Disclaimers1: Xena and Gabrielle belong to Renpic. And, this being an Uberish tale, the main characters will bear a physical resemblance to them, but thats as far as is goes. Oh, and two supporting characters will be named after them. But its meant strictly as a tribute; nothing more. J
Disclaimers 2: There will be a tiny bit of violence scattered through the story, including one piece dealing with domestic battering and attempted rape. Nothing really intense though. There will also be some swearing scattered throughout the story.
Disclaimers 3: This is an adult alternative romance, which means that there will be sex between two consenting adult females later on down the line. If this bothers you, or is illegal where you live, then please read no further. You have been warned!
Copyrights: All characters mentioned in this story belong to me. Please do not use them, or any portion of this story without talking to me first. The song "Like We Never Had a Broken Heart" belongs to MCA Nashville, Garth Fandis and Trisha Yearwood.
Thanks: I would like to offer sincere and heartfelt thanks to the bestest <g> beta reader a bard could ever ask for. Thank you, Maggie Sheridan. Without your skills, patience, gentle guidance
And boundless encouragement, this story would never have seen the light of day. JChapter Twenty-Seven
Megan was having the most mouth-watering dream. They were sitting on the porch watching the sunrise and eating breakfast. Or, more precisely, she was sitting in Randi's lap, and the tall woman was feeding her bits of breakfast sausage.
Mouth to mouth.
"Mmm, delicious," the sleeping woman mumbled, eliciting a curious look from the little foxlike canine on the floor.
However wonderful her dream though, she was being slowly dragged from it by the even more wonderful smells that were drifting into her room and tickling her senses. Oh, God, that smells good.
A reluctant eyelid slid open, allowing a bleary green orb to take in its surroundings. Where…?
A clearing of her senses revealed that she was, (a) face down in a strange bed, (b) she was naked and, (c) everything hurt. Wha…
Memories of the prior evening's trauma fast-forwarded through her mind. Oh. Shit. No wonder I feel like roadkill, the blonde groaned internally as she gingerly rolled over onto her back.
But I'm happy roadkill. The blonde mused with a limited smile as her thoughts turned to a raven-haired doctor.
It was amazing, Megan acknowledged, as she reflected on the prior evening and the subtle ease with which their relationship had become…
That Randi's feelings for her went beyond friendship was obvious from the moment Megan regained consciousness on the treatment table. The azure gaze that met her own reflected so much love that one would have to have been blind not to see it.
And for perhaps the first time in her life, Megan was not blind.
And the writer found herself liking the feeling that that gaze invoked.
Small wonder then, that she wanted to not just experience that feeling, but immerse herself in it totally. Which is perhaps why she became so needy, so unwilling to let the doctor leave her alone in her bed.
And why it felt so darn ... right ... to fall asleep cradled in those long, strong, warm arms. I could get used to that, she concluded, a wicked half smile creasing her lips as she stretched languorously.
"Should I be worried about that smile?" was the playful greeting from the doorway.
Without missing a beat, Megan's face took on a look of wide-eyed innocence. "Why, Doctor, whatever would you have to worry about from a poor, helpless, injured woman like me?"
Randi shook her head, chuckling. "Yup, I should be worried."
Moving into the room, the brunette seated herself on the edge of the bed. "Glad to see you awake."
"Mmm," the blonde hummed languorously. "Who can sleep with such delightful smells floating around?"
"Well now, I guess I should take that as a clue that someone's hungry," the brunette drawled and was answered almost immediately by a rumbling growl that made one woman grin and produced a coral flush that covered every visible inch of the other's skin. "I'll take that as confirmation," the doctor chuckled.
Randi's smile turned from mirthful to affectionate as she gently brushed through fair bangs, checking for fever. Finding none, she moved her hand down to lightly grasp the smaller hand that rested on top of the covers. "How are you feeling today?"
Megan closed her eyes and took a quick mental inventory, then reopened them. "Truth?"
"Not that bad, actually." At the doctor's skeptical expression, she added. "I mean, my ribs hurt, and my face feels like I went a few rounds Rocky Balboa and lost, but I guess I just don't feel as bad as I thought I would." She scrunched up her face. "Does that make any sense?"
Randi grinned. "Perfect sense. And I'm glad to hear it."
Megan turned her hand up and squeezed the larger hand. "It must be the excellent medical attention I received when I got here."
Randi coughed and lowered her eyes as old demons raised their heads. "I wouldn't say excellent," she murmured.
Sensing the direction the doctor's thoughts had taken, the blonde squeezed the bigger hand more firmly until Randi's gaze met hers again. "I would," she stated forcefully, the intensity in her verdant stare daring the brunette to argue.
Randi swallowed reflexively at the hard, unyielding conviction in the young woman's voice and eyes.
And in that deep, dark corner of her heart where doubts and self -condemnation thrived, a small candle flickered to light.
"Thank you," was the barely heard whisper accompanied by a small, crooked smile.
Megan smiled her acknowledgment as her thumb unconsciously stroked the knuckles of the still-captured hand.
Randi allowed herself a few extra heartbeats to bask in the blonde's affectionate regard before reminding herself of the reason she'd come seeking the younger woman.
"Um, about that breakfast," she prompted.
"I'd love some," the blonde responded eagerly, mentally salivating at the memory of the doctor's perfect, fluffy, cheesy scrambled eggs.
"Great! Would you like to eat in bed, or do you feel up to eating at the kitchen table?"
"Well, I'd love to join you at the kitchen table, but…" the blonde made a show of lifting the sheet from her chest and peering underneath for a moment before turning mischievous green eyes on the doctor. "I'm a bit underdressed for the occasion."
"Hmm, I suppose that is a consideration," the brunette responded in mock seriousness.
"And I'm pretty sure you'd be quite unable to enjoy your breakfast with me sitting across from you, wearing nothing but skin," she added coquettishly.
And nearly bit her tongue in half to stifle a giggle at the sudden, raging blush that swept up Randi's neckline and disappeared into her hairline. Or not, her mind supplied amusedly. Oooh, what a cute blush.
Randi stared at the impishly grinning blonde, her mind too busy creating certain images to even attempt a rejoinder. Is it hot in here?
Clearing her throat and, reluctantly, her mind, Randi pointed to the open door. "I'll ... uhm ... I'll just go grab some of my old sweats." With that, she scrambled out the door, leaving the strawberry blonde clutching her protesting ribs and giggling wildly into her pillow.
The energetic flames danced and crackled merrily within the rough-hewn walls of the fireplace, casting warm, amber nets over the two women reclining on the big, overstuffed couch that faced it.
Or, rather, one was sitting and one was comfortably horizontal, her head resting cozily on a firm thigh. Shania Twain crooned in the background, while Randi idly twirled long golden tresses around her fingers.
That this arrangement was one more suited to lovers than nascent friends mattered not.
It was warm.
It was comforting.
It was nurturing.
It was needed.
And so, it very simply…was.
Randi listened attentively as Megan recounted her experiences since returning to the city, silently cheering the blonde's publisher for forcing the headstrong writer to confront the truth about her past, and delighting in the news of the reunion that followed.
Then Megan got to the part about Eric.
And the tall woman's delight took a nose dive as the blonde relayed the details of the encounter with her former lover; her mood became progressively darker as the writer, oblivious to the change, and immersed in her memories, provided a disturbingly detailed account of the assault.
Oblivious that is, until a deep, rumbling growl tickled her awareness. Curious, she turned her head to the source of the growl and cringed inwardly at the grim, furious mask that was Randi's beautiful face.
Oh, God! That's for me.
Warmed beyond measure, the blonde reached a trembling hand up and cupped the doctor's rigid cheek. "No, Randi. It's all right," she murmured. … "Randi?"
Frosty blue eyes tracked to green.
"It's okay," the blonde offered gently.
"How can you say it's okay?" the brunette voiced hoarsely. "He hurt you. He ..." Further words were clipped by small fingers against full lips.
"Yes, he did. And he'll get his, I can promise you that. But look beyond Eric for a moment and consider the whole incident," the blonde's eyes twinkled in amusement as ebony eyebrows furrowed, wondering where she was going with this. "As one very wise doctor once told me, it all boils down to perspective." Megan grinned cheekily at the narrow-eyed glare she'd earned for plagiarizing the doctor's earlier reasoning. "Looking at the entire thing, you see it as something bad that happened to me." Megan's eyes glowed with loving warmth as her thumb stroked a chiseled jaw. "And I see it as the catalyst that brought me back to you."
Randi absently wondered if it were possible for something to feel so wonderful that it hurt. If it were, then that would've been the best way to describe what she was feeling at this moment as she gazed into emerald warmth. "Then if I ever see him, I'll have to thank him while I'm kicking his ass, won't I?" she rumbled affectionately.
The unbruised half of Megan's mouth curled into a grin. "My hero," she declared half-kiddingly before sobering her expression and adding, "in so many ways."
"Only for you," the brunette whispered as, surrendering to the powerful entreaty in liquid green orbs, she lowered her head and gently placed her lips upon the blonde's.
Sweet…so very sweet, the blonde's mind hummed as she savored the soft, delicious offering. But… An impatient hand reached behind the brunette's head, pulling down and increasing the contact with the luscious lips ... an act she regretted immediately as pain shot through her damaged mouth, forcing her to break contact with a gasping groan.
A single tear squeezed through her tightly closed eyelids as she waited for the throbbing to ease. Finally, she opened her eyes to the amused, concerned ones above her.
"Are you okay?" the doctor inquired with a half grin.
"Just dandy," the blonde pouted.
"Now you know," the brunette lowered her head and placed a butterfly-soft kiss on the undamaged corner of the writer's mouth. "Why I," another kiss. "Kept it light," a final kiss, and then the doctor pulled back and asked again, this time earnestly. "Now, once again, are you okay?"
"I'm fine," the blonde replied, trying to keep the silly grin that was being prompted by the delighted fluttering in her belly off her face. "But I've got to get better quick ... real quick."
"You will," the tall woman assured, smiling fondly. "But before then, we're going to have to have a talk. We have much to discuss, you and I. About what has happened. About what's going to happen. And most important, what we want to happen.
I…care for you a lot, Megan. I think you know that. And I…I think you like me. Or at least I hope you do. But I don't want you to think…I don't want you to feel like…I…" Small fingers pressed against her lips arrested her rambling.
Mortified blue eyes blinked into amused green ones. "I'm babbling, aren't I?" vibrated against petite fingers.
"Just a tad," the blonde responded, barely containing a giggle, then sobering slightly and adding, "But you're right. We do have to talk. But not tonight. Tonight…right now…I just want you to walk me to my room, tuck me in and, if you don't mind," fair eyelashes fluttered shyly over pinking cheeks, "just…hold me for a while. Until I fall asleep…if you don't mind?"
Randi wrapped long fingers around the smaller hand and, lifting it to her lips, gently kissed the knuckles. "I'll hold you whenever you want…as long as you want," was whispered against fair skin.
Megan closed her eyes and let the sweet, soft warmth of that promise wash over her in gentle waves. I don't deserve you, she thought. "I'm gonna hold you to that," she said.
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