Copyright © 2012 R. P. Martin
Part 3 of A Suitable Suitor Series
Part 1: Man of Her Dreams (complete)
Part 2: Waiting My Whole Life (complete)
Part 3: Walking Away (complete)
Part 4: The Stalker (complete)
Part 5: The Nightmare (complete)
That Same Evening
The man left Brandon Jackson's office feeling mighty proud of his accomplishment. The photographs he had taken of the CEO's daughter had definitely worked to his advantage. Even if he had showed Piper his love, he felt like she had ignored him for the better part of the last five plus years. Everything was going to change now that her father was involved. Brandon seemed ready to do anything to get Blake Beaner out of the picture. The man couldn't help himself but laugh as he got into his car because he knew now that Piper would finally be his.
“Everything is coming together. You will be mine. Nobody ignores me and I always get exactly what I want. Thanks to dear old Daddy, you'll be in my bed before you know it.”
The drive home was gloomy for the couple's stalker despite the recent events. Although his plan had been put into action, he didn't feel the joy he hoped he would. He wondered what else he could do to solidify his plan. When he settled into his apartment he looked at Piper's picture on the fridge, he swallowed hard as he imagined Piper's lips on his. All he could do was lean into the picture and kiss it. Soon his imagination took him to a place where he was Piper's everything. After staring at the picture for what seemed like a few minutes, he walked to his bedroom and eventually fell asleep but not before going over the details of his plan again. The stalker methodically went over his plan to take over Jackson Inc, get rid of Bean and most importantly have Piper by his side. Soon the thoughts disappeared and the darkness took over and claimed his sleep.
A Month Later
Piper and Bean reluctantly kept their relationship from Brandon but Bean felt something had recently shifted in their professional working relationship. Brandon acted somewhat different around the CFO but Bean never asked Brandon what was wrong. She didn't dare ask him about it because in her gut, she knew it had something to do with her relationship with his daughter. As she sat at her desk thinking about the situation, she was brought out of her thoughts by the ringing of her business telephone.
Blake listened for a hello, a reply or anything but the line stayed silent. This had happened a few times in the last couple of days and she thought it was weird. She didn't pay much attention to it but now it was becoming annoying.
Still, nothing came through on the other end. Blake carefully listened but couldn't hear anything.
“Hello? I'm about to hang up if you don't say anything.”
The CFO listened for a few more seconds then hung up the phone. She wondered what that was all about but didn't have time to think about it when her business line rang again. This time she stared at the telephone willing it to stop ringing but it didn't. She annoyingly picked up the phone but tried to keep her tone in check.
“Blake, Brandon here. I need to see you in my office tomorrow morning.”
“Of course Sir, I'll be in at 9.”
Bean attempted to say goodbye but by the time she had taken a breath to respond, the telephone line went dead. She thought perhaps Brandon was in one of his moods again but still something nagged at her about his behaviour. To distract herself, she picked up her smartphone and texted the woman she now had exclusively been dating for the last month.
v Hey Gorgeous.
? Mmmmm, is this who I think it is?
v That depends. Who do you think it is?
? The cute guy from Fluchia's? He's always had an eye out for me.
v You mean the waiter from our favourite restaurant? That scrawny guy who's literally always drooling over you. That guy! Really? You think that guy is cute?
? LOL. No. Well, I used to think he was cute. He's sweet. BUT, since you walked into my life, I haven't been able to look at anyone else.
v Poor you.
? Ha Ha. Aren't you funny?
v Always. When can I see you? I'm in need.
? In need you say? What kind of need?
v I'll never tell but I'm nearing the explosion mark. Tonight, you and me, my place?
? Yes please. You aren't the only one in need handsome.
v Oh, now that's interesting. :) Eat your heart out “Waiter boy from Fluchia's”.
? LOL. You are something else Bean.
v I'm leaving for home now and I'm cooking tonight.
? Perfect. I'll pack my bag.
v You better. I'll be waiting.
? I know. :)
v LOL, uh huh.
It didn't take long for Piper to get her overnight bag ready. Bean had briefly mentioned the idea of clearing out a drawer for her on one occasion. Now that she wished she had some things at Bean's place, she wondered if they would talk about it again. Their relationship had impossibly grown that much more. The art gallery owner couldn't imagine loving someone so much and wanting the world to know she was spoken for. On the other hand she felt like she was living a lie because her parents knew nothing of her relationship with Blake.
She smirked when getting her business suit into her mini-suitcase, zipped it up and left the house as fast as possible. She wondered if by chance tonight would be the night they might explore dangerous grounds. From the moment she had seen Bean at the coffee shop, her sex drive had been placed into overdrive but now that they were physically spending nights together, she was nervous about being intimate with the gorgeous woman. She however wanted nothing more than to consummate their relationship. It was confusing for the blonde but she was happy to experience whatever was going to happen. The one thing she liked was that Bean never rushed anything. Nothing felt hurried and that made Piper feel a little more comfortable with finally going down that path. It was important to her to share the love she had for Bean.
Piper made her way to Bean's house in record time. She had seen the CFO a few days ago but missed her like crazy. She wasn't really sure how much more she could take of these sappy emotions but the more they happened, the more she expected and drowned in them. Her love life was magical and she thanked whoever was listening to her on a daily basis for giving her the courage to love a woman like Bean. As she pulled into Bean's driveway, her heart rate picked up and her hands instantly became sweaty.
She grinned as she stepped out of her car when she saw the sexiest person in the world walking down the walkway to meet her. Bean hugged Piper and passionately kissed her. Piper was left breathless and smiling. By now she was familiar with the effect Bean's kisses had on her but it still made her weak in the knees and that was something she couldn't believe kept happening.
“That was an amazing hello.”
“You bet. How about we say hello like that every single time we see each other from now on?”
“Did you forget to mention that you also have the ability to read minds?”
“I have a few tricks left up my sleeve.”
“I suspect you do handsome.”
Piper felt the temperature rise within her body when Bean's soulful laughter tugged at her insides. She absolutely loved listening to Bean laugh because it was the purest of sounds she had ever heard in her life. A lot of things surrounding Bean were a first in her life which also took her by surprise. She was extremely happy and made it known to almost everyone around her.
Bean took Piper's bag in her left hand and snuck her girlfriend's right hand into her free one. As the happy couple walked up the walkway, the hair on the back of Piper's neck unconsciously stood on end. She stopped in her tracks and swiftly turned around to see if there was anything behind them. Bean followed suit knowing exactly what Piper was looking for because she had had the same reaction.
“Are you alright babe?”
“I guess so. I just get the feeling that someone is watching us. I don't know. Maybe I'm being paranoid.”
“You're not. It isn't the first time I've had goose bumps all over my body when walking into the house. It's kind of spooky isn't it?”
“It is. I felt it a few times at the gallery too but thought maybe it was my mind playing tricks on me. Should we call the police?”
“And tell them what?”
“We have a funny, suspicious feeling?”
“No. We can tell them that not only can I communicate telepathically but I also have a sixth sense when it comes to danger.”
Piper burst out laughing and kissed her girlfriend on the cheek. If there was one thing she could always count on when it came to Bean, it was that her girlfriend constantly made her laugh.
“It's called a gut feeling Blake.”
“So it is. Let's get you inside. I have a mean shrimp pasta dish waiting for you.”
“Good, I'm starving.”
Piper took another look at the bushes that were in the distance, the very same ones you could easily see from Bean's second floor bedroom window. Nothing appeared to be out of the ordinary so Piper turned around and followed Bean inside the house. Once inside, Bean locked the door straightaway and kissed the artist again. This time the kiss lasted what seemed like infinity. For Piper, it hadn't lasted long enough but it was a good start none the less.
After dinner, the couple talked about their week while sitting in bed. Piper lounged under the covers with her usual sleep wear which wasn't much. She had on a white tank top and a pair of matching bikini underwear. Piper couldn't help but stare at the woman beside her, especially when she didn't have a whole lot of clothes on either. Bean looked absolutely incredible in her black trunks and matching tank top. The duo couldn't keep their eyes off each other and before they knew what was happening, the women were naked and kissing.
Piper was over stimulated just by the sensations Bean was creating in her while kissing her body. It seemed unreal to have these kinds of feelings just by another human being's touch but she knew in her heart it was so much more than that. Their souls were connecting in a way she didn't even know existed. It was dramatic and the more it went on, the more she felt like her walls were breaking down. The love Bean had for her could only be explained as extraordinary and breathtaking, both words she had never used with Robert.
It got so hot in Bean's room that Piper felt powerless to cool down. She wanted so desperately to be with Bean but wasn't sure she could do it. She wondered if she could perform right and if she would give pleasure to Bean. She was scared Bean wouldn't love her because she wasn't familiar with how two women made love. Before she could continue thinking and analyzing about her situation, Bean stopped all of her movements.
“Are you alright? Am I hurting you?”
“Oh God no Blake. You are doing everything but that.”
“What's the matter then? Where are you?”
“I'm sorry handsome. I'm a tad scared about what is happening.”
“Can I make it better for you? Do you want to stop?”
“No. I just don't know if I'll be up to your standards. I'm not exactly experienced when it comes to making love to a woman.”
“Why don't we just do what feels good and try to leave out all that other stuff? If it feels good, then we'll stick to that.”
“Is it really that easy?”
“Why not? When you had sex before, did you do what you felt was right and what felt good?”
“Why can't we? Just because we're two women, it doesn't change a thing.”
“Are you sure?”
“Babe, you are so beautiful. I just want to make you feel good. Let me try.”
Piper smiled and allowed an anxious tear to roll down her cheek. No one had ever explained it like that. She knew Bean was right about everything but would just have to let her body do what her heart and soul yearned for. She followed Bean's direction of course but for the first time in her life, she felt she had overcome the expectations of life and felt amazing about it. She felt like the weight of the world had lifted off her shoulders and wondered how better she would feel if she told her father about her relationship with Bean.
Bean could tell that Piper was drifting off to another place so she did the only thing she knew would distract her. She rolled the smaller woman on her back and pinned her to the mattress. Piper's breath hitched at the sight of the lust and love that appeared in her girlfriend's eyes. Bean's dark grey eyes seemed to be nearly black and full of want and desire. Piper could only gaze into that shameless emotion, happy to have someone want her as much as she wanted them.
Bean snuck her hand in between their sweating bodies and reached Piper's exited hot core. The second Bean touched her slippery folds; Piper knew that this was exactly what she wanted. Bean could still see a bit of fear in the artist's eyes and wondered if Piper would stop them. For now, going at a slow pace seemed like the right thing to do until Piper was a little more relaxed and ready. Bean continued her movements, desperately wanting to be inside the woman's canal but was halted by the sound of Piper's cell phone. Bean stopped doing what she was doing frozen at the disappointment but kissed Piper on the lips and rolled onto her back. Piper grunted, displeased by the phone call but knew that if it was the gallery, she would have to take it. Sometimes she frowned upon her responsibilities of owning an art gallery.
“What are you doing at that lesbian's house?”
“It's none of your business what I'm doing and I've asked you never to call me.”
“Come on babe, it's me, Rob. You love me. Give me another chance. I'll make things right.”
“Leave me alone and stop calling me. It's over. Don't you understand that?”
Piper hung up the telephone and her entire body slumped over. Bean got up and within a few strides was kneeling in front of her girlfriend. In a moment of frustration and weakness, Piper had allowed a few tears to run down her cheeks. She thought that Robert was getting in the middle of everything again including her love affair with Bean. Bean hugged the woman in front of her and made sure to keep Piper close to make her feel as safe as possible.
Piper rested her head on Bean's shoulder and sobbed. So many wonderful things were happening in her life but this Robert issue was beginning to take its toll on her. She was stressed and found herself thinking about what he would and could do next. He didn't leave her alone and that scared her.
“It's alright babe, I'm right here.”
“I know you are. When is this going to stop Blake?”
“I don't know. I'm so sorry. Can I do anything for you?”
“You can finish what you started.”
“Oh I plan to.”
Bean playfully pushed the woman onto her back and gently climbed back on top of the gorgeous body. Piper instantly forgot about the phone call that had just taken place and allowed Bean to resume her worshipping methods. Piper fell into ecstasy once again but only for a few seconds.
“Did you hear that?”
Piper listened for Bean's answer but when she felt Bean's body weight disappear she opened her eyes and saw Bean already looking through the window. Piper looked and admired Bean's backside. She had never seen such an exquisite picture like the one Bean painted while standing there in front of the window. The idea that whatever was happening outside Bean's window made her skin crawl but as she looked at Bean's back, she held her breath and enjoyed the beauty. It was easy to see that Bean had taken good care of her body over the years. Bean's back was a vast canvas of muscle, strength, sweat and deliciousness. Her mother had been right about Blake. She was something gorgeous.
“I'm calling the police.”
“Ok. Do you see anything out there?”
As Bean called the inspector in charge of their case, the duo quickly changed into some sweats knowing that Detective James Benisson would most likely make his way to the house. The couple made their way down to Bean's living room and waited for the inspector. They didn't have to wait long and before they knew it, the couple was back in Bean's bed. Detective Benisson had taken a statement and checked things outside. Now they were tucked safely into each other's arms thinking about the whole ordeal.
“You ok Bean?”
“I'm fine babe. The guy is starting to piss me off. Clearly he's stalking you.”
“I never knew Robert to be like that.”
“Maybe not but I think it's important we keep Detective Benisson updated on everything.”
“I agree. I guess Robert's behaviour is escalating.”
“He's obsessed Piper.”
The couple talked a little while longer trying to calm their nerves and as expected, both found comfort in being in each other's arms. Their love making would have to wait for the time being but it didn't stop Piper from soundly kissing Bean on the lips. Eventually she rested her head on the sculpted chest beneath her and closed her eyes. The duo hardly slept that night, both thinking about what was happening and how serious the situation now was. Piper wasn't sure how much more harassment she could handle but as long as Bean was beside her, she could stay strong. If only she could tell her father about it.
The Next Day
As Piper walked into Jackson Inc., she winced at whatever was happening behind her dad's office doors. Piper hadn't heard that tone of voice from her father in a long time and she couldn't help but feel sorry for whoever was getting the backlash.
Piper turned around and saw Daniel standing there with a small grin. She looked back to the office door that was now starting to rattle and flinched when the screaming started.
“Don't worry about that.”
“It's kind of impossible not to worry about. No one deserves that.”
“Oh? I'm not so sure about that.”
Piper looked deep into the eyes of her father's right hand man to see if she could figure out what he was trying to say. She didn't like him all that much but according to her dad, Daniel had always been an asset to his company. She just thought there was something odd about him. He had never married, had no children and when she least expected it, he was always there. Still he helped run her father's business so she never thought anything else about it. She continued to look at him but stopped the second she heard Blake's voice. It was time to see what was happening.
“Perhaps it's time I break things up.”
“I don't think that's a good idea.”
“It's not your decision Daniel.”
She took a step away from the man standing in front of her and pushed by him. Piper's heartbeat pounded in her chest the closer she got to the office doors. She didn't want anyone to know that her father intimidated her but she knew she had to make sure Blake was alright.
“What is going on Dad?”
Brandon looked over at his daughter and when she saw the look in his eyes, Piper wanted to wilt like a flower and disappear from the world. She knew in that instance that her relationship with Bean had finally come out into the open. The rage in her father's expression scared Piper but she didn't want to back down from owning her feelings for Bean. She deserved to be honest about how much she loved Bean.
“How dare you walk in here uninvited?”
“Daddy, please? What was I supposed to do with all the shouting that's going on?”
“I see. You're here to try and save the day, yes?”
“Enough Brandon. You can be upset with me all you want, but I won't have you intimidate your own daughter.”
“You have no say in the matter. Besides, I fired you three minutes ago.”
Piper couldn't believe what her father was saying. She couldn't help but feel the tears start to build in her eyes for how the love of her life was being treated. She panicked and froze up not understanding how her father could still affect her.
“If I ever see you around my daughter again, you'll be sorry.”
“Is that a threat? Because I take offence to it.”
“Take offence all you want, you're disgusting. If I won't have a gay working for me, I certainly won't have one around my daughter. She is not like you.”
“You can't just fire me for something like that. I've done nothing wrong and this is discrimination.”
“I really don't give a damn.”
“Get the hell out of my office and don't come back.”
“You can't be serious.”
“Get some help, you're sick and stay the hell away from Piper, do you hear me?”
Bean looked in Piper's direction and felt defeated. She never would have gotten the job had she told Brandon that she was a woman and understood how he could be upset but she hadn't lied on her application. Bean watched as Brandon walked over to Piper and put his arm around her shoulder, uniting the Jacksons together as one. The newly fired CFO understood the gesture and left the room before the humiliation seeped out of her body disguised as tears. She wasn't about to let anyone see her that way, especially not in front of an arrogant bastard like Brandon Jackson.
Brandon slammed the door once Blake left the office and when he looked back at his daughter who was clearly upset and crying, the CEO felt a little pang of sorrow and guilt in the pit of his stomach. He had always believed in his morals and upbringing which he passed onto his only child but in that second, he questioned his judgement. He knew he had high expectations for Piper but he never liked to see her devastated.
“I'm sorry you had to see that. That woman deceived me and I won't have anyone like that work for me.”
“Dad, please don't say that. Blake is so wonderful.”
“I don't want to hear it and you are to stay away from her. Do I make myself clear?”
“Please don't do this.”
“I'll do what I want. No daughter of mine is gay. Period! Understood?”
Piper cried harder and stormed out of the office not answering her father. She left the building needing to talk to Bean and wanting to make things right. She wasn't sure where Bean had gone but was going to do everything in her power to find her so they could talk. She hadn't defended her love and wasn't sure how she would be able to salvage her relationship. She was a coward but longed for all of the things in her life to be right, especially with Bean.
As she walked out the front doors, the fresh air nearly knocked the wind right out of her. She searched the parking lot for Bean's black Land Rover but couldn't find it. As she double checked the area, the hair on the back of her neck sprung up again leaving her in an unbearable situation. She didn't want whatever was about to happen to happen but in her gut; she knew she'd have to deal with Robert again. The closer she got to her BMW, the feeling that someone was watching her intensified. Her skin crawled and all she wanted to do was be in Bean's arms.
Piper looked towards the voice and frowned when she saw Robert who had called out to her while jogging towards her. The feeling that someone was watching her had vanished but now she wondered what Robert was up to. The jerk just wouldn't give up.
“I don't have time for this Robert. Leave me alone.”
“Piper, please don't do this. I mean it. You'll be sorry.”
Piper slammed her car door shut and locked it. She started her engine and as soon as she could, she threw her car into drive and barreled out of the parking lot. She could see Robert screaming after her in the rear view mirror and thought about how his behaviour, although obsessive, still wasn't as eerie as it should have been. The frantic few moments before Robert had appeared were troubling, chaotic and unwanted but the minute Robert showed up, the situation seemed to drastically diminish. The two feelings didn't match, which only made her that much more afraid. Robert had cleverly been able to alter his surroundings making him more dangerous in her mind. It confused Piper because in actuality, Robert was clearly a mastermind at whatever he was doing. It scared her and she needed to talk to Bean about it. She pulled over and turned her smart phone on to text Bean.
? Bean, where are you handsome?
v I'm at home. Now is really not a good time Piper.
? I'm sorry for what happened at the office but I'd like to talk.
v I'm not sure if that's a good idea.
? Please Blake.
v You could have at least defended us to your father.
? I know. Don't you think I know that? Let me come over.
v You hurt me. I feel like I'm nothing to you.
? That isn't true. You are everything to me.
v You have a funny way of showing it.
? Let me come over so we can talk.
Piper was relieved when Bean agreed to see her. She quickly made her way to Bean's house, nearly chewing all of her nails off by the time she pulled into the woman's driveway. She knew she had to make things right but in truth; she had no idea how to make that happen. What could she say to the heartbroken woman? Piper gathered her strengths and headed for the front door. She was surprised when she found it locked. Since the beginning of their relationship, Bean had always left the door unlocked for her. Now as she stood there waiting for the door to open, she thought about how things had drastically changed in the last twenty-four hours.
Bean finally opened the door but when Piper saw the glossiness in her eyes, Piper couldn't help but look away because she knew she had caused that pain. Piper wasn't really surprised when Bean backed away from the door not letting the blonde hug her. She felt a dark hole starting to form in the depths of her soul and wanted the pain to disappear. She needed to make Bean understand why she had not said anything.
“Can I come in?”
“The door is open, isn't it?”
Piper involuntarily looked away when Bean's curtness struck her heart. She believed she deserved it, especially after how she had treated Bean but it still stung and flustered her body. She walked through the entrance door, locked it behind her and ventured to the sofa where Bean was already sitting down. It looked like Bean was already on pins and needles and Piper vowed to fix the situation.
“Honey, I'm so sorry about what happened this morning.”
“What exactly are you sorry about Piper? Not telling your father about us or not being able to stand up for yourself?”
“Everything Bean! My god, do you have any idea how hard it is to even disagree with the man?”
“Actually I do. I worked for the man, remember?”
“Cut the sarcastic crap Bean.”
The emotions were flooding high around the two women but at least they were talking about what had happened. Things were heating up but Piper observed Bean's defiant mood calm down. As the artist watched Bean take a few deep breaths, she mirrored the actions trying to get her heart to beat normally.
“This is new to me but the last thing I wanted was for you to think that you aren't important to me. I froze back there in my dad's office Bean. I felt like a little kid who was getting in trouble. I know it seems silly to you but it's been my truth for a long time. I just didn't know what to do or how to react.”
“Damn Piper. This is messed up you know.”
“I know it is.”
Piper hesitated in getting closer to Bean but when she saw the woman's resolve, she knew she had to try getting as close as humanly possible.
“I'm pretty hurt by all of this.”
“I know you are Bean but let's be honest, you didn't tell my father either you know.”
“I didn't think I needed to tell your father. Had your father read my employee application when hiring me, he would have known I was a woman. Do you go around telling potential employers that you're a woman?”
“No of course not but you don't correct anyone.”
“Why should I Piper?”
Piper thought about Bean's last question and wondered why Bean had to tell potential employers that she was a woman. She certainly didn't need to announce her gender but then again, she also didn't look like a man. In the end however, should it make a difference? She looked into the eyes of the woman she loved and realized it shouldn't matter.
“Oh gosh Bean, it doesn't matter. The problem is that I didn't stand up for us. You have no idea how sorry I am. I feel terrible because I know in my heart that it's you that I want to share my life with. I'm just having a difficult time telling my father.”
“Is it that or are you just ashamed or embarrassed about being with a woman?”
“Never Bean, you know me better than that. I'm working on my confidence when it comes to my dad. I'm sorry I didn't make things right this morning, but I am trying.”
Piper closed her eyes wanting the world to right itself. She feared her inability in setting her dad straight would eventually harm her relationship with Bean but she hoped their mutual love for each other would surpass all of that. Finally Bean shed a few tears and pulled the sad blonde into her arms. Piper was astonished by the move but knew it was exactly what they both wanted.
The couple continued to talk about what had happened trying to resolve their issues. Finally, the women decided that it was too important for them to stay together because what they had as a couple outweighed anything else they had ever experienced before. Piper no longer needed to tell her father about the relationship but would still have to reason with him. They both knew it would be a difficult thing to do but in the end, Piper decided that being with Bean was the only thing that mattered.
A Week Later
? Hi handsome.
? What's the matter?
v We should probably talk about this later babe.
? Blake, what's wrong? I'm getting a bad feeling.
v Please don't worry. It's nothing. I just got a few more pictures from dear old Bobbi, stalker boy.
? Damn. What the hell is his problem?
v I don't know. The weird thing is that the pictures were taken on the day I was fired.
? No way. What do they show?
v We're on the couch talking and crying.
? That son of a bitch. He tried to talk to me before I left the parking lot that morning. How was he able to get to the house and take pictures of us without us knowing?
v Babe, please promise me that you'll stay away from him.
? Alright, you have my word. Was there anything else?
v Yeah, there was. A note.
? A note? What did it say?
Piper anxiously waited for Bean's text to come through because she just didn't know what Robert's note could possibly say.
v It's only a matter of time before Ms. Jackson's tears are permanent. You have to know she doesn't belong to you. Stay away or else.
Piper had a hard time swallowing when she re-read what the note said. She couldn't pull her eyes away from the text and couldn't believe how tenacious Robert was. The art gallery owner was furious and upset because the phone calls, photographs and notes were now coming in frequent intervals.
? Let's talk about this tonight sweetheart.
v Alright babe.
? Are you still coming to the show?
v Of course. I'll be there.
? Blake, I need to be with you. Do you think I could spend the night?
v You don't have to ask.
? Yes I do. You've been so distant and shielded lately.
v I'm sorry I've been guarded babe. I really am. I would like you to spend the night.
? You don't have to be sorry sweetie; you just have to believe in me and in us.
v I do believe is us baby. This whole Robert thing is starting to drive me crazy I think. I'm just not myself.
? Neither am I. I'll see you tonight.
v Yes you will.
The couple obviously still had a few kinks to work out but Piper was certain that in the end, the duo would make it through. She desperately wanted to tell Bean that she loved her but for now, she would wait until things calmed down a bit. She only hoped the police could catch Robert before he executed his plan, whatever it was.
After showering, putting her dress on and applying her makeup, Piper left the house and briskly walked towards her car. She needed to get to the gallery as fast as possible to see Bean. The closer she got to her car, the more whatever was in between her wiper and windshield revealed itself. As she got to the driver's side of the car, there was no doubt about it, there was a note stuck on the glass.
Piper looked around and wondered if Bean had come by to surprise her but she knew the CFO wouldn't have had time, besides they were meeting at the gallery in fifteen minutes. She glanced and scanned the area but she could see nothing. The artist tried to relax but the minute she concluded that the note couldn't have come from Bean, she slightly panicked. She picked it up and unfolded it to see what it said.
My beautiful Piper, now that Blake Beaner is gone from your life, maybe you'll see how strong our connection really is. I know your love for me runs deep in your soul. See you soon my love. Ever after is just around the corner. oooxxx
The gallery owner couldn't believe Robert had managed to get this note to her car. This obsession of his was becoming a real annoyance. There was however something about the note that didn't sit well with her. She hardly recognized Robert's character in the note and wondered just how delirious he really was. She stuffed the note in her purse and tried not to think about it. She just needed to be with Bean right now.
Later that night Bean and Piper met up at the gallery. Bean arrived a little earlier to be able to spend some alone time with the gorgeous blonde. It's true that Bean had been heartbroken by the fact that Piper hadn't been able to stand up to her father, but knew in her heart that in time Piper would overcome her dad's expectations and controlling behaviour. She shook her head at what she was thinking but allowed it to slip out of her lips as she walked into the gallery.
“No wonder she dated that jerk off. They're both control freaks.”
“What was that?”
Bean turned towards the voice not immediately recognizing the man who was standing there. She had not physically seen him in a while but politely smiled when she recognized him.
“Nothing. Apparently I'm talking to myself again.”
“So it seems.”
“Enjoy the show.”
“I have no doubt I will.”
She didn't really like the guy who was standing in front of her so the second she could walk away from him, she did. By the time she got to Piper's office, she had already forgotten about the meeting. When Bean knocked on Piper's door, Lisa came walking out.
“Hello Blake. Ms. Jackson is waiting for you.”
“Thank you Lisa. By the way, good luck with your paintings tonight.”
Bean leaned into the pretty woman, gave her a grin and hugged the smaller frame. Bean then gave her a quick peck on the cheek and released the woman from her hold.
“You're staying aren't you?”
“I wouldn't miss it for the world. In case you are too busy promoting your work later; I thought I would wish you good luck now.”
“Thank you Blake. That's very sweet of you.”
A Few Hours Later
Before both women knew it, Piper's gallery was beginning to fill up. The couple hugged and kissed for a long time, trying to banish the leftover unwanted negative feelings from their argument a week ago when Bean was fired from Jackson Inc. Bean assertively took hold of Piper's hand as they walked out of her office. Although Piper was a tad nervous about the display of affection, allowing the world to see that Bean had stolen her heart was exactly the direction she wanted to be going in.
The show was going as planned and Lisa's paintings were a hit. The gallery was making money and Lisa's pieces were selling like hot cakes. Piper however couldn't help but feel like she was in her own little world. Her focus was entirely on those amazing dark eyes that continuously pierced her soul. At one point, Bean leaned in and slowly kissed Piper's lips, leaving the breathless artist basking in her feelings of love and adoration.
“What in the hell are you doing here with my daughter?”
Piper and Bean both turned around to see who had just spoken. Piper's heart dropped to the floor the second she heard the venom in her father's words. This was her place of business and the last thing she wanted was for the gallery to be a place of drama and the result of gossiping.
“Dad, please, not here. This is my gallery.”
“What did I tell you last week Piper Jackson? I won't have you sneaking around with this diseased freak. Do you hear me?”
“Brandon, you're being a little inappropriate don't you think?”
“Was I talking to you? This is between my daughter and me.”
“She's my business Sir and I would appreciate it if you left.”
Piper could see the fire in her father's eyes and wondered what she should do. She was upset for what her dad was doing and knew Bean was right in asking him to leave the gallery.
“It's you who needs to leave. Piper you are going to have this “gay” escorted out of here immediately.”
“Please don't do this. I'm with Blake and there is nothing you can do about it.”
Piper's blood raced but the sensations of finally standing up to her father had somehow freed her. She looked up to Brandon and saw the temperature rise in his cheeks.
“You won't ever embarrass me like that again. How dare you, you ungrateful child!”
Brandon lifted up his hand and was about to swing it towards his daughter's face when Bean stepped in front of her, essentially protecting her from the blow. Piper didn't know what was happening until Bean snapped her father's hand back into hers, holding his motion in place.
Piper watched the blood drain in her father's expression and wondered what exactly he was thinking. Bean had protected her and it looked like for the first time ever Brandon looked like he was backing down. He refused to let anyone win any arguments he was part of and he was arrogant most of the time but on rare occasions Piper felt he knew he was wrong. Piper calmed her heart but didn't have time to say anything else before Brandon spoke out loud again.
“I mean it this time, you stay away from daughter.”
“I can't do that Sir.”
“Do you have any idea who I am and what I could do to you?”
“I know exactly who you are and I'll be damned if I let you control my life.”
Brandon didn't have the time to finish his sentence nor did he manage to accompany it with a blow like he had intended. In one swift motion, Brandon's right hand man, Daniel had separated the two from making a big mistake. The couple watched as Brandon was dragged out of the gallery. Piper was thankful for what Daniel had done and hoped his father would repay him someday. Bean excused herself to freshen up and in doing so she missed that Daniel had returned into the shop to talk to Piper.
“I'll talk to your father.”
“It doesn't matter what you do. He'll never be OK with my relationship to Blake.”
“Perhaps but we'll see.”
“Thank you for helping out Daniel.”
“My pleasure Ms. Jackson.”
When Bean returned to Piper's side, the artist asked Bean to join her in the office. Bean followed, thankful for the reprieve they might get. Bean was beyond furious about what had just happened but was happy Piper had stood up to her father. Piper was always assertive and confident about anything in her life except when it came to her father.
After spending a few good minutes holding each other and briefly talking about what had happened, Piper knew it was important to get back out onto the floor to try and fix the damage that her father had caused. Later that night as the party wined down, the couple who had hardly talked found each other and headed to Bean's house. They each showered separately needing some space and alone time but when they climbed into bed and reached for each other, not another word was spoken.
In the darkness, listening to Bean's shallow breathing, Piper thought about how menacing her father had been towards the two. She respected her father but in truth knew he didn't respect her. She wished for things to be normal again but knew her father would never accept the fact that she has feelings for another woman. Piper was lost in a whirlwind of disturbing thoughts. She wondered how far her father would go and speculated that he was working with Robert. She eventually cried herself to sleep but when she awoke the next morning, things seemed more sombre.
The Next Morning
“Piper, are you alright?”
Piper was in the living room looking out the bay windows and trying to find the right words to explain to Bean how worried she was about her father's threats.
Piper jumped when she realized Bean was talking to her. She turned around and looked at her girlfriend. She knew the minute she would say what she dreaded that she would die right alongside Bean. She knew it was going to destroy Bean but in her heart, Bean was the most amazing person in her life and she needed to do anything to protect her, even if that meant breaking up with her.
“Bean, I'm not sure about all of this.”
“You aren't sure about all of what?”
“My father has never physically hurt me but last night, I thought he was going to.”
“He would have had I not stepped in front of him.”
“So what are you thinking?”
Piper allowed the tears to stream down her cheeks and refused to look into Bean's eyes. She knew she'd change her mind if they stared at each other but she was dead set on protecting the woman of her dreams so she didn't' look at her.
“Bean I think we should take a break.”
“Uh huh. Let things settle down and see what happens.”
“Piper, your father will never be OK with us being together so why take a break?”
“Exactly for that reason. I don't want anything to happen to you.”
“I'm a tough guy babe, I can take care of myself.”
In part Piper couldn't deny what Bean was saying but believed she needed to use drastic measures to prove her point. She would have to say something to hurt Bean again.
“Bean, really, I don't even know if I'm gay.”
“I think it's best we part ways.”
Piper examined Bean's body go weak to the point where she needed to sit on the sofa. Piper's tears rushed down her cheeks and she was not able to control them. She was afraid of what would happen to Bean if they continued with their relationship and it was killing her. She immediately felt the tension in the room and felt a loss she wasn't able to describe. Her heart broke in a million pieces as she saw the lone tear trickle down Bean's cheek. The woman in Piper's life slowly turned away affectively cutting off her emotions. She watched as Bean's back become rigid and while the moments of silence slipped by the two women, her confidence about what she had done no longer made sense.
Eventually Bean spoke.
Piper watched the love of her life get up and walk out the front door without saying another word. She was left standing there all alone in Bean's living room. She fell to her knees and sobbed for what she had done, while trying to convince herself that it had been the right thing. Eventually she got up from the floor and walked to the front door, picked up her overnight bag and before locking the door behind her took another look inside the empty home she had come to cherish and love. She couldn't help but finally say those words she had longed to say for so long.
“I love you Blake.”
Bean rushed to her Land Rover, hopped in and drove away from the girl of her dreams. Again Piper had hurt her and she wondered how many times she would allow the artist to continue to do so. Bean promised herself that it was the last time she would ever see Piper Jackson. A part of Bean died but the other part of her couldn't help but wonder why Piper had cried so much when breaking up with her. She speculated that Piper had broken up with her to save her but couldn't understand why she wouldn't have talked to her about it before taking extreme measures.
Bean remembered the love in those sparkling emerald coloured eyes and knew she would most likely always continue to love the blonde. In her anger she had vowed to never see the artist again but believed that possibly she had hastily made her decision. She just wasn't sure what to do now. Maybe they needed a bit of time apart but as she continued to think about her situation she was distracted by a text message that came through.
? I'm so sorry. Please just try to understand.
v It's not that easy. I feel like a part of me is dead. Is walking away really the only answer?
? I'm sorry Blake, it's over.
The Following Saturday
“Good afternoon Ms. Jackson.”
“Please Daniel, call me Piper.”
Piper saw Daniel's eyes brighten and it made her smile. Although there was something a little strange about her father's right hand man, he was still a very kind man.
“Thank you Piper.”
“Good. Now that we have that settled, how are you?”
“I'm well, yourself?”
Piper didn't have the time to finish her conversation with Daniel because she was called into her dad's office. The two said goodbye to each other and after a few strides, she entered Brandon's office. She looked at her father and knew he recognized the defiance in her eyes.
“Sweetheart, please sit down.”
“No. I prefer to stand.”
“Honey please, I just want to talk to you.”
“I have nothing to say to you.”
“I only did it for your best interest.”
“No Dad, you did it for yours. The kicker is that I'm not even really sure you wouldn't do it.”
“Do what exactly?”
“I'm not sure you wouldn't hurt us.”
The blonde artist had enough and wasn't going to allow her father to ruin her life anymore. Until now she had managed to avoid him but finally agreed to see him because she wanted to control her own life. She wanted to tell him what she thought and he would have to like it no matter what because Piper didn't want to be apart from Bean. She loved Bean and the moment she had vocalized it to herself, she knew she had made a mistake by breaking up with her.
“I would never hurt you.”
“You almost did.”
“It's that woman's fault Piper! She made me so mad.”
“You can't blame her. This is your fault. Blake is a good person and an exceptional woman.”
“I don't care. I won't have my daughter dating a lesbian.”
“It doesn't matter what you want. I'm tired of you controlling my life. I've had it with your expectations. I can't do it anymore and because of you, I've lost the only person who's ever truly loved me. You've ruined everything.”
Piper could feel the anger running in her veins. She had never talked to her father like that but in that moment, something had clicked into place for her. She wasn't going to allow anyone, not even her father, run her life. It was time she took charge which is exactly what she was doing.
“Stay away from her Piper.”
“You'll be sorry.”
The saddened women left the confines of her father's home office, vowing never to return until he was able to be reasonable about the situation. She didn't think Brandon had to accept the situation but she certainly wanted him to respect her and her decisions in life. When she got into her BMW, she could still hear her dad yelling at the top of his lungs. He reminded her of a mad man but then again this chaotic behaviour to prove a point was childish and inappropriate. The man was an idiot and she wondered why she hadn't seen it before.
She grabbed her smartphone and quickly tapped the letters forming the words she would need to send Bean but she was interrupted by a phone call. She looked for the caller I.D. but nothing showed up. She refused to answer it at first but eventually answered it because it didn't stop ringing. She thought that whoever was on the other end of the line really needed to talk to her.
Piper listened for a reply but nothing came through.
The artist was annoyed and angry now because this hadn't been the first time she had received this kind of call.
“Listen Robert, if you want to say something, say it. I'm tired of these stupid games you keep playing. Stop calling me.”
Again, Piper didn't hear anything so she hung up the phone. She had better things to think about so she continued what she was doing before the strange phone call came through. In a matter of seconds, she had finished her message and sent it to Blake.
? Bean, I know you haven't answered any of my texts in the last week, but please know that I don't want to walk away from you, from us.
Although the telephone call still bugged her, she knew she couldn't do anything about it right now. It was important for her to focus on Blake. It was a long shot, but she had to try. Having Blake Beaner in her life was an absolute must. There was no way she wasn't going to fight for her. Bean hadn't answered her text when she walked through her studio door. Piper was ready to run away from her life for a little while but her cellphone finally came to life.
v I don't want you to walk away either. How do I know you won't do this again? I can't go through this again Piper. I really can't.
Piper re-read the text message from Bean and just cried for the hurt she knew Bean was feeling. She was happy that she had finally been able to get through to the elusive woman but now needed to prove her love. She was going to do whatever it took to get her back.
? Give me one last chance. I'm worth it and you know it.
v LOL. Oh boy. Is that really how you're going to convince me?
? No Blake it's not. I'm devastated without you and I can't breathe half the time, knowing that we're not together. I know I wronged you but please let me explain.
v I feel the same way you know. I've never felt like this before and I don't want to lose that but at what expense. We are dealing with enough crap from Robert.
? I know handsome. I know. Can I come over?
It took a while for Bean to answer the last text. Piper knew Bean was contemplating and deciding what to do and in all probability, Bean shouldn't forgive her. What would she really want with someone who didn't have the first clue about being gay? She knew deep in her soul that Bean didn't care about that. She always said it was just about loving who you love and cherishing that beauty. It was about the person and how she felt about them and for once, Piper was going to break all the rules her father had put into place for her. At least, she would try. She just hoped Bean would give her the chance to explain.
v I'll be waiting for you.
? Good, be there in a minute.
v LOL. Are you on a stakeout? My house being the target?
? Not exactly. :) I drove over here hoping you would see me.
v OK. See you soon.
? Blake, I miss you so bad it hurts. I mean, it physically hurts.
v I know exactly what you mean.
It didn't take Piper long to get to Bean's house. She hadn't been there in over a week and couldn't wait to be in Bean's space. She missed her but she also missed everything else about her, including her personal space. She knew she belonged with the now ex-CFO. Piper locked her car doors and started walking briskly towards the front entrance when something in the back of her mind urged her to look around. There was that feeling again and she was determined to find the cause of it. She looked around but nothing jumped out at her. She thought she heard a distant clicking noise of a flash but she convinced herself it was only her mind that was playing tricks on her. There was no way she could have heard the flash of a camera from where she was standing.
Piper knocked but didn't have to wait long for Bean to open the door. Piper was swept off her feet when Bean picked her up. In one single motion, Bean had slammed and locked the door with her free hand while the other kept her precious cargo in tack. Piper didn't have to register how fast Bean had been but it no longer mattered because her lips were locked with her lover's. Bean's touch was stimulating, sensual yet a little forceful. In that moment Piper's need for Bean made her speechless. She didn't know what to say to Bean but desperately tried to find the words to explain how much her soul had missed her.
Bean kissed the woman of her dreams until both their lips felt bruised. Piper's need grew in between her legs as she imagined what else Bean could do to her. Piper's heartbeat pounded into her chest and everything that had been wrong for the last week had finally righted itself again.
Piper needed to catch her breath so she slowed the pace down a little, wanting to enjoy what was happening but mostly wanting to tell Bean she was crazy about her. When Bean slipped Piper's bra strap to the side and started kissing her shoulder, she closed her eyes and talked from the heart.
“I'm so sorry I hurt you baby.”
“Shhhhh, it's OK. We don't have to talk about that right now.”
“I want to. I know you are hurting but you need to know a few things.
Bean started to step away from Piper to focus on what the artist wanted to talk about but Piper pulled Bean's gorgeous body into her. She squeezed the larger frame seeking comfort because she knew that whatever she would say next would leave her completely vulnerable.
“Oh no you don't. My shoulder is still in need Blake Beaner.”
“Ha ha. Yes Miss.”
“OK, as I was saying.”
“Are you alright there?”
Piper's breath hitched the minute Bean placed her loving lips upon the delicate skin of her shoulder. The artist grinned into the air the instant the warmth of Bean's mouth touched her body.
“More than alright.”
Piper looked into Bean's eyes and wanted to share that she loved her. She felt silly for how nervous she was but in truth, her inexperience with actually feeling love at all was a tad embarrassing for her. She thought she had loved Robert but she was dead wrong because whatever she felt for Bean was something that made her emotions and feelings explode every single time they were together. Hell, it was the same way when she simply thought about her. She smiled and continued.
“I never thought I could feel this way. Blake, do you have any idea how gorgeous you are?”
“Of course I do.”
Piper poked Bean in the belly and watched her soon to be on-again girlfriend laugh out loud. Bean's antics were always something she loved about the woman who was often mistaken for a man. She realized in that moment that it no longer mattered what gender Bean was because it was everything about her that fit perfectly with her personality. She took a few deep breaths and smiled into the air as Bean continued the loving assault on her shoulder.
“You're the one who is gorgeous Piper.”
“It's only because of you.”
“I guess we're in the same predicament than.”
The couple laughed and kissed each other like it was the first time, knowing that that was the case, everything. Something magical had happened between them and for the first time in a long time Piper knew she could never leave Bean's side. She still had so many questions about the kind of love she was feeling but it no longer scared her. As long as Bean stood beside her, she was ready for anything. She couldn't walk away, period.
“I can't walk away from you because I don't know how. I don't want to and the thought of us not being together is unacceptable.”
“Why did you break up with me in the first place then?”
“And be honest this time.”
Piper hesitated but Bean's arms hugged her a little harder around the waist bringing her impossibly closer.
“I thought it was the only way I could protect you. I've never been in a position before where the urge to protect someone was that strong. I didn't want anything to happen to you and at the time, I thought breaking up with you was the only way to save you.”
“You could have told me babe. We could have talked about it.”
“I know. I was afraid you'd convince me otherwise. I was wrong though because I'm miserable without you. I can't function. Does that make sense to…”
Piper didn't have time to finish her sentence before both women heard an incredibly loud crash coming through Bean's living room window. Within a few steps, Bean let Piper go and traveled to the window to see who had thrown the brick through the glass. Piper was in shock by what was happening and her fear intensified that much more. She knew being apart from Bean would kill her but wondered if being apart would actually save them both. Obviously Robert was upset.
Piper watched Bean survey the area outside and when she saw Bean kneel down to the ground, Piper started making her way over. It didn't take long to get to Bean and the closer she approached, the more her body trembled. She didn't know what was happening but something deep in her gut had reacted and now the goose bumps invaded every inch of her body.
“What's the matter?“Call the police babe.”
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