Disclaimer: See part 1
Don't Ask Don't Tell
By: S. K. Allen
Angel missed the first week of hertraining. Both Angel and Jamie's respective schools started on the second day of the new year. The older woman seemed to be having trouble doing anything. She couldn't sleep, and when she did, it was fitful, she couldn't eat, she wouldn't even listen to her beloved music. She felt nothing.
For the entire first week of training,
Jamie tried to entice the older woman to at least eat to no avail. She talked to her for hours on end with no response, and held her when her body shook with silent tears.
The day of the funeral, Angel sat by Marcus's grave, watching as his coffin was lowered and buried. She held his mother's sobbing body in her arms as she stared blankly, her mind running though the events of that fateful evening. I hope I never see you again Lou, because if I do, I will make you feel pain like you've never felt before and then I will kill you. Her anger started to rise, the first emotion she had felt since the shooting.
As the next week began, Angel readied herself to join her class. That morning, she dressed into her fatigues for the first time since her graduation. She stood in front of the mirror for a long while before she picked up her brush and started working on her hair. "I won't let you win. You are gonna make a mistake Lou, and when you do, I am gonna be right there waiting," she muttered to herself, working her raven locks into a tight bun. It felt strange after allowing her hair to fall freely around her shoulders for a month.
She stepped out of her bedroom. Jamie had already left, choosing to take her PT time with the rest of her company, and showering there. Angel headed for her car. It still smelled of his cologne. She sat there for a few minutes, not moving, blinded by tears that had overcome her. Wiping them away, she started the ignition and drove to her classes.
Her concentration was shot. She was an entire week behind the class, plus she hadn't heard a thing the instructor had said the entire day. The instructor pulled her aside and looked at her. "I heard you missed the first week of this block of instructions because of a personal matter."
Angel, doing her best to keep her emotions in check, looked at him coolly and quirked a brow.
"I suggest you wait till the class to start with everyone."
"That means expanding my stay here another six months. No, thank you," Angel finally said.
"Aaahh, she speaks! Major, if you want to stay in the program, you have to catch up. Have some of your classmates to help you out with notes and studying. Our first test is at the end of this week and covers the first block of instructions. You pass it, you can stay. You fail..." The instructor said, not without a hint of sympathy.
Angel looked at the board where it stated that the block of instructions they had been learning was "Medical Terminology." Piece of Cake, they didn't use to call me "Major Dictionary" for nothing, Angel thought as she walked out toward her car.
She paused at the car door, taking deep breaths before she entered. The smell of him bathed her and covered her like a blanket. Instead of crying this time, she relished and embraced the scent and the memories it invoked, knowing that it would not last forever.
Jamie wondered how her friend was. It was her first day back and she still hadn't said more than a few words to her. Worry about her later, Jamie. Angel is a big girl and she has been at this army thing longer than you, remember that, Jamie thought to herself, looking around at the clinic where she was going to start her first increment of clinical training.
She had a lot of fun throughout the
clinic, learning about taking accu-checks, a test of the blood sugars, and vitals. The time flew, and soon she was back in her little car returning home. She had a smile on her face as she drove into the driveway of her modest new home.
She parked next to the silver Mercedes
Benz and glanced inside at the tall form sitting there, staring off at a distance. Her smile faded, and a look of total concern came over her. She walked to the driver's side and watched the older woman take deeper breaths each time. It was as if she were trying to hold on to something.
You have to let it go Angel... You have to, Jamie thought and hesitated, thinking about whether to get her attention or just go into the house. She lifted her hand a couple of times to knock on the window, and, just as she decided to go into the house, blue eyes turned to face her and rooted her to her spot.
The vacancy that had filled the blue orbs for the past week was replaced by a solemn peace. The sadness still lingered in the smile the older woman gave her, but at least she smiled. Jamie couldn't help but smile back.
Jamie stepped back as the door opened. It was all she could do not to throw her arms around the woman, and keep her there for the rest of her life. She wanted to protect Angel from anything else that could bring such pain again.
"How was your first day?" Jamie asked, walking with her towards the door.
"It went. Got a lot of catching up to do." Angel's low drawl was like music to Jamie's ears. She had not heard her voice since the funeral when she talked a bit to Marcus's mother.
"I bet. When's your first test?" Jamie asked.
"Friday," Angel said, walking into the kitchen. "I have to learn a whole lot of terminology... but first I must feed my baby," Angel said, pulling one of the pre-cooked meals her mother had brought from the refrigerator, and served it on two plates.
Jamie smiled internally as she watched Angel pop one of the plates into the microwave and head for her room. That's right, Angel. Life goes on, Jamie thought, following the older woman's lead and heading to her room and striping out of her fatigues.
They sat together to eat. Jamie wanted to say so many things but decided to let Angel talk first. They said nothing at all. As she pushed the remainder of her food around her plate, Jamie started getting discouraged again. Why are you letting him beat you like this? She thought.
"You gonna finish what you have on your plate?" Angel asked suddenly. Jamie shook herself out of her reverie and smiled.
"You want it?" Jamie said looking over.
"Yeah, give it up," Angel said, reaching for the plate.
"Good, I am glad you're back Angel. It was getting rather lonely here without you," Jamie said, knowing that the older woman appreciated directness.
"You certainly haven't looked that lonely, Jamie. Who are you going out with tonight?" Angel answered sharply then regretted having let her jealousy show so quickly. Oh god, I can't believe I said that. I can't believe I would feel that way. Marcus just died because of me and I can't risk Jamie.
That man is still loose, Angel, she mentally berated herself.
Looking across to Jamie, who looked at her with a bit of hurt gleaming in her eyes that quickly changed to pity. She hated that look. Frustrated, she stood, bringing the plates back into the kitchen and into the sink.
Jamie followed, drying the dishes as Angel washed them and putting them away. "Look, I'm sorry. I understand how lonely you must be after losing Marcus. I should never have compared my feelings to yours."
"Whatever, Jamie. I don't need your pity, alright? Now I am going to my room to study, good night." With that she left, long strides taking her to her room and she locked the door behind her.
Be My Valentine
The month of January wasn't as cold as usual, but it was still too cold for Jamie. Not in a physical sense, but emotionally. She continued to date whoever asked her and slept with whoever let her stay over, but she never brought them home.
Angel was like a drill sergeant in her aloofness once again. She grunted greetings and never spoke unless spoken to. Angel seemed determined to keep Jamie at arms length and discouraged any comfort and relief she might want to give.
One evening, Jamie found herself at Liz's doorstep. "Hey Jamie! How are you?" Liz said, hugging her and pulling her inside. For the first time since she had known the older woman, she was alone with her in her home.
"I'm doing great Liz. I just don't feel like going home tonight," Jamie answered, sitting on the couch next to her.
"Why? Although I know Anjulee is not entirely back to her normal happy self, she seemed better to me. I went with her to her first ultrasound yesterday and got my first look see at my grandchild," Liz said proudly.
"She didn't mention it to me. Do you have any of the printouts? May I see?" Jamie asked with a soft smile.
"Oh, but of course," Liz said, standing up and walking into the den. "I find it odd that she didn't mentioned it to you. I know that the reason she didn't ask you to go with her was because of your class, but why would she not tell you about the sonogram?" Liz questioned as she came back into the room and handed Jamie the printouts.
"She hasn't said much except "yes," "no," "good morning," good night," and "see ya later" to me since her first day of school, so I know nothing about her plans." Looking down at the bits of paper in her hand, she looked at the developing shape of a human. "It's amazing that after three months there is this person. I can see its head. Oh, it's gonna be a cute one."
The grandmother beamed at the praise her grandchild was getting. Of course the praise was biased because she knew that Jamie was going to be a big part of the child's life, even though she or her daughter didn't know it yet.
"Do you know what sex it is?" Jamie asked.
"No, Anjulee didn't tell me. I don't
think she wanted to know," Liz answered. "What are you doing on Valentines day?" Liz asked after a few moments.
"Probably what I do every other night but I have nothing concrete. Why?"
"Thirty years ago, I missed Valentines day and I received the greatest gift a person could ever receive." Liz smiled at the look of recognition in the younger woman's eyes. I knew you were quick.
"She's gonna be thirty in two weeks? What were you planning?" Jamie asked, excited to know this bit of information about her roommate.
"Nothing. She and Marcus used to celebrate Valentines day. She would spend the day with me and we would do birthday things, but at night she was his. She's bound to be moody this year."
"I see," Jamie said, sighing softly then shaking her head. "She needs to forget."
"She can't forget and she won't. Granted, she needs to deal with it better, but she won't forget," Liz said, pulling Jamie into a motherly embrace and comforting her. "I'm so sorry you have to deal with her moods. Everything was going so well."
They talked for hours and it was 2 a.m. before Jamie realized she was tired. She crashed in Angel's old bed. She could smell her in the room, a smell of violets that seemed to follow her everywhere.
She dreamt of her that night, of how she used to be before the tragedy that had so brutally stolen her friend away. She dreamt of "the kiss" that caused a tingling in her lips every time that she thought of it.
Suddenly, the dream ended when Angel pushed away from her and walked off onto a distance. She stood alone. Her body longing for the woman she loved. This isn't just lust, Angel. I want you mind, body and soul. Just like you have me. I will freely give that to you when you want it.
The two weeks went by in a blur for Angel. She had finally caught up to everyone else and was quickly coming to the head of the class. She studied continuously to keep from thinking about Marcus, Jamie, or Valentines Day.
But that fateful Sunday, she had nothing to do. She searched her mind for something, anything to keep her busy. Her music was playing softly as she paced back and forth restlessly in her room. She sat in front of her computer and stared at the screen, attempting to re-read one of the many stories Jamie had gotten her hooked on during Bravo school.
Standing to pace again, a ballad started to play in the background, Tony Bennett's version of Just the Way You Look Tonight. Walking towards her bedroom window, she spotted Jamie standing next to her car, talking to someone.
Someday, When I'm awfully low
And the world is Cold
I will feel aglow Just thinking of you
And the way you look tonight.
Angel noticed Jamie wore leather a lot
when she went out. Her pants were skin tight, accentuating the newly developed muscles on her legs, and the firm roundness of her hips and rear. The silk shirt she wore shimmered in the moonlight. It was hunter green, the perfect match for her eyes. She laughed and touched the other woman's arm in a warm gesture.
Oh but you're lovely
With your smile so warm
And your cheeks so soft
There is nothing for me
But to love you
Just the way you look tonight
Angel had noticed so many things about the younger woman. Jamie seemed to seek a connection with whomever she was speaking. She'd often reach out to touch, and if she really was into what you were saying, she'd move very close to you. Angel watched as Jamie did just that with the other woman.
With each word
Your tenderness grows
Tearing my fears apart
And that laugh that wrinkles your nose
Touches my foolish heart
Angel suddenly felt like a voyeur watching through the window, but before she could turn away, green eyes met blue. Quickly, she disengaged from the eye contact and left the window, just as the song was ending.
Lovely, never never change
Keep that breathless charm
Would you please arrange it?
Cause I love you,
Just the way you look tonight
Suddenly, there was a knock on her door. With a sigh, she opened it, and there she stood.
... Just the way you look tonight.
"We're going out," Jamie stated simply.
"Excuse me?" Angel said, blinking rapidly, unable to move from where she was standing.
"It will be your birthday in about five
hours, and since tomorrow is Monday, midnight will have to do. You cannot spend your thirtieth birthday pacing like a trapped wildcat," Jamie answered; glad she decided to take charge of the situation. She opened the closet wide and turned back to her friend, who had a bemused look on her face. "Come on... time's a wasting."
"I... I... No... J..." Angel stammered.
"No what? Come on, we'll have fun," Jamie said, pulling things out of the closet.
Angel scanned the content of the closet and shook her head. "There is nothing to wear."
"Sure there is. You have great clothes here," Jamie replied, looking through the clothing. There were no dresses but that was alright. She looked at all the slacks on the hangers, then she thought about her friends expanding waistline, courtesy of the baby. She realized that Angel had only been wearing fatigues, which were big on her anyway, and a nightshirt and sweats for the last month. "I see what you mean. You don't look that big though."
"Just forget it, Jamie. I don't feel much like celebrating," Angel answered sitting on the bed.
"You are coming. I didn't just break a date for you to back out on me, Angel," Jamie said as she reached for the phone. "Hey Liz... Have you gone shopping for your daughter? She seems to have ignored that little detail . . . You have? We're going out. . . No, I'm making her go . . . She can pull rank all she wants, it ain't gonna work . . . Okay, I'll see you guys in a bit? Great, bye." Hanging up the phone, she turned back to the older woman. "God, I love your mom."
Angel couldn't help but smile at the confidence that radiated from the younger woman. "That makes three of us. I guess I can take a shower.
She should be here by the time I get out," she said, collecting her towel and undergarments before heading to the bathroom. Jamie breathed a sigh of relief after she was gone. The younger woman had been sure that it wouldn't work. Glad that she was wrong, she smiled and headed for the living room.
Birthday girl or not, Angel ended up being designated driver for the night. She knew she couldn't drink because of the baby, which didn't slow down the others, who drank her share. They went bar hopping to places where Lil and her mother could be comfortable in their new relationship. It had gone beyond teasing and coaxing just after the new year. At times, they were so sweet together, it made her teeth ache.
At midnight, a waiter brought a cake with thirty candles lit and it seemed like the entire club sang happy birthday to her, causing the dark haired woman to blush. She blew out her candles and shared the cake with her mother and their friends.
"Hey, let's go dance," Jamie said, pulling on her arm. "Come on. I know you want to. I promise I won't let another girl touch you."
"Alright, lets go," Angel responded, following her out of the booth. They danced a few fast songs and Angel was certainly starting to enjoy herself. Suddenly the music shifted to a salsa beat.
"Aww, I was just starting to get warmed up," Jamie said, turning away. A hand on her arm stopped her. She turned to face the deep blue depths of Angel's eyes.
"You know you're not half bad for a white girl," Angel said with a grin.
"Look who's talking? You really do move great Angel," Jamie replied, her heart skipping a bit when Angel pulled her closer to hold on to her.
"I love to dance the salsa. Do you know how?" Angel asked softly.
"N... No... I, er... I never have," Jamie stammered.
"Here, I'll teach you. Look into my eyes and feel my hands and body. Let me lead," Angel said, taking one of her hands in hers and wrapping her arm around her body. Jamie could feel the swell of Angel's abdomen against her's and it felt so good that it seemed like she didn't even touch the ground. Her feet must have moved in time with the music, but she didn't know how. She only followed the body that was pressed against hers.
Angels guided her masterfully, reluctantly pulling away at times to turn her as they danced. There were three more salsa songs in a row before it turned back to regular fast music. They danced to all four, Jamie getting better and better each time. They were unaware of the eyes that were watching.
Liz and Lil grinned at each other as they watched the younger women dance. "They fit together perfectly Liz," Lillian said turning to her lover.
"I knew they would, but they still have a long way to go. Don't they look graceful?"
"Like music to the eyes. While each may draw attention when they are alone, put them together and everyone's watching them," Lil answered. Liz looked around the room. The people on the dance floor watched as they did their last salsa and even the people seated at the in tables stopped their conversations and watched.
They projected a lot a sexual heat and tension. Soon, you could see couples disappearing to dark corners or just out the door.
Angel could not complain, it had been the best birthday she had had in years, thanks to Jamie. It was 1:00 a.m. before they got home and she headed into her bedroom again. While she'd had a great time, she really needed to get some rest for the new block of instructions starting the next day.
Her body was still tingling from her
friend's prolonged proximity. She entered the shower and let the cold-water fall over her. It didn't really work; the coldness only reminded her of the feelings that she simply wanted to get rid of.
Sore and sensitive nipples hardened, causing exquisite pain. The swollen nodule of her center ached for contact. She reached down and toyed with it then, deciding it couldn't possibly be as good as the real thing, she let it go, trying to concentrate on being cold.
Jamie had no such luck. She paced theroom for a half an hour then, finally deciding on trying to sleep, she moved to the bed while removing her silk shirt. As she slid it off her shoulders, the soft fabric ran across her nipples, causing a small groan to escape her lips. She toyed with her nipples a while, wetting her fingers then bringing them to her breasts to roll and pinch them.
Slowly moving a hand down her abdomen to the button of her leather pants, she closed her eyes. Jamie kicked off her shoes as she unzipped the pants. Moving a hand inside her pants, she felt her underwear and thighs soaked with her passion. This sent a shiver up her spine. "Oh god, what you do to me," she whispered to herself, sliding her pants down her hips and kicking them off to the side.
Removing her underwear as well, she let her hands explore her depths, wishing that it were Angel's hands. Soft moans escaped her as she reached a climax on her own. She bit her lip, trying not to call out Angel's name, so that she might not hear what she was doing.
Release having been achieved, she quickly fell asleep and slept well for the rest of the night.
Angel awoke the next morning still feeling incredibly tense. Not having alleviated her sexual tension the night before had made it hard for her to sleep. She dressed quickly into her fatigues and walked into the kitchen to get something to eat before she left for school.
Glancing out of the window, she was surprised to see that Jamie's car was still there. She walked to the bathroom but did not hear the shower running. She moved to Jamie's bedroom, knocked lightly, and opened the door to check on her friend.
The vision that appeared before her was more than her hormones could bear. Angel stood at the door quietly, watching a naked Jamie sleep peacefully and satisfied. She lay on her side turned away from the door. Jamie hugged a pillow to her chest. Angel had a perfect view of her back and just above her round buttocks before the sheets covered her. A few minutes passed before she remembered why she had come in there in the first place, and she moved closer to the sleeping form.
Angel couldn't even begin to explain to herself why she had stared lustfully. It wasn't as if it was the first time she had seen this woman naked. Maybe it was the satisfied look on her face or the faint smell of sex that radiated from her. It didn't matter.
Shaking Jamie's shoulder slightly, she said. "Hey J. Get up, you're late . . ."
Stretching, Jamie turned to lay on herback, giving the taller woman a full frontal view. By the gods... she thought as she turned to look away. "Hmmm?" Jamie mumbled then opened one green eye. She looked around the room and spotted Angel, then she looked down at herself and opened both eyes. "Christ, what time is it?" she asked.
"Seven. You missed PT," Angel answered, moving toward the door. "I'll see you later, Jamie."
"Yeah, and happy birthday, Angel," Jamie said, smiling at the taller woman, who smiled back as she walked out of the room.
The week went by fast in a flurry of exams for both of them. By the end of that week, Angel was officially at the head of the class. Jamie was no slacker in her school, she was second, and that was good considering that all she could really think about was Angel.
That weekend was a three-day weekend for President's Day. That Saturday, Angel decided to do something she hadn't done since before Marcus died; go shopping for the baby.
As she got ready, the thought back to the ultrasound that she'd had done. It had made the child more real to her. She could see it and now she could feel it. Every time it moved, it tickled her insides, like little butterflies. It was a part of Marcus that she could always hold on to now that he was gone.
She remembered how after the test, the doctor called her into her office and explained to her what she needed to do to keep herself healthy for the child. It was a healthy child with strong heartbeats.
The doctor said that she could see no abnormalities in the ultrasound.
The sex of the child was inconclusive, which Angel found just as well because it wouldn't have mattered to her either way. She was starting to love the child more and more as the days went by. She thanked Marcus and whoever else might be listening for it every morning.
Angel took her two best friends with her, and Liz and Jamie argued over the best things for her child. She laughed at their discussion over the best nursing pillow. She ended up buying some beautiful blankets and a travel system. A nice blue and yellow stroller that came along with a baby carrier. Now this is practical, a three in one stroller.
While she thought it was enough purchases for the day, her mother insisted on buying a pack and play crib, so that she could keep it at her house. "I want to be with this baby often, Anjulee, until you have to leave," Liz said, hefting the playpen.
"I would never deny you that, mother, but I am a little over budget right this minute," Angel answered.
"Oh hush, I'm buying this," Liz said,handing a young clerk her credit card.
Angel glanced at Jamie, who had just returned from parts unknown. "What do you have in that bag?" she asked curiously.
"Nothing," she replied, seeing Angel's
brow arching higher.
"You'll see it later, okay? I promise," Jamie answered, walking ahead of them, and helping Liz by hefting the playpen herself.
Angel forgot how much she loved shopping with these two. Much as she loved shopping, she hadn't felt like it since Marcus' death. She was starting to feel alive again and she was starting to fall in love again.
That very thought scared her. Love was not something she wanted to risk losing that way again, so it was better that she didn't explore the feelings any further. Marcus couldn't possibly have understood what he was saying to her with his dying breath. If Lou could do that to him, what made him think that he wouldn't try to hurt Jamie? Angel shuddered at the thought and decided to put it all out of her mind.
She concentrated instead on her baby,. nineteen more weeks and she would have her child in her arms.
To be continued in Part eight
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