell rang impatiently for the second time and giggling they went to open the door.

Two jaws hit the floor when they saw the persons in front of them. Two tall cops stood on their doorstep. The big man wore a pair of snugly fitting black jeans and a gray V-necked shirt. Casual, yet very attractive.

Sydney wore a pair of black pants, covering long legs but hugging every curve. A white blouse completed the outfit; the top buttons loose so that a seductive amount of décolleté could be seen. Not completely bypassing on the leather, she wore her ankle length leather coat.

The cops looked at each other with amused looks when it became clear that their dates weren’t about to speak.

Sydney shrugged at J. "What do you think? Should we just go out together, it doesn’t look like they’re really good company this evening. Kelly hasn’t said a word to me in the 5 minutes we’ve been here."

"Hmm, neither has Tamara," J replied, pretending to consider the offer. "But if we look as good as they do, then it’s no surprise they’re speechless," he added, puffing up his chest.

"Okay, enough already," Kelly found her speech. "You both look absolutely awesome though," she said, staring into blue eyes.

"So do you," the tall woman replied sincerely. "I like the dress." Sydney’s eyes roamed over the blonde’s body, hoping she could get through the evening without dragging Kelly with her to some deserted toilet.

"Are you ready?" J asked the still silent Tamara.

"Yes, I am," she shook herself back to the present and added: "Just let me get my coat and purse and I’m ready to go."

After quickly darting back inside, she took the offered arm and waved at her sister. "Have fun Kelly. I’ll see you tomorrow!"

Kelly waved back while watching the two of them going down the stairs. "You too," she shouted after them.

Returning her attention back to her own date, she said: "Hi."

She closed her eyes when Sydney pulled her close for a kiss. Out of breath she whispered: "What was that for?"

"I missed you and I just felt like it," was the simple response. Sydney held out her hand in invitation. "Ready to go?"

The blonde grabbed the strong hand and it wasn’t long before the two women were on their way.

To be continued in part 6

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